I’m Not Sybil

How strange to think this is the last week of 2010. I swear it feels like I’ve been here before…not the 2010 part, but the end of the year “where-did-the-time-go” part.

I think bloggers almost have an obligation to give a year-end review, or maybe that’s just the way I see it. I suppose it’s natural to muse over the past year and marvel at what you’ve learned, how you’ve grown, and try to find ways to make the next year even better.

So in the spirit of 2010 coming to a close, I’m going to blog this week about what I’ve learned about myself as a writer, as a person, and what I hope to see next year.

Hence the title. As most of you know, Danica Avet is my pseudonym. I had to hear it from family members about how disappointed they were that I’m not using my real name. From my dad it was more like “you should be proud of your last name”. From others, it was “there is no way I’m going to remember your pseudonym”. And that’s fine. I chose this name because I liked the way it sounded and I can actually, you know, write it somewhat legibly.

But I never expected Danica to take over, which she has. The real me isn’t outgoing and bawdy. She’s more introspective and shy. She blushes at the drop of a hat and really hates having to talk to people she doesn’t know. Danica, on the other hand, is a social beast. She loves chatting with people about books and sexy men. She will walk up to a stranger and chat about food or whatever.

My critique partner, Daisy Harris, blogged about the power of the pen name and I have to agree with her. I’ve given Danica free rein with my writing. It actually feels good because as opposed to the real me, Danica is cautiously optimistic. She doesn’t have a fear of rejection because she’s doing exactly what she wants to do. She doesn’t look at all the unfinished WIPs in our external hard drive and think, “Mais, I’m never going to finish those stories.” She thinks instead, “I can’t wait to get back to that story and drive those characters crazy!” When we’re faced with rejection or some especially bad news, she’s the one who gives me the strength not to sit down and cry my eyes out.

She does have her moments though, when she feels low. Last year, she had a bad month. We received rejection after rejection for our first story. I’d never seen her in such a dark moment before, but I was the one to bring her out of it. How? Well, I decided to make a preemptive strike against the people rejecting us by writing our own rejection letter. It worked wonders to restore her good cheer and determination to forge ahead.

The result of my sarcastic letter? The book that was rejected over and over again is being published in March. Danica never gave up. She should’ve been on the cast of Galaxy Quest because her motto is: Never give in, never surrender.

I’ve learned a lot from Danica and truthfully, I don’t think I’d be where I am today without her. As strange as it may sound, she’s my rock and I couldn’t imagine trying to do any of this without her pushing me. She won’t let me stop writing. She won’t let me forget about publication. And she won’t let me hide in quiet corners at conferences. Thank you, Danica, for being there for me this entire year.

Does this sound crazy to you? It does to me! Do you use a pseudonym that’s taken over your life? Should I see a doctor about this in case I turn into Johnny Depp in The Secret Window? I don’t have a strange need to eat tons of corn on the cob, so I think I’m okay.


Filed under humor

12 responses to “I’m Not Sybil

  1. My pen name has taken over my life for real. I almost don’t even answer to my given name much anymore because I don’t hear it as much as I hear Lynn. IT’s kinda funny, yet really exciting too. Liberating.

    Love this post!

  2. I write under my real name for my para’s, but I already realize that my eroticas will definitely need someone a little spicier than my cookie self. Great post and enjoy your pseudo, I plan on it.

  3. I don’t even have my “real” email on my new computer. It’s totally sad! I didn’t mean to share my pen name with family, but I was too lazy to add my pain-in-the-ass IP to my newer MacBook, so the cat’s out of the bag! Ah well, Daisy Harris is cooler than me anyway, I hope she gets along with my family better than I do!


  4. I have my inner bi&*h to thank for giving me the b@*&s to finally start my first step in writing (my blog) – though once she was real (im a reformed (sort of) mean girl, but I have to stuff her in my internal closet as she would so get me fired, etc) but she reminds me that nothing is going to happen at all unless you put something out there – Congrats on getting you book published!!!

    • Your inner bi&*h is absolutely right. If you don’t make the effort to produce something, you can’t expect rewards. She sounds like a very wise, although frisky, inner voice, LOL. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I like the idea of writing your own rejection letter- man, could I go off on Jillian! LOL! My pen name has not taken over but she has the same personality as I do. I still write mystery and general fiction under my real name so I have to try to remember which group I use which name with and that has almost been an issue once or twice. I DID send an email to one of my oldest friends and signed it Jillian. She thought I lost my mind. LOL!

  6. I don’t have a pen name. I tried to come up with one, then gave up. Besides, I am HORRIBLE at remembering names. But I can remeber a face though.

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