Pseudonym/Pen Name?

As I’m learning more about branding, a friend suggested since I have two distinctly separate types of writing, one for children’s books, one for women, I should establish two separate brands. It makes sense, and I’ve found articles on how to do that. Sounds like my attorney needs consulting at some point, not establishing a separate LLC, but registering the name for copyright purposes. There are several Pen Name Generators out there; here are some suggestions.

Andra Watt; Grace Spahn; Frances Hurley; Hannah Jewell; Mary Riss

The last three were taking my grandmother’s names and mixing them up. Each combination is an actual person living in the United States. I like Hannah (Great grandmother’s name), and I like Frances (my middle name). I really wanted to pick Grandma Kathy. A Google search revealed the name of a children’s book, “Grandma Kathy Has Cancer.” This Grandma Kathy has had cancer, and I don’t wish to detract from that author’s work, so it’s probably out too. Unless I call myself “Grandma Jewel.” That could work. I’ll check Google later on it.

It’s a concept beyond my thinking to make a list of my qualities. While we all wish to be kind, thoughtful, generous, funny, and beautiful, I doubt many of us would readily describe ourselves that way. I saw a blog someone wrote about listing your assets and they said, “Ask three relatives for a one word description of you.” That could be bad depending on which ones you asked!

Seriously, it could be a great asset if you were unsure how to get started. I may hit up some cousins later this week. I’m thinking of using my real name for the women’s fiction novels. It would be perfect to be “Grandma Kathy” but maybe “Kathy Frances” would be a good pseudonym. See how it all works out? Or not. It appears a Kathleen Frances is a singer from Bristol (Tennessee?). More later.

When you emotionally re-brand yourself, you need to capture attention, encourage purchases, build customer loyalty, integrate the emotional branding into your customer’s life, getting word of mouth. Do you understand how emotions work? Being unique is necessary for your brand to stand out. Best of all, having a human connection leads to long-time followers, a positive reputation, loyalty, and all of this should make a higher return on your investment.

I know my bio needs a definite re-write. So does some info on my website. It’s too bad we humans cannot do over one thing at a time. There is more and more to do and less and less time in which to do it.

As I continue to research my brand identity and what I want to convey about myself, I am going to attempt to put down a few words in my novel. Although I’ve read and researched a lot of things, I haven’t written any words yet. That will change as soon as this is published. Onward! My pseudonym is going to be an extension of myself, not someone else. After all, you can be a wife, lover, mother, friend, grandma, author, and dreamer all at once.

Have a beautiful day. Thank you for checking in, I appreciate it. We’ll see each other tomorrow. Be Safe out there.

Overcoming FEAR

Ideas for writing this daily blog drop into my lap some days. I’ve read something from two unique sources about the same topic – FEAR. It’s something we all have; it wears many masks, though.

The first time I tried to speak to a large group of people was when I was a senior in high school. I never had debate or speech or drama classes. I just simply did NOT want to do that. Ever. I was painfully shy, which really didn’t help. Everyone who was an after-school club President had to give a presentation to the entire Freshman Class; it was about 250 people. I was the Art Club President.

I remember writing what I wanted to say. It sounded so good in my head. When it was my turn to speak, I stood at the podium and looked out at the sea of hunter green uniforms; and I froze. I felt nauseous, hot, cold, and I shook. I stood there and could not utter one word into the microphone. I was so embarrassed. Finally, I stepped away and stood near the other club presidents. One boy named Dave Schwee told me, “It’s OK.” I was grateful to him for that.

You can imagine how shocked I was when one girl, a quiet girl like me, approached me a week later and said she wanted to join the Art Club. Maybe she related to my terror. It was something I’ve never forgotten. I believe now there was a lesson for me in that. Even though I died in front of that microphone, I remembered how that felt. Twenty years later, I took Public Speaking class at a local University AND joined a group for business people to practice public speaking – Toastmasters. I learned how to speak, and it doesn’t bother me now. I haven’t done it for a while, and I must practice for when Cartney McGuigan (my illustrator) and I have our book launch later in 2021. I’m sure she’ll have no problem speaking. She is accomplished in acting, forensics, and singing onstage. I will learn a lot more than about art from her!

Julia Cameron, Author of The Artist’s Way and The Listening Path, describes fear as, “Perfectionism in a fancy dress.” I need to read more about her theory, at first I disagree with her. My fear of water isn’t perfectionism (at least I don’t think it is)! It’s the knowledge I will absolutely, positively DROWN if I am in deep water. What do you all think?

Julia continues we “don’t want to look foolish.” I get that. She claims we hang back, thinking we’re being sensible. Hanging back paves the road to kill our creativity; we don’t realize our potential, and we can deny our human need to create. OK, maybe that is what it really is. I need to think on that some more. I’ve certainly started to think creatively again after a couple months off.

Julia also tells us to let go of any fears you have about the drawing, painting, writing, or anything creative. We need to stop the negativity. Fear of success can strangle creativity sure as fear of failure. Right now, I feel so lucky. I’m not depending on income from writing to feed my kids or to keep a roof over our heads. I have unique freedom that I can do this. That is very freeing, and a feeling like no other. 

My Facebook friend Mackenzie Clench (Ken) says fear is an ally. He says he needs to face what he fears. We all do! It’s keeping us back from really living. And we want to live life fully. So it boils down to we are stopping ourselves and calling it fear. That said, I’m not afraid of failure as an author. At least I tried it. Doing it is what we need to do. I certainly have learned a lot of things I didn’t know a year ago. So I’ve already “won.”

However you slice it, we have to overcome things that hold us back. No matter how we try to shift the blame elsewhere (I had a bad childhood – most of us had things less than ideal); I’m too nice (you’re probably an enabler – I know I was); I can’t draw a straight line (you don’t have to do learn to draw or paint!). Self sabotage is the reason there are so many unfinished manuscripts, stories for kids, and paintings. We lost faith in ourselves. Let’s work on getting it back and keeping it.

Omaha Nebraska is so fortunate to have McGuigan Arts Academy call it home. They offer a unique array of classes for every age. Guitar, Art, Theater, and many other categories. Check out their offerings at http://www.mcguiganartsacademy.com. They also have a Facebook page. A photo showed the outside of their temporary space with welcome chalked on the sidewalk to three students on their first night of class. I cannot think of a more fun way to be greeted to something that will help change your life – AND you. Kids can learn so much if they just have the opportunity. And much of their fear diminishes when they master these creative things. Maybe someday I can finally learn to sing. But that’s another story!

Thank you for reading and being here. We have quite a journey to finish. I’m so glad you’re along for the ride. See you tomorrow. Be safe.