I expected everyone reading this blog has realized that I don’t use my real name. It’s also probably not a surprise to find out my real name is Brianna.
In fact it’s the name I’m most used to. I didn’t have a nickname as a child unless you count my little brother mispronouncing it. It was always my full name. Quite a few years back now, a friend gave me the nickname Breeze, but forgot it again. I didn’t forget and took it as an internet name. Later on, I replaced that with Bria Snow.
I didn’t think that would be a good pen name though. It might not matter, but I’d heard that it’s better to have a name in the first half of the alphabet. So I twisted my name around all backwards to come up with something that did work. Not long after that, I started my blog. That was the impulsive decision that got me semi-stuck with the name.
|Yes, I do like brie cheese.|
I always was reticent about sharing the existence of my blog with people I meant in real life. I was afraid they might find the pen name silly. I’m now realizing it was because I wasn’t confident it was the right name. I felt it was a little silly. The few times my mother has sent me an email with a correction I needed to make and used my pen-name it seemed strange. Maybe because she never uses my real last name.
After a while, I started to get tired of being called Anna. It’s a pretty common name, and I just didn’t feel it fit me. Even though I use Brianna in everyday life, I’ve never minded being called Bri. I rather like it in fact. But if that was now my last name I couldn’t be called by it without more awkwardness.
Even though I’ve tried my best to be honest and real in what I say on my blog, I still felt like I had split myself into two people. Both of them were me, but they had different friends. I wanted to integrate them more, but the names conflicted. I felt as if I would have to explain it too much.
So I started thinking of getting a new pen name. It was the end of September when I found one I liked. Something with Brie as my first name. Something with a rare, but easy to spell last name which felt right. I didn’t want to pick just any random last name that belonged to someone else. So here it is: Brie Donning.
You might wonder while I took so long to make a change. There are a few reasons. One is that I didn’t want to make the mistake of choosing a name hastily again. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t going to start hating it. Another reason was that I didn’t want to appear flaky. I’d had my blog for less than a year then, and wasn’t ready to change. Third reason is that I have something else I wasn’t ready to announce. (And there is the fact that I didn’t want to build a new website/blog then. In fact I’d still rather not do it. Web design isn’t really my thing.)
Since then I’ve started using Brie Donning in a couple of places and been connecting to more writers using Facebook (where I go by my real name). I’ve been detaching from my old pen name. It doesn’t feel like my name any more. Just the name of my writing blog. I can’t not change now.
My other announcement is that I’ll be offering my services as an editor. Doing beta reading has let me see that I would enjoy being an editor. Helping good books be better and get published is something I love doing and I’m brilliant at noticing typos. Unless they’re my own that is.
Granted this isn’t the only idea I’ve had to help people with their books. At one point I wanted to be an audio book narrator, but I hate fixing my recordings. If there was a job that involved promoting all my favourite books I’d love that too. But authors have street teams, not paid publicists and publishers have books I wouldn’t be excited about, so it’s not happening.
I started thinking about becoming an editor before I decided to change my pen name, but I always felt that I wouldn’t do it under the name Anna S, Brie. Once again I’d subconsciously thought it sounded less professional.
The long and the short of it is that I’m going to have a new website opening up early next month under my new name and I’ll be changing the names on all my social media. I don’t know exactly how long things will take, but they’ll happen. As you can all see I’ve done most of the work on having a new look.
I am Brie Donning, signing out. God bless you all.
Hello readers, writer, friends and- I don’t think there are enemies reading my blog. If you are, please say hi.
I was starting to write about what writing I’d planned for this month and what was really happening when I remembered the Beautiful Books link-up was waiting for me. Since it is one on goals I’ll try to make it fit together.
What were your writing achievements last year?
What’s on your writerly “to-do list” for 2017?
|The Secret Story|
Then two things happened. First I was given a shiny new idea that get’s better the more I think about it. It’s a secret project I can’t talk about much, but I’m doing world building. And I’m not just mashing up bits from our world though there is a bit of that. I’ve finally veered off into what couldn’t be in our world.
It’s amazing how starting with nothing allows for more consideration of ideals. I’m not making a utopia, but I can put in more of my ideals for life, work education and government. I can actually make a clearer reflection of the truths of our world I believe to be important. I knew that stories allow one to do that before now, but I hadn’t experienced it so fully.
So because of that I haven’t gotten much work done on Lady of Courage. This week I’m forcing myself to get back to work on it.
The second interruption is one that actually has an impact of my word count. I’m going away for a week. It’s an intensive course on planning one’s life to impact the world. I’ll be writing, but it’s not the stuff I count. So my goal has shrunk.
Tell us about your top-priority writing projects for this year!
I think this means add more details. Girl of the Rumours is still in a fairly rough state, but the only big changes are content added to the middle and the climax. The rest needs some continuity checking, some serious evaluation and a little polish.
How do you hope to improve as a writer? Where do you see yourself at the end of 2017?
Happy New Year everyone! I’m hoping 2017 will be an even better year than 2016, which was a pretty good year for me. I’ve got a bunch of changes happening with my writing and blog which I’ll tell you about over the next few weeks. And now on with some ramblings about my own thoughts.
Identity is a funny thing. There’s so many ways we say who we are. Simple ones, such as our names, hometown, or ethnic background. Complications of half a dozen fandoms and obscure references.
We want to know who we are to feel that we are known and loved. Or at least loved. Sometimes we fear being known. We put up a facade, take on a whole identity. Or even if we try to be honest, with online communications it’s so easy to accidentally hide parts of yourself, or simply behave differently.
For myself, I find my ultimate identity in being a child of God, a follower, one of the redeemed ones.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— John 1:12
But I like to have more than that. I like to be able to introduce myself, by what I do, or what kind of person I am. But sometimes that doesn’t seem enough. If I say I’m a writer people will ask me questions, I’m not ready to answer. I hedge or I pull out the latest interesting thing I’ve been involved in, even if it only takes a few hours occasionally.
And then there is the identity of labels. I used to think I hated labels, hated sticking people in boxes, but I’ve realized I do it still. I always have.
I don’t like denominations, maybe because I don’t really belong to one, and I don’t like other theological differences. There’s always so much nuance, and so many problems can be caused by assuming things about peoples beliefs. Yet I cling hard to the fact I was home-schooled, and that I live on the other side of the border to the city I’m often in.
Lately the label that I’ve noticed myself using is MBTI personality type. I’m always researching things about it, trying to figure myself out, and my friends, and the characters in my books. But I’m still not certain about myself. I’m wavering between two categories, and occasionally wonder if I’ve got it completely wrong.
But why do I worry? I used to think personality types were bunkum. I still believes there’s a lot of variation between the types. And learning about it has helped me understand myself. I know much more about how I think, and due to other resources I’m a lot more certain about what I believe, what I’m afraid of and what I love. But still I want to know. Am I a slightly shy extrovert or actually and introvert? Do I fit into one of the boxes?
I’m not sure I ever will know. Maybe I’ll never be able to say clearly what my occupation is. In fact I’m not sure I want that to be sure. I want to be doing lots of things. And I think I can live with this uncertainty now. I pray I’ll be able to just let it go and be a person, not a jar. I’ll just have to show who I am, instead of telling it.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Now this is the identity we can be firm in. It’s not just who we are, it’s what we do. So if you don’t feel like you fit into any denomination, cultural group or personality, just remember there’s a lot more to who you are than [Australian, home-schooled, creationist, re-constructionist, sabbath-keeping-baptist, writer, Ninja, Legendaire and Resistance member] or whatever labels you use. It’ so many little things that make you a unique creation of God.