To paraphrase Stephen King: you don’t get paid to write; you get paid to finish. Completing a book or even a short story is hard work. But that’s not always what deters me from finishing a project. It’s the worry that once I put something out there, it’s going to be what I’ll be judged on for a long time. Do I really want my name to be associated with cowboy wizards? Meta detectives? Memory-world-exploring psychics? Nightmare-fighters? Sky pirates? Especially if I want to write “serious” fiction (which I do). And if I make money and get popular by writing any of these series or genres, will I have the freedom to write whatever I want, or will I be typecast, as it were?
Maybe I just need to come up with some good pen names. Hubert Kyle was one quasi-clever one I came up with. But then I’d have to be called Hubert. So… maybe not. Or I could just call myself something badass like… like Badasstopher.
It’s a mononym.
Rechristening myself is weird. It’s far too much like naming a child. It’s even more uncanny than naming a character. And anyway, it doesn’t quite solve the problem. I end up worrying about what name I’m going to be associated with. Though I suppose I already fret that I’m going to somehow be confused with L. Ron Hubbard and that’s the last thing I want.
Jesus, I really am a neurotic, aren’t I? Well, at least I’ve figured it out. I can make it my schtick. People can associate me with neuroticism. Now I just need a comically large pair of glasses and a goofy haircut and I’m good to go.