First things first: this meta is largely the result of a post by Quintessential Editor, plus some follow up comments. Writing out my thoughts over there gave me the push I needed to go forward with this plan.
(By the way, if you haven’t subscribed to Quintessential Editor yet, stop what you’re doing and rush over there! Lots of thought-provoking stuff for writers of all stripes.)
As some of you know, I’ve self-published before under a pen name. I don’t think I ever mentioned that name, though. For what it’s worth, it’s Miri Thompson. The “Miri books” deal with gay characters, romance or bromance, and power exchange or power imbalance—sometimes in the context of a consensual D/s relationship, sometimes not.
There. I’ve done it. I just outed my pen name. Wow. The world didn’t come crashing to a halt! In fact, it feels weirdly good to own it.
Okay. My fears about this might seem silly. Why am I even worried?
It’s the power exchange/power imbalance thing, honestly. You know, the D/s. What happens if people know I write this stuff?
But they already know. It’s slightly evident in The Horned Gate and a major component of Crevlock Tower!
These aren’t exactly front page revelations. And how many people are waiting to judge me for exploring power imbalances between characters? (Um, yeah, okay. Sometimes in a smutty way.)
The answer? No one, probably. I have a loving and accepting family. I have loving and accepting friends. And I know there are readers out there who like exploring this too. So, really, there’s nothing to stress over.
But not hiding what I write? Being okay with who I am and what kind of stories I’m into? That still feels like a big step.
Meanwhile, I have a concrete plan now: I’m going to reclaim those novels and short stories for my own name, albeit with some changes. I’ll use September to take down the books under Miri. Then, come November, I’ll use NaNoWriMo for any revisions. By the end of that month, I should be ready to republish the books under Jenn Moss.
The idea of NaNoWriMo is to write a brand new novel of at least 50,000 words in the thirty days of November. But they allow NaNo Rebels who set different goals. This year, that will be me.
So here goes nothing.