What’s in a Name? Choosing a Pen Name

In the retired, predictable world that is Forestwood by the Sea, serious changes are afoot.

I’ve been lucky enough to score a part-time job writing for a lifestyle magazine. Yay for me. However, after the initial excitement settled, the ramifications of taking on this role had me worried. Journalists cop a bit of flack in today’s litigious world, and are often sued personally for what they write. What would be the implications of my name being in print, for both me and my family?

Might my privacy be violated by who knows what kind of nutters out there in a, ‘Covid-angry,’ world?

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Photo by Markus Winkler on

I decided I might just need to preserve my anonymity by writing under a pseudonym or pen name. But what name should I choose? Something fanciful, creative or something slightly ‘crae crae?

Choosing a Pseudonym

‘How would I even go about choosing a Pen Name? Is there criteria to be followed? A checklist or protocol in selecting such a name?

Just like choosing a baby’s name or the name of a new pet, I wanted to get it right! This meant I had to consider things like the genre and demographic I was writing for, whether the name had been used before in journalistic circles or whether it had any bad context or connections.

I sure as eggs didn’t want to find out the pen name I had carefully chosen happened to be the same as a serial killer or some onerous individual from days gone by.

I narrowed down a short list of names dredged from the depths of my imaginations, none of which my own family liked. Some initiated a variety of belly wrenching, hilarious comments. Hmm. [They DO love me, but have a quirky sense of humour.] But perhaps I wasn’t the best person to choose the name?

I then enlisted the help of an online pen name generator. Did you realise there was such a thing? This online marvel of suggestions, offered up some unusual name combinations, some of which I’ve starred* below, but I still remained sceptical of those choices.

Given the blogging community is so highly informed, intelligent and the reason my confidence had grown to the point that I even contemplated this job, I thought it prudent to seek their, [read: your] opinion on a potential pseudonym, as readers of Something to Ponder About.

Can You Help?

Following is a poll of some shortlisted preferences. Which one do you think sounds best?

Perhaps you have a suggestion of your own? Let me know in the comments.

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