A lot of writers says it’s a good idea to write under a pseudonym.
I can see the attraction of this, and I’ve thought of it myself. It keeps your privacy. You can go anywhere, and hand over your credit card, or your driving licence, and no-one will recognise you. No one will wonder if you’re putting them in your book. You can sit and watch the world go in utter peace, undisturbed and no-one will know that you are, in fact, putting them in your book. (This also saves the indignant scenes when someone confronts you and says “I’m not like that, how dare you!”).
But, on the other hand, I kind of want people to know it’s me. I’d like my old friends to know I’ve done what I always said I would do. I’d like the teacher who said I could write know that I did, and the teacher who inspired me, that the inspiration led somewhere.
I’d also like the teacher who told me I was utterly useless, and would never succeed in anything, who said I wouldn’t even get my English A-level, let alone my degree, to know that he was wrong. (I got the A-level and degree too).In fact, I’d quite like a lot of the people who have told me I am useless that I’ve succeeded. I know that sounds like showing off – but when you’ve been a failure for a lot of your life, a little showing off when you succeed is forgivable, surely?
I haven’t decided yet. Privacy is being set against showing off. They’re both strong forces.