your writing self

On WritingI wrote under a pen name for years.

In the beginning, it had a lot to do with anonymity. I knew many of my conservative friends and family would take issue with my stories. I like to romp around in dark territory. Not everyone is down with that.

But in time I cared less and less what the disapproving might think. And yet, I held to that pen name for a long-ass time.


Because it became more than a name for me. It became a persona. It was the writing me. I settled into that identity, freeing my mind to wander wherever it wanted when I assumed that name. I thought of it as a character, really.

When it came time to decide what name would appear on the cover of my first book (due out this year, hopefully sooner rather than later), I had a real dilemma on my hands. Use the pen name or my name?

On the advice of my publisher, I chose my own name. But I kept the persona.

In many ways, that persona is the badass me. The real me. The me I aspire to be. Why would I ditch that? Hell, I want to live that as often as I can.

So I ask, fellow writer, what’s your writing persona? Even if you don’t write under a pen name, you likely have one. Why is that identity important to you, and–here’s the money question–how can you pull the bassassery of that identity into your real, non-writing life?

I know. Deep stuff.

But please, give it some thought. The identity you write under matters, and whether you use your own name or not, it says a lot about you. The person you want to be as a writer is the real you.

Who is that person, and how can you be more like him/her all the time?


About Ash Martin
Ash Martin writes dark fantasy and horror, has a thing for classic monster legends, Nordic mythology, coffee, and sarcasm, and is currently working on multiple books.

3 Responses to your writing self

  1. dumanae says:

    you say that in agreement or because of your publisher you chose your own name. you think your pen name had all the bad assery klinging to it. i have two things one is a statement and the other is a question. now the statement is more of a an oppinion. with references to works like NIGHTBREED
    and BATMAN
    1. we all wear masks even when we think we arent, possibly due to intimacy and the fear it brings, noone knows the true you in its whole. we show people what we want them to see when we want them to see it. maybe we have that one true partner that is judgement free of all our little faucets, rare but possible and if so hang on to that one. you have your business personona under your real name you have your relationship persona under your real name who is to say your pen name manifistation isnt just another faucet of you and therefore you carry it even under your real name. now you said deep so I went deep and not just the surface where its a different name with all the attributes you wish toconvey but deeper. its part of the real you only you have seperated it from the whole.

    i did say there was a question tomake here but honestly I got lost in the thought so Ill ask this… why do you think your pen name is a different soul when it came from you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • AR Martin says:

      You ask some good questions, and the answers are as complex as the query. Here’s what it boils down to–I had to choose what name I want the world (or at least the small sliver of it that reads my book) to know me by. I chose ‘AR Martin’. That was the name that fit for me.

      The persona of Dex taught me how to be a badass on the page. A few friends simply pointed out that was me, not Dex, and I could go by either name.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dumanae says:

        I’m crazy I know and I get name changes I like em too look at Dumanae I can be free flirtatious not serious what so ever serious and business is Scott and even though they different entities they are me part of my multiple personalities lolz truth is I was just glad to see your notification on writing pop up again in my email. Still no idea why it went away.

        Liked by 1 person

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