Pseudonyms And The Modern Writer

English: Swiss writer Franz von Sonnenfeld (ps...

English: Swiss writer Franz von Sonnenfeld (pseudonym of Johann Gihr, 1821-1888). Painting from 1846 by unknown artist. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I licked my ice-cream, I noticed my writer friend’s forehead furrowed in a frown, I wanted to ask what was amiss but reckoned she would tell me when she wanted to, I was right, few minutes later she blurted out, ‘J.K Rowling is my new pseudonym, hope I’ll sell a million copies of my new novel,’ (she mentioned the name of her upcoming thriller)

I couldn’t help laughing and judging by her furious expression, she was deadly serious. I patted her on the shoulder and said, ‘You have a right to use a pseudonym, there’s no crime in it…’ I paused for emphasis, ‘but I’m not sure you can use J.K Rowling, she could sue you for impersonation,’

‘Let her!’  she said and I sensed her growing frustration. I didn’t know what to say and on my way back to the office, I wondered why writers are frustrated when things didn’t work out.

There’s no magic formula for the success of  a particular work, you can spend thousands of dollars on adverts, have a great content and still never reach number one on Amazon or anywhere else. But that shouldn’t stop a ‘true artist.’ An artist writes, paints, creates because he or she can’t function otherwise, that’s the nature of a true artist. I’ve read novels from unknown authors that are well written and had great plot lines, yet, they didn’t sell in their millions! The trick is, write and create because you wanted to, it should be like the air you breathe.

‘What would I eat while writing, air?’

You may ask but I have no ready answer for that, the only thing I know is that the life of a modern writer can be a very lonely one, but, that was the path you chose!

Jonathan Sawyer

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