Using a Pen Name: pros, cons and finding the right name \\ Writing with Marrill 003

I use a pen name if you didn’t know.

I have since I started my original blog if any of you remember that, and I changed names a few times before finally finding the right one and I’ve been using it for about two years. At this point, Marrill is as much my name as my real one.

But it took a long time to get there! Like I said, I went through other names, none of which stuck. So today’s post is about how to choose a writers name and the pros and cons of using one.


Should You Use A Writers Name?

Do you need a completely new name? Maybe not.

You could abbreviate your name, like V.E. Schwab, or you could use your middle name instead of your first name. Nicknames could work as well! It isn’t all or nothing – you could choose a new name or you could just rearrange your name as it is. Surprisingly, it can have the same effect.

With some people, that is. Personally, if I were to abbreviate my name it would be E.W. which is not great. Also, I’ve spent my life having people mispronounce my last name, so switching it was really the best idea to me.*

*I mean, very few people have correctly pronounced Marrill in the last two years so I guess I didn’t help myself that much


How to Find the Right Name

Now, you could do a few google searches and just pick your favorite name. But as someone who has done that in the past, I don’t recommend it. You end up not as connected to the name and that’ll eventually lead to disliking it after a while. It’s always good to sit on it and really think about using the name in the future.

Does it mean something to you or is it just fun to say?

Personally, my name comes from two people in my family who I admire very much and am very close to. So I’m very proud to use their names and it means a lot to me. Do you need to choose something super sentimental? No. But it’s nice to have a connection with the name.

You could also pick a name the same way you pick a name for your characters. Research, websites, meaning-of-name dot com – whatever. That’s totally acceptable! And you might even have better luck.



– Freedom of choice: obviously, you get to choose your own name. This can be easy or difficult, depending on what type of person you are. But it’s almost as much fun as naming a character! Anything is possible!

– Privacy: you can have more privacy if someone can’t just Google you. Everyone knows that.

– Fun: this may seem trivial! It is. But sometimes just more fun to essentially be someone else when you’re feeling creative.

Image result for it's fun gif



Credit: this is something I’ve mildly noticed throughout the years. Whenever I accomplish something or someone takes note of it, they credit me as Marrill. Obviously. But I almost always get a twinge of regret that it’s not my real name mentioned.

(^This might just be me, so take this with a grain of salt^)

-Other Careers: If you want to go into another job, especially one based in art, you will probably still have to use this name. For example, I am going to be a photographer. So do I use my online name for my business? Or my real name? I chose to use my online name, as it’s just easier for me, but some people might not like having to do this.

– Criticism: this might come from your friends or your family. But look here: if Cassandra Clare uses a pen name and make it as far as she has, so can you. Have confidence. 


Do you use a pen name? How did you decide which name to use? Did you choose a completely different name or just switch your name around?

Have a good Monday readers!

-Love, Marrill

2 thoughts on “Using a Pen Name: pros, cons and finding the right name \\ Writing with Marrill 003

  1. I use a pen name primarily because I don’t want any of my online writing stuff to be connected to my online personal / professional profiles (current or future). It was really hard to create the “right” one, especially since I still wanted it to have some kind of meaning to me! Rebecca is my “real” first name, but I chose the surname as a play on my middle name and my nanna’s Scottish heritage 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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