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Thinking about it, I dont know why I am scared to sign anything I write under my real name. I know I like what I do and am proud about whatever I write... but then i feel that there is a part of me that wouldn't want to let other people to be let into my thoughts... if that makes any sense.

your take on this?

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I sometimes think that a pen name gives you a voice and a bit of a focus to your project, but that's just me. My parents gave me a silly hippie name so I was eager to change it when I got into zines.
A big part's privacy- working in office jobs, everything boils down to "company image", so even personal blogs and non-job related websites can get you in trouble if a boss finds out and doesn't like your content (or if you're bitching about them). Using a nickname, limits that a bit.

And having a nickname is like being a superhero or a comic book character. That's a good enough reason for me.
offices/ work people can do that??? (wow, that sounded dumb, but I've never really worked in my life so I wouldn't know)

although the super hero bit was pretty cool :D

Ro- The Apocalypse Girl said:
A big part's privacy- working in office jobs, everything boils down to "company image", so even personal blogs and non-job related websites can get you in trouble if a boss finds out and doesn't like your content (or if you're bitching about them). Using a nickname, limits that a bit.

And having a nickname is like being a superhero or a comic book character. That's a good enough reason for me.
i agree! I'd give 3 slices of cheese and a unicorn to have a unique hippy name! My name is soooooo common and boring....

Zacery Nova said:
(I like silly hippy names :D)
My parents named me Sunshine. It got old real quick "Why is it raining Sunshine?" "Why aren't you smiling Sunshine?"

And let's not get started about Walking on Sunshine. That song came out when I was 7... I was small child... mean kids too it literally.

On the other hand I always had a fantasy that a boy would make me a mix tape of songs with the word "Sunshine" in them, but it never happened.

I Am said:
i agree! I'd give 3 slices of cheese and a unicorn to have a unique hippy name! My name is soooooo common and boring....

Zacery Nova said:
(I like silly hippy names :D)
i think even if your proud you can still fear judgement.
but why do we care when we like what we do? although this is also my sentiment, exactly.

emmalee said:
i think even if your proud you can still fear judgement.
Sometimes a pen name is a name given or used to represent you or sometimes you just dont like your name or find the the name you use as a "stage name" my pen names (i have a few) are Amsterdam (my friend gave me it) or for roller derby I have "Avril Cadaver" so yeah i guess its that
Yeah. At the very least, it can be embarassing- I mean we found the MySpace page of this big-ego manager. Turned out his picture was of him shirtless with a gold chain and all his "friends" were little 18 year old chicks (he's over 50 and married). We were cracking jokes about him for months.

I Am said:
offices/ work people can do that??? (wow, that sounded dumb, but I've never really worked in my life so I wouldn't know)

although the super hero bit was pretty cool :D

Ro- The Apocalypse Girl said:
A big part's privacy- working in office jobs, everything boils down to "company image", so even personal blogs and non-job related websites can get you in trouble if a boss finds out and doesn't like your content (or if you're bitching about them). Using a nickname, limits that a bit.

And having a nickname is like being a superhero or a comic book character. That's a good enough reason for me.
i'm old enough to remember when the original punk scene hit and fake names seemed cool - i took kami as a bastardisation of my name cammy (campbell) and it has stuck for thirty years! of course i didnt know back then it was a japanese god, a hindu god of love, recently a muppet or anything else - it just fit the bill.

pen names just make it easier for a lot of people to say what they think - for some reason that alter ego can let go then without fear of reprisal. even when people know who you really are anyway, you didnt say it, your alter ego did!
If you send your zine in for review at bigger magazines, prisoners can contact you for a copy of your issue. It's a privacy and safety measure to use a pen name!! I have received a lot of prison mail, I always use my pen name (Tina Beast) and my PO Box for mailing.
It's an interesting question, and I think people have diverse reasons... I have a couple:

Like a lot of people, I use a pseudonym because of my job - I work in a very conservative, heavily regulated industry, and some of the things I say could be frowned upon or "misinterpreted" ;).

Like kami indicated, having another persona gives you a certain freedom to say what you want without fear of repercussion, so it's sort of a kick for me to have a "professional" identity, and then my "zine" identity. Sometimes when my work environment is particularly intense, it's kind of fun to think at the end of the day, I can become this other character (which is actually closer to my true self anyway).

I also think it's just plain fun to have a fake name... I admit it.

The safety/privacy issue is also worth mentioning. In the age of constant online access and the ability to just Google someone's name and get a slew of info on them, it's worth it to not use your real name. You just don't know what psychopaths are out there.

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