As you no doubt have noticed, the header of this blog did take away the cocoon of anonynimity. Not that I was completely anonymous anyway; all you had to do was click on the facebook icon, and voila!
Why do we make the choice of using a psudonym versus real name? Different reasons for different people; mine was initially becase I wasn't in the habit of handing out my real name on the Internet, and I also wanted to keep my online persona seperate from people I might know in life, especially at work. Lost Wanderer became my identity - so why the change?
Because I am no longer a shadow person offering opinions across the Internet. I am a writer, working towards publication. I am a writer, who wants to have a life-long career as a novelist. And for that, building a brand name is essential. I had always decided that once I built my website, I would switch over, because there was no point in building a website with a fake name. I just hadn't planned on building a website so soon. But since everyone (pointing fingers at Adam, Jamie and Erica) was doing it, I got a case of website envy and decided to jump on the bandwagon.
Jamie over at Variety Pages has been doing an interesting series of posts about marketing for writers, and that got me thinking that at some point, I am going to have blur the line between my job and writing, so might as well start doing it now, and as I learn and grow, the line will be ready to disappear. So when my website was created, I decided to use the same banner for my blog - an act of unifying my brand.
You might ask, why now? After all, I am not a published author. Because it's never too early. Unless you are a genius who is also very efficient, you won't have time to learn everything when you are published. Then you will be busy with book and your publisher and whatever else it may involve. Doing this in advance, when not many people are looking for me on the Internet (this implies that some people are ;) ) gives me a chance to learn and experiment, and pick up new tricks and skills as I go along. It gives me breathing room to make some mistakes and experiment. I am not under any pressure, so I can pick up new tips and skills at my own pace, over long term, and hopefully by the time I need it, I will already be an old hand at it.
So hello everyone - I am Dolly Garland, and a few years from now when you are browsing for books, look up this name and if you like the book that carries it, take those few steps towards the cash register ;)