Writers, by their nature, can be an insecure bunch at times.
We write, often with vigor and forthright determination, to produce the finest stories, essays, what-have-you, that we can.
But sometimes we wonder, we wonder who is reading us, how they feel about what they are reading. And we even sometimes become nervous about what readers may think about us, the writer. Why is a man writing this? Why is a woman writing that? We think and we think and sometimes we take what may seem an easy way out. We become someone else. Just for the work of course. We’re not that weird.
The draw of the pseudonym, the pen name, the nom de plume, is that it can allow a writer to express themself more freely than they would otherwise.
In my case I wrote a little with a female pseudonym. It was freeing as well as being something of a challenge. Would a man be successful at writing from the perspective of a woman? Would I be accepted as a woman writing those stories or would I be rumbled, caught, exposed as a pretender? So many questions.
And then I gave it more thought. I even asked for advice. In the end I made the decision to be authentic, to be myself, to own that writing as mine and stop worrying about whether readers would accept that writing from me, from a male writer.
Yes, it is mine, Elise Kimura is me – not that she achieved any great notoriety anyway but that’s beside the point. I like the writing I did under that name and I shall write as I like, in ways that feel natural and real, and yes I know the irony of saying that as a writer of fiction. 🙂
As a writer I write what I do because I can’t bear not to.
One other stumbling-block to using a pseudonym today is social media. Where once a reader took it as read (yes, I know, bad pun) that a writer was who they said they were and there was little way of knowing anyway, now, readers want to know so much more about a writer and it is harder to hide behind a pen name for whatever purpose, even the purest.
So, please enjoy the writing of Elise Kimura and know that the heart, the spirit, the wonder of that person, lives in me. And I will continue now under a single name, my own.