To Pen Name or Not To Pen Name?: Part 1

Today’s post is the start of another two-part blog with my friend Tanner. This time, we’re going to discuss our views on pen names. Since I went first last time, I’m going to let Tanner do the honors.


I want to once again thank Claerie for having me. It is always a blast to work with her.

Today’s topic is about pen names, or, well, lack thereof. And by that I mean I have none.

I can understand the appeal though. They offer a chance to have privacy in one’s personal life and to maybe even color up your character. After all, Tom Smith is a rather boring name. Of course, my friend Tom Smith is a computer engineer, so I’ll let you be the judge. Tommy, you’re a good sport.

So, why don’t I have one? It’s quite simple really. I have and am studying marketing in college. I’m going into my senior year, though most of my knowledge has come from watching the great marketers at work.

And that leads me to my point. Marketing. That is basically the sole purpose for using my real name. It’s not that I’m anyone famous or important, or even anyone people care about…yet. But I have a brand, just as we all do. And that brand is myself.

While writing is probably my top passion, I have other things that I love, things that I want to share with the world. The love of helping others is one of them, and I market that in all walks of life. I may not be an expert, but I’ve given advice to people about relationships, health, workout routines, and of course, writing.

But there is still one thing I push as part of my brand above all else, and this is what really keeps me from using a pen name.

I give absolute honesty.

I will tell you how things are, no matter how painful it may appear. Think about it, would you rather have someone tell you your writing sucks and offer suggestions to make it better, or would you rather someone say it is wonderful when they think it’s crap? All that leads to is embarrassment on your part because the market will tell you it sucks.

Honesty is the best route, and it is what I try to get everyone to do. And that starts with me. My real, full name, is Tanner Jay Childs. You can look me up on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even my website https://inspiringwriterblog.wordpress.com/.

Ask me anything you want, I’ll tell you what I think, writing related or not. I’m only 22, and some people have a problem with that, but I’ve already lived through more crap than most people half my age. That doesn’t make me better, just different.

Wow, I really got off topic there. The main point is, I don’t use one because it goes against my own personal brand, my own ethics. It would feel like lying to me. And I’m not trying to get anybody that has one to change that. That is not my goal. I just wanted to share why I don’t use one.

What about you guys? Do you use a pen name? Let me know in the comments below!


Thanks, Tanner! I hope this post was interesting to you and don’t forget to leave your own thoughts below.

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