9 Reasons Why You Should Use A Pseudonym (PHOTOS)

06/20/2011 08:58 am ET | Updated Aug 20, 2011

It's true that George Eliot and Charlotte Bronte used male pen names so that their work would be taken seriously (and so they could publish at all). But as I learned while researching my new book, "Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms," the motives behind this tradition are often more complicated and mysterious than you might imagine. I learned that pen names are not merely functional--they are often bound up in profound ways with a writer's creativity and identity, not to mention issues of guilt and shame. There are more than a few good reasons (and sometimes many at once) to adopt a nom de plume.

9 Reasons To Use A Pen Name