Author Alter Egos and the Future of Scribbles

interscope-records-eminem-new-albumI watched a video on Facebook the other day chronicling Eminem’s rise to superstardom from the trailer park. (Yes, I WAS avoiding work on Old Souls, thank you SO  for pointing that out.) I planned to link the video to this post, but like so many other things on Facebook, it seems to have fallen into a rather unfindable abyss. The video detailed the struggles the rapper endured throughout his childhood: his mother’s abuse, and the bullying he was subjected to as a white kid in a predominantly black community.

He began rapping as a means to cope. He memorized the dictionary. He entered rap-battles.


And he lost.


It wasn’t until Eminem adopted an alter ego that he became a household name. Slim Shady was the man who made us all stand up. He took hold of the rap scene in 1999, and held on with murderously tight death grip for years afterward.

The narrator went on to allege Eminem would not have risen to the success he achieved if not for the invention of Slim Shady. Is that true? Maybe. And, Marshall Mathers III’s alter ego wasn’t the only one to peak public interest. So did Lady Gaga’s. Where would Sean Combs be without the media firestorms incited by the billion times he’s changed his name over the years? That said, not all alter egos work well. Garth Brooks is a country super star. Chris Gaines? Kind of a schmuck.SCHMUCK.png

In any event the video got me to wonder, could authors benefit from having alter egos?

In today’s day and age, writers have to do pretty much everything. They have to write books (already very hard) and they have to promote themselves. YOU want to be a writer? You’re going to need to get on Goodreads. You need to blog, tweet, Flipboard, stumble and Facebook. You need to appear at Writing Conferences and book signings. You need to have Swagger in the Age of the Author Brand.

Authors have a reputation for being *cough* slightly introverted. The other thing we’re known for? A little thing called Impostor Syndrome. “Impostor syndrome refers to the feelings of fraud and self-doubt often experienced by high-level achieving individuals.”


The unfortunate news for WRITERS is that we don’t have to achieve high levels of success to feel like impostors. The mere admission that we’re *gasp* WRITING can cause us to break out in a cold sweat.


That means that in the age of the author brand, introvertism (I don’t think that’s a real word) and Impostor Syndrome have a very real shot of crushing our writerly careers before they even begin.

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It might also be a picture of me trying to get upstairs on my birthday. Who’s to say, really?

I chose to use the moniker J. A. in place of the words people usually toss my way (Jenny, why are you late again) for two reasons. One: so that I could protect my real identity when I rocketed to superstardom — an obviously very likely scenario — and two: so that it would take people a little bit longer (like a half a second) to figure out I was a woman when they picked up my book.  At the time I believed the general public preferred male fantasy writers over female ones. While planning to write this blog, I held a Twitter poll.

Screenshot 2018-01-08 at 12.15.01 PM

The results were eye-opening. To me, anyway. I was surprised even further when some Twitter followers (men included) commented on the poll, saying that for various reasons, they would actually be more likely to purchase a book written by a woman than a man. Which makes the 12% of people who said they would be less likely to purchase a book written by a woman virtually obsolete.

Which in turn, led to my next Twitter poll.

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I was baffled. When I shop for books in a bookstore, I look at the covers. If the cover looks good enough, I’ll pick up the book to read the blurb. IF I make it past the blurb, the book gets opened, and the author bio gets studied. Only after the author bio passes the test will I CONSIDER flipping through the pages.


Is this because I’m a writer? I don’t know. Many of the people who follow me on Twitter and participated in the poll are writers. I think. Well, they say they are. The majority could very well be robots.


OR, is it because we writers have a FALSE perception that people are thinking about our PERSONAL worthiness before examining the quality of our work?

Wait a minute . . .

Is that where our impostor syndrome comes from?

*pauses*

*clears throat*

The polls seem to suggest that who the writer is is becoming less important than ever before. Yes, we’ll rush out to buy a book by the authors we love . . . but, their accomplishments? Whether or not they have a master’s degree in English? Whether they’re male of female?

Not important.

Because Old Souls is not quite finished, I wondered what this information means to me as a blogger. Which (of course) led me back to my new favorite obsession: Twitter polling. screenshot-2018-01-08-at-12-54-19-pm.png

Hardly anyone participated in this poll, which was too bad because the results were the most interesting to me, personally. Seeing that this was my third poll in three days, maybe people were tired of all the questions. Or, maybe this particular poll didn’t ruffle as many feathers as the male vs. female question. In any event, based on these stats it would seem that people pick up books based on the appeal of the content. People follow blogs to get to know the author.

I’ve been considering changing up the format of Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins for some time. Outside of the summer Scribble Challenges, the theme of the site has generally revolved around my writerly insecurities and attempts to get over them. The problem is I’m getting kind of tired of writing about that. That means, YOU’RE probably getting kind of tired of reading about it. Which is WHY I’ve been considering an author alter ego to go along with my authorly moniker, J. A.

(By the way, J. A. is always on time for everything.)

That said, I’m not about to tie you to the bed and set the house on fire. My alter ego will not be all that different from me. I will still be Mother of Hellions, Hater of Spiders, and Drinker of Wine. I’ll still be an aspiring kicka$# author.


But I will also be confident.

Because writers need to be confident.


41% of voters admitted they don’t follow author blogs, eliminating the necessity of including their feedback in this change to Scribbles — which is a blog. (Haters gonna hate.) But, a whopping 39% of voters said they follow blogs to get to know more about the author.

Bearing that in mind, Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins will likely get a little more personal.GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT


But not too personal.

Nobody wants to hear the nitty gritty.

Think: late night talk show personal.


I’ve also been considering adding a writer interview series to the site. Why I Write would be a more INTIMATE look into the forces driving individual authors to create, and the influences that helped mold their perspectives on life and the world today. The authors would (of course) have an opportunity to promote their work, but the bulk of the interview questions would take a more personal approach.

Depending on interest, this series of interviews might begin as early as February.

So, if you’re a writer interested in being featured on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins, shoot me an email!


ScribblesonCocktailNapkins@gmail.com


And hey, if you’re a blogger, I want to know, what do YOU blog about? How do you keep your readers ENGAGED? What do you think about the necessity of author ALTER EGOS?


 

117 thoughts on “Author Alter Egos and the Future of Scribbles

  1. This is a great post!

    I have a blog and an author site. After two years, I still have no idea what I’m doing. The mister says I’m not “applying” myself. Seriously? Will there be a test too, teacher? I think he should bring me another glass of wine and close the door on his way OUT of the room. 😀

    I’ll get it figured out… one day. 😉

    Liked by 11 people

  2. Loved the post, my alter ego walked off shaking his head. I tried to lock the door and write a blog post about him. He unfortunately knows where I hide my spare key. That’s ok…… I’d not know what to do if he didn’t join me for coffee in the morning. He’s the only one I can tell about the demons that come in the night when the lights are off and the world is asleep.

    Liked by 6 people

      • I actually have that someplace out on my Facebook believe it or not haha. Think I called them “conversations with the darkness”. Those where from a way darker point in my life tho, before God yanked me up by the hair and slapped me around a little. I might just take your suggestions tho, my alter ego isn’t the darkness i use to struggle with. He just likes to slide zombie book ideas under my door while I’m trying to finish my Christian fiction projects. He is very distracting, yet oddly humorous. Yesterday morning… over coffee… I was working on a future blog post about the 3 wise men of the nativity. When he insisted that the 3 wise men came stumbling in to declaring to Mary and Joseph… “I’m Larry, and this is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl”….. I almost chocked on my coffee…..

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I mostly put poetry on my blog, and honestly do not know what keeps my readers engaged. I’d like to think it was my honesty, my crafty approach to writing, my lyrical phrasing…but I don’t know – because I don’t get a lot of feedback. And it sometimes bothers me, because that hits home to my self worth as a writer. Introvert – check. Imposter syndrome – check. I keep writing anyway. 🤓

    Liked by 7 people

    • So ya…. I don’t like modern poetry… but I went and read the first 3 on your front page. The reason people don’t respond is the same reason Shakespeare probably had a bunch of blank stares at the end of Macbeth’s soliloquy. I didn’t want to respond in a comment on the page for fear that i might fly too close to the sun and burn up….. *claps* well done my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your comment, Jerry. Those are exceedingly kind remarks. I suppose there is something to that reaction, but why is poetry held to that kind of standard? I appreciate the feedback.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Poetry is an odd thing, books have slow points where a person can find comments. Those parts of books that move us its impossible to relate. It’s like in scripture, there are parts that i can talk about all day, then there are other parts that are just for me. Certain psalms that speak directly to me, that I cannot add to. Poetry has the same feeling to it, after all psalms is poetry. Shakespeare was a lot like that, if he had attempted to turn his works into 150k word novels we could debate them, but each word has a place and there is no place between the words to insert us. The only “feedback” i can give… and take it with a grain of salt … I’m not a poet…. I just humbly beg for feedback on my writing and think that it needs to be given out in return if asked for. You have amazing core lyrics, the use of words play together so well its easy to forget your reading words and you just see emotion. It seems your first line is to get to that point, and you last line is to end it. Those are the only part of the poem that is just you and not your voice. I have no idea if that makes any sense. its like “ok I’m going to write this”…. first line…. Then feeling flows out of you, then when it slows down you kick back in and you say “ok time to end this”. The reason why i dont like modern poetry is because people speak as people, not as their art. You bookmark your art with yourself…… as i said take that as you will, its not a criticism just the feedback you asked for. it in no way takes away from the art.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks so much for sharing that feedback. I like your comment on Shakespeare and word choices. And in terms of my writing, that is an interesting observation and one that I will take and reflect on. Poetry is supposed to move us individually and sometimes collectively – but not always the same.

            Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for your visit. And also for your assessment of my poetry. I am torn that I actually strive to write in a reflective style, which elicits just that response, and yet I never know…Thanks again.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Have you ever heard of Tyler Knott Gregson? He write his poems out with a typewriter and takes pictures of them. They became easily shareable on social media that way, and when he compiled a book of poems the book was an instant success, thanks to the fan base he had already accrued. I would say from what I’ve seen of your work, I like your poems better. 😉 Have you ever thought of making online quote cards with them, on a platform like Canva?

          Like

          • I have not heard of him, but am interested in how he was able to parlay freely available poems on social media into a book. I just downloaded the Canva app to investigate more. And thank you.😁

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent blog Jenny. I also think that the reason that pseudonyms work for many writer, or have in the past, is that you can create a persona that is separate from yourself. By doing that, you can give freedom to your writing that could maybe not have happened if you knew, albeit deep down rather than superficially that people will know you. It ties into my piece I wrote about vulnerability of writing. Definitely love your writing style!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Imposter syndrome – yes! I’m so glad there’s actually a name for this, I thought I was just an insecure nitwit. Thanks, you made me feel better 🙂 I’m a blogger who thinks calling myself a writer out loud is too presumptuous, although in my head and heart that’s what I want to be. I can’t speak much to alter egos, since I can barely handle the one ego I have, but my blog is definitely personal. I write about life – faith, family, children, marriage, and things I’ve learned along the way. One comment I hear a lot from friends, family and some of my readers, is that they appreciate reading stories that make them feel they aren’t alone in what they are going through. I think there’s incredible value in sharing your life with others and in expressing feelings and struggles in a way that others relate to.

    Liked by 4 people

    • “I think there’s incredible value in sharing your life with others and in expressing feelings and struggles in a way that others relate to.”
      I agree. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of. Thank you for the reminder. I wish you all the best in your writing! You are obviously making an impact.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you J.A.
    I blog about my journey from a recovered addict perspective. My stumbles and discoveries in the solution, which seems to me is lost on many. I am interested in other writers and like to know what they are struggling with and what drives them. There is something, I believe, beyond the 5 senses at work that manages to appear as I write what’s going on with me and others I follow, which fascinates me tremendously.
    Reading, following and commenting on others work is. in my opinion imperative to stay connected to those really interested in what I’m attempting to convey.
    An alter ego is not something that had crossed my mind when writing. I do use a pseudonym but is primarily from another social media profile. I want to be authentic in my new life as I led a double life in active addiction.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I find it interesting that you flip to author bios. I always read them after I finish the book. My first thing is an eye-catching book cover (I know don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but come on, it works), then I read the summary, and then if that intrigues me I flip to the first page and read the first two pages. If THAT can capture my attention, I buy the book. Which is why I have a hard time buying books online/ ebooks because I can’t read the first two pages.

    I’m just starting out in the fiction writing and already I’m getting nervous. I’m pretty used to rejections from script competitions and fellowship programs, but fiction writing is a whole other ball game! I don’t really know where to start.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ha! This reminded me of something a friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day.
      “Writing is easy. It’s like riding a bike. Except the bike is on fire, you’re on fire, everything is on fire, and you’re in hell.”
      Being used to rejection is a great start.
      Don’t allow your nerves to butt into your writing time.
      That time deserves all the kahonas you can muster.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: I am Legion – JerryAPackard

  9. I have an alter ego. I need one. Real me is quiet and insecure and introverted and really just wants to know more about the world. The real me is the kind of person you call when you have absolutely have to say out loud the one thing you feel you can’t say ever.
    T.A. is fabulously amusing and entertaining and the first person you invite to cocktails because she will make your night. T.A. is who shows up to readings and conferences and assorted author events. As a side note, T.A. is also the girl who makes an awesome waitress (I just didn’t know in my teens and 20s she’d be reappearing in my late 30’s – LOL).

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Hello! First off, I would like to say I really enjoyed reading this. I’m honestly still pretty new to the blogging community (only started a couple months ago). Also, never really read other blogs. But I have been getting more serious about my writing lately, hence the new blog, and I will definitely keep following you. I have debated my own name as well because I’ve heard readers in general pick up books my male authors more often. First, I had my name as L. M. Marshall. But I just felt my last name was so blah and could get mixed into the crowd. Then I decided I will just suck it up and use my first and middle name (Laura Mae) I was hoping it was unique enough to remember. But your poll was interesting that most people like fantasy novels written by females, so, I think I’m good now!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. The idea of using an alter-ego/pen name is quite interesting. I don’t know the legal ramifications of copyright & ownership of the works produced, but I am certain that there are many to consider.

    Back in the early ’70s I worked for an electrical contractor who had a unique point of view when it came to business names. He used his-own-name-comma-Electrical Contractor. He had no favorable opinion for anyone who hid behind the alphabet (e.g. XYZ Electric). Bruce’s theory was that if you were proud of the job you did and stood behind it, you should put your name on the front door for everyone to see.

    Just a thought,
    Ω

    Liked by 4 people

  12. As a high school student that writes to de-stress, I don’t feel like my stories are any good. My “blog” is really just me flinging my mediocre wordsmithing into the ether. Does anyone actually read it? As far as I know, only one person (she’s a sweetie for telling me nice things). Do I really want people to read it? That’s a good question. I haven’t told anyone about it, certainly. I definitely have imposter syndrome though–who am I to write when there’s so many better authors out there already?

    Liked by 4 people

        • I have to butt in here because I worked with a very talented middle school student and helped her finish her first novel. She had great ideas, and all she really needed was someone to keep pushing her to write. By the time she finished it, she was so tired of the story and the characters that it is now sitting on the back burner as she goes on with a very busy high school life. But at fourteen she has completed a novel, something most adults will never do in an entire lifetime, and it will always be there for her to pull out and edit as she becomes a more mature writer. Stick with your dreams! If I had started at fourteen instead of forty, I might have been able to make a living with my writing.

          Liked by 2 people

  13. Hi J.A. Thank you for visiting my blog this evening to read The ideas Man. I have an alter ego; Bioman aka Microman, after my interest via Biomimetics which I have studied at post-grad level and which led to my first blog, and my poetry which I started to keep my wits alive after I was misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in a world gone mad. It has worked for me because the Japanese Bioman series still attracts attention so I get visitors looking for “Bioman” and it helps my blog figures. Thanks for the post – re Eminem, are you referring to his movie “8 Mile”? Take care. Bioman (Bruce)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Great post. I love your style. T99 much content to break down but you touched on interesting points.
    I blog because it’s therapeutic for me. I’ve lived 100 years in my 50 plus and many amazing things have happened, good bad and teachable moments. Enough people have told me that I have a good story and a good voice so I began to tell the world my story, holding back nothing

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I have a blog, which I started because I felt the need to share the things I wrote (erotic romance). I have done some posts about crochet/knitting as well and some about RL stuff. But mostly I post my writing.
    I am like you when I pick up a book, the cover grabs me first, then I read the blurb, then the author bio and flick through some pages. That’s when I decide whether I want to read it or not.
    As for that blasted impostor syndrome, I know about that one, I’m studying art and design and whenever the tutors refers to us as artists, my brain starts laughing, saying ‘you’re not an artist, you’re an art student!’. Since my first year ended, I’ve done quite a lot of writing (by my standards) but zero arting.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Do you differentiate between a pen name and an alter-ego? Two sides of the same coin? A mask versus a full body suit of super-author spandex?
    I enjoyed reading this post, and will likely peruse more when I’m not on the wrong end of a night shift.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I blog about many things. I do a fair amount of book reviews for indie authors, so once you publish your book, I’d be happy to read and review it. I also blog about general thoughts on life and sometimes writing. I use my blog to post my poetry and story excerpts.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Great post! Interesting and I love your writing style. I’m a new blogger, still figuring out what I write about. I hesitate calling myself a writer, which indicates that I probably am one. But I’ve always loved the idea of alter egos and shadowy identities. Though I think it might at least for me have less to do with necessity and more to do with fear and insecurity. But I’m thrilled at the idea that there may be a practical purpose to employ such things!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I like this article. Particular of interest are the parts on Imposter Syndrome. I attended an aviation-related conference (day job stuff) where an hour was given to that subject. Where the attendees of the conference were mostly pilots and perhaps 90% male, the attendees of that talk were flipped. 90% female attendees were in that room. That was enough to tell me what I already thought was true, that previous industry beliefs have shaped the present day interest, as well as added pre-conceived job pressures based on past convention. The speakers in that hour were women executives speaking about how they were in a position of success but didn’t feel like they performed all that well. Success or failure and the road there indeed is lined with all sorts of mental pressure.

    Your first poll asked if we were less likely to buy a fantasy story by a female author. Given the imposter syndrome talk I witnessed, I would like to ask if readers are more or less likely to buy a female-authored story by genre, Action/adventure, horror, etc. How about a male author writing romance; will that generate feelings against buying that title? Like he knows . . . I think.

    I appreciate the look into this side of writing with a future in mind. For myself, I’m writing late in the game. It never came on strong before until I had children with imaginations which re-sparked my own. I feel there’s something there and I have to get it out. The imposter part of the equation comes from wondering if I can really crack the story-telling skill. It’s a learned thing and I’m working on it but it’s that meeting with the results that presses on us all. If I can get around the lack of literate education vs. the technical one I gained then I can produce something worth the effort.

    Thank you for clicking follow. I like it here and I’ll do the same.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your observations in regards to your experiences at the conference were really interesting to me, that: “…previous industry beliefs have shaped the present day interest, as well as added pre-conceived job pressures based on past convention.”
      Isn’t that something? I imagine the female pilots are performing just as well as the males, just as female fantasy writers likely perform at the same level as their male counterparts. I’m sure many insecurities come down to pre-conceived gender stereotypes. I love that the conference you attended held a talk on Imposter Syndrome. Taking steps like those are a terrific way to inspire change.

      Like

  20. Ah, the art of the alter ego~ I myself work under one (though it somehow surprises people that Dorian Graves isn’t my real name?) for a variety of reasons. It’s a name that’s relatively free of gender bias (when I don’t use pronouns, I’ve had an even amount of he’s and she’s thrown my way), it hints at my literary influences and genres WITH a pun built in, and it sticks me in the G section of the fantasy/scifi shelves, next to authors I admire like Neil Gaiman and Mira Grant.

    I admit, I mostly started up my blog to help promote myself as an author. I’m having fun discussing aspects of writing/worldbuilding though, and it’s nice having a spot where I can cleanly showcase my art and writing. Being able to help support other creators by bringing their work up in blog posts is nice too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • … “It’s nice having a spot where I can cleanly showcase my art and writing. Being able to help support other creators by bringing their work up in blog posts is nice too. ”
      That is a very noble endeavor. And may I add that I just LOVE your penname.

      Like

  21. As a writer and a blogger, I might blog about alter egos 😛 I feel like the me as the writer/blogger is more me than the me who talks and interacts with people irl.

    Apart from the blog through wordpress, I’ve been active for 4-5 years on blogger. I have gone through a period where I jumped up and down and went out of my way to write about topics that people would like when I got my first followers (like, 2 or so).

    I quickly realized that if I wasn’t enjoying it, you could tell. So, I went back to writing about things I wanted to talk about. I blog about theories (like about Disney movies) and ask questions like “What is memory?” and random things like “what if…there was an alternate universe where Justin Bieber and Heidi Klum are ugly?”

    I keep my readers (if I have any continuous ones :P) engaged by putting in lots of pictures and memes and cracking jokes. If I write about serious things, I try not to go all academic-words on them (because I’m also a grad student and tend to write like that, sometimes).

    About choosing books, like you, I start with the cover, go to the blurb (if it has one, sometimes they don’t), and then, unlike you, I read the first page. If the first page grabs me, I flip to the middle and read it. If I find myself super intrigued, I buy it. Sometimes I check the reviews on the back of the book to see if its any name I’ve heard of that reviewed the book.

    I only check the author bio after I’ve finished reading the book. Especially ones I really enjoyed, I check. If I was just a reader, I might follow author blogs. But because I’m also a writer, I might look up author blogs to see how they do it so that I can model off of them 😛 I don’t do much of that now because I feel my blogging has a style now 🙂

    I’ve now read two of your posts (this one and the one about the fly and split hairs), both which were enjoyable and now I shall follow 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  22. My alter ego is the slightly less anxious-wreck version of me. 🙂 It’s nice to project the best version of me, to a certain extent. I do have a blog, but to be honest, I’ve struggled to figure out what to consistently post. I feel like I’m still experimenting with it to figure out what I want to write that others will want to read. It’s a lot harder than some people make it look. 😫

    Personally, I never look at author bios until I’ve read the book and, especially if I liked it, get curious about the author. Interesting to hear that it matters to some people. 🤔

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Ever since 25th of October, when I decided to reshape my personal blog and throwing out 140++ posts, I do post on the blog section of the new version website about freelance, work related topics. Not always on a serious way of course.

    Liked by 3 people

  24. First, thank you for visiting my blog. Certainly the greatest result of that is finding yours and that we are in many ways kindred spirits. I see also from the comments that there are a lot of us out there.
    I thought long and hard about a pen name/alter ego, especially since I am a paraprofessional at an elementary school and write romance. But my romance is what they call “sweet romance,” no overt sexual content or questionable language. I decided to stick with my own name because I want people to know that I am a writer, which I think goes a long way towards helping them understand my quirks and oddities.
    My books have been well-received by people who would love me anyway (family and friends), but I do have two fans who don’t know me in any other way. They are currently the foundation of “The Beth Warstadt Fan Club,” which I hope is about to be expanded to include a new publisher. I encourage you and all of your “commenters” to hang in there and stay the course. Finishing a work feels great, even you have to struggle to get it published, and that is a joy I wish for everyone who chooses to write. As a mentor told me early on, the fact that you have written proves that you have the right to call yourself a writer.

    Liked by 3 people

    • “I decided to stick with my own name because I want people to know that I am a writer, which I think goes a long way towards helping them understand my quirks and oddities.”
      –Oh how I love this point of view. We writers can be a funny sort. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Nicely laid out!

    I’ve been blogging for a few weeks now and I talk about my current progress in writing and some simple writing tips. My main goal was to give my fantasy book a little more exposure to the masses.

    But my traffic is sadly underwhelming lately. Perhaps I should try making an alter ego for myself too and see if there’s any positive change 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  26. A thought provoking post. It certainly gave me pause when you said that people might follow an author’s blog to find out about them. I was thinking about why people actually follow my own in contrast to why I was writing it. There seemed to be a discrepancy between trying to self promote for the book I’m writing and people simply being interested in what I have to say.

    As for the alter ego I think it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. I don’t feel it’s necessary for me as a writer, but as someone who wants to play live music I often envision an alter ego as being a good way to represent myself. One of the ideas that I learned from a brief study of carnival was that masks aren’t necessarily there to hide behind, but are used to reveal a part of you that’s normally hidden. If writing is introverted, then the reader already has access to that part of me, whereas as a performer on a stage I might want to project a particular character to empower my songs.

    And I suppose it’s these kind of thoughts that I should turn into a blog post 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • “One of the ideas that I learned from a brief study of carnival was that masks aren’t necessarily there to hide behind, but are used to reveal a part of you that’s normally hidden.”
      That is one of the most profound ideas I’ve ever come across. Thank you for sharing. If you ever make a blog post about this topic, please send the link over. And include that quote, haha.

      Like

  27. At the moment, I’m blogging about… YOU! Haha. True story.
    This post is thought-provoking and awesome. Eager to see the new directions your blog may take.
    Alter egos… I have one or two. I’ve established a web presence separate from this under one of my pen names. Under that identity, I feel much more free to be a protester, an advocate… to speak stridently for the causes I champion and against the injustices I perceive. Alter egos can be powerful. That said, though, there’s nothing like putting your writing out there under your own name.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re blogging about me?! Neat! Shoot me the link if it’s ready.
      Putting your work out under your own name can be a roller coaster, for sure. Exciting, fun . . . gut-wrenching, especially at first. At the end of the day, if your writing is good people will put in the work to see who you are. Perhaps it is the same if your writing is terrible. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I think alter egos are like wearing a mask. No one knows who we are so we’re more free to do things we wouldn’t do without it. Would Samuel Clemens been as successful? Even J.K. Rowling published a book under the guise of Robert Galbraith.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I didn’t know Mark Twain’s name was Samuel Clemens. It’s an interesting question, are we more likely to succeed under a different name because we feel more free to try and get away with things, OR do people just respond better to cool names? Haha.
      I imagine it may be a little of both.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Whatever names you choose to use, I like and admire your work, I haven’t seen it for some time, but can see now it has become more complex. This whole notion of writers believing they are in any way imposters escapes me, for I’ve been writing professionally for fifty years and have never felt it once. Perhaps it would be worthwhile for writers who feel they’re putting something over on readers is to remember what Emerson wrote: “To believe that what is true for you is true for all mankind is genius.”

    Best wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I love that quote. Very well said. Always good to see you here, David. I imagine that your book, Fighting to Win: Samurai Techniques for Your Work and Life, could help a lot of people with this problem.

      Like

      • How very kind of you to mention my Fighting To Win. Yes, it has helped people with that problem–and many other problems having to do with difficulties freeing oneself up. I’ve been thinking about you lately, always wishing you god speed on your writing projects.

        Liked by 1 person

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  32. I admit that the look of the book cover is important to me as a buyer. In this age of so many self-published books, I think it would be very important for authors to invest in how professional the cover looks. I am able to download a lot of books for free, yet still a major factor in which books I choose is based on my first impression. If the cover looks cheesy or “small time”, then I assume it also probably isn’t edited all that well either. To me, that is unprofessional, unreadable, and a waste of my time. That being said, I have read some real stinkers thinking they would be good because the cover was so appealing. That’s still a win for the author, however, because they did score another reader, even if their book wasn’t my cup of tea.

    Along that same vein, the style and size of the font is also important to me. (I also refuse to buy the soft cover books so prevalent now that feel waxy. Blech. Can’t stand how they feel—personal preference.)

    I don’t know if this information is helpful to you or not, but I thought I would put my two cents in.

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Pingback: Author Alter Egos and the Future of Scribbles – Wolfe's Rants

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