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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Part 1: What's In A Name?

My answer to this question is: A LOT! The name of this shoe store defines exactly what you are going to find inside--affordable shoes. I've been thinking about my blog user name, Lazy Writer. I chose it back when I had no idea what blogging was all about. The more I learn about blogging, the more I question this name. It doesn't convey what I'm about at all. For my newer followers, I posted here about why I chose this name. In summary, I'm not lazy when it comes to my writing. I'm lazy when it comes to other areas of my life because of my writing. I don't think that's the message it sends, though. If an agent or editor were to visit my blog (or any of yours that I comment on for that matter), I wonder what impression they would get. Although I am quite fond of the name, I'm thinking it needs to go. What do you think? What about your name? What do you want it to say about you?

47 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

I think Lazy Writer could send the wrong message to a potential agent/publisher. But my name doesn't really fit me anymore either. I used to write about being single in my 30s and dealing with dating...now it's just a mishmash of writing and relationship things. I think I'm in an identity crisis!

Regina Milton said...

I agree with you about the message it could possibly send. I'm okay with my name. It is not super deep or super common and it is not hard to remember ... but I hope my work will be what makes it memorable eventually.

Kristi Faith said...

I admit, I love your name Lazy Writer too. However, the more we learn about the information age of the internet, the more we must be cautious, I agree. I plan to wait until I'm terribly famous to post anything controversial, myself. ;-)

At any rate, I use the name I want to have printed on my books. This could say that I'm not very creative.....or not. It's so hard to say, isn't it? I think your blog is great, no matter the name. Thanks for sharing your unique experiences and insights.

MeganRebekah said...

I agree that it could potentially send the wrong message to an agent/editor who's only giving you a few seconds to make an impression. Then again, in looking around your blog I don't actually see Lazy Writer written anywhere. Is it just the name that shows up when you leave comments?

Abby said...

I guess it's possible that it could send the wrong message, but if an agent has your work in hand and is therefore googling you or checking out your blog, I don't think it's going to have that much impact on their decision to read further. Just my opinion, of course. I'm no agent. But I believe if they see potential in you, it's going to be all about your writing and your story, not your user name.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I selected my blog name and URL before I realized all I'd jumped into as well. I think I'll stick with it b/c even though it's not the best name, it works with the purpose of my blog.

I'll be curious if you change yours...what you come up with...
~ Wendy

strugglingwriter said...

Mine is pretty self-explanatory :) I also picked mine before I really knew much about blogging. I'm scared to change it because I'm scared nobody would know me with out it.

K. M. Walton said...

I hear your concern. I went with the name that'll appear on my books...K.M. Walton. Are you planning on a pen name or using your actual name?

Jennifer Shirk said...

I don't know. I like your blog name. :)
Obviously an agent wouldn't think you're lazy if they had your finished manuscript in their hands.
As for me, I think my name makes me sound like I have multiple personality disorder.
Oh, wait. That's not that far off, so I guess I'll keep it. LOL!

Corey Schwartz said...

I see your point about editors and agents. maybe you can just put your explanation in the About Me section so everyone can see it?

FictionGroupie said...

I agree that it could send a misleading message. After working with you on beta-reading, I know for a fact you're anything but lazy. :) I wonder about my name as well. It doesn't send a negative message but it also doesn't say anything about writing. Maybe I'll change it to Roni @ Fiction groupie or something. Hmm...

Karen said...

I have to admit that I originally thought your name was meant to convey that you were perhaps a casual writer. Now that I know you a little better, I know that's not the case!

Lady Glamis said...

I think it can be misleading. I'd change it to something that fits you a little more, but it's definitely up to you. I do think it's a little cute. :)

Maybe you should have a poll for your readers to vote!

Natalie said...

You are probably right. I think you should change it to "Not Lazy Writer." :)

MattDel said...

"Industrious Writer" perhaps? If we're going with suggesting new handles for you to pick.

My blog name was chosen because of an idea I had to put together a website on video game history. "Free the Princess" is my homage to Super Mario Bros and the annoying fact that the princess was always in another castle when you played that game.

Although, oddly enough, I've yet to actually do a post about video games. Might do it one of these days. Dunno though.

Patti said...

I had a hard time thinking of name. I wanted shadow stabbing (from a song I liked) and I thought of a few other names with the word "write" in them. Then my husband, whose a graphic designer, said, "If you're trying to brand yourself, why wouldn't you just use your own name." So following my husbands advice, that's what I did.

staceyjwarner said...

Yes, perhaps changing it would be a good idea. When I first saw it I assumed you meant a lazy writer.

I didn't get the whole blog thing when I first started blogging either...it's really bradning yourself. I was www.SingleMILF.blogspot.com when I first started...that is sooooooooo NOT me. LOL!

L. T. Host said...

I, too, am writing with my future pen name, as my blog is an eventuality for future agents and editors. Building the platform, as it were.

I think your name now could hurt, but I don't have any clever suggestions for a new one just yet. Too early still.

However, if you do change it, let us all know so we know where you are!

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

I think for now, my name works. And it's really got two meanings. I'm an anonymous writer because I've yet to be published or even to query. But I also keep myself anonymous to an extent on the internet right now. When I reach query stage, I will shed my current user name and continue on with the blog under my real name.

Dominique said...

I do agree that names are important. I actually think about my blog name and the impression it gives on a regular basis.

I'm not sure what message the name might send to all agents, though I think there are some who will interpret it as lazy about writing.

Nancy said...

This is a true story. I was about to punch into your blog and saw Lazy Writer. I thought, "I like that." I know you are not lazy. I did not know it refered to you other activities. I just sends for me a "real" feel, like you are what you are. Anyone can see by the quality of your blog that you work hard at it. That's just the sense I get - a real person. By the way, I love the various shoe pictures. So cheerful.

Beth said...

I think it's kind of charming...but I see what you're saying about it not being accurate. I would hope that an agent would care more about your actual work than your user name...but who knows! Maybe you could change it to WillWrite4Shoes ;P

Eileen Astels Watson said...

To be honest, I've thought for a while that it sent the wrong message. I believe it was someone over on Seekerville who did a post on blog names and what to avoid, and ever since then, I've been noticing ones that need an about face.

They suggested there that what you really should have is your author name and perhaps blog name attached to fix your name in the readers heads for future sales. Just passing along what they said!

Strange Fiction said...

Perfect timing on this post LW. I've been debating what to change my user name to. I've never been comfortable with Strange Fiction--yet Strange is actually part of my name...

Jennifer Major said...

I think you have got to go with your gut. I like your name but before I had gotten to know your blog, I assumed it meant you were casual about your writing. I certainly know differently now as your blog is just about the most consistent in all aspects of any I read. If you wanted to keep it, I think Corey Schwartz has a good idea!

Girl in My Own World said...

I really love Lazy Writer, but I do see where you are coming from. It could be misleading. I think though if some were to read your blog though... they would see that you are not lazy about writing at all.

I love Girl In My Own World. I will tell you a story. When I first started the blog and was trying to find a url name, I tried for GIMOW but for some reason it said that it was taken and I was so so sad. Then when I got my blog started up...it was the signature! I was like "hey how did that get there?" I was happy though! So, I just feel like GIMOW is a signature that is truly meant for me, plus... I truly do live in my own little world. lol. Life is better that way. :o)

~Ellie Kings~ said...

I must admit the name 'Lazy Writer' was what drew me to your blog in the first place. It's a catchy name. But from reading your blog, I know that's NOT who you are. That's why I call you Susan, because I feel odd calling you Lazy. :)
When I first started my blog, I knew I wanted to write things that touched someone's heart. But now that I think of it, 'Matters of the Heart' is pretty common. Don't you think? I just can't think of anything else that fits where I want to go with my blog.

quixotic said...

Along that line my name, Quixotic, could be construed as a bad thing too.

Here is the definition... Caught up in the romance of noble deeds and the pursuit of unreachable goals; idealistic without regard to practicality.

It really fits me. I do get all caught up in the idea and romantic notions of situations. But on the filp side it also states that I have a disregard for the reality of situations.

Hmmm.

Lazy Writer is a cute name too, but I definitley see your point.

Tamika: said...

Hi Susan!

I agree that we want the message we send about our writing to convey positive messages, so I understand your thinking.

Pray about it. The are evolving into a new thing each day (I hope I'm different that what I was yesterday)! I want people to visit my site and know that I love writing and the opportunity to worship God through my words.

Blessings to you...

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

I agree. I think Lazy writer does not suit you. You can do better.

I use warmchocmilk short for my blog name Warm Chocolate Milk. I want this to say comfort, (sort of like chicken noodle soup.) But it also symbolizes the type of mother I am, that I do this crazy process to make this drink all the time. My boys drink warm chocolate milk 3-4 times a day. It's their comfort food.

Amy Tate said...

I've never thought about it. When I see your name, I think Susan. But I guess you're right -it could be taken the wrong way. Could you somehow incorporate shoes into the title? I don't know, maybe that's stretching it a bit.

MG Higgins said...

I started my online presence on Tumblr and named the site Heroic Rodents. I loved the name (still do) but when I created my blog I realized it made more sense to post under my "author" name (even though I'm not an author yet), so it would be easier to find me in searches.

Stephanie said...

Hi Susan-
Hmmm...I see your point and concern. I feel like my own life as a blogger/writer has evolved immeasurably and am working on a revamp perhaps myself.
I don't think the idea that your writing keeps you from other areas of your life is adequately communicated by your name and does leave room for negative interpretation.
Oh, by the way, I love that you admit it gets in the way...I felt normal!
How about maybe something like consumed writer or consumed by writing. Just a thought. I'll keep working at it.
Good luck!

Laura Martone said...

When I started blogging, I decided to just go with my name. Boring, I know, but I just didn't feel the need to post under a made-up moniker. The only question I do have at times is the name itself. I like Laura Martone (my married name) better than Laura Raitman (my maiden name), but there are NO other Laura Raitmans when I Google the name, whereas there are other Laura Martones. Of course, given my published guidebooks and all my recent blogging, I'm slowly becoming the most frequent one, so maybe it doesn't matter. After all, I'm sure there are other Stephen Kings, Anne Tylers, and Anne Rices out there.

P.S. I agree with others here. Although I like the name "Lazy Writer," it hardly describes you or your continual efforts to work on your writing and teach your fellow writers, so perhaps it DOES send the wrong message to potential agents. Of course, I'd hope that an agent would have a sense of humor, but you can't bank on that, I'm afraid...

Angie Muresan said...

I say change it. Getting an agent is hard enough, why make it even more difficult? That's just my opinion, though. You're an awesome writer and I'd hate to know that someone turned away just cause of the name.

Suzanne said...

WOW!!!!!!!!! we sure are agent conscious aren't we! I suppose we have to be. I still live in an idealistic place where I hope someone will love me for me. (Oh agent love)

Ummmm... I always liked it. Thought it creative and sassy. Also, I think it's funny because it is so obviously the opposite of what you are. You are the most voracious writer out here. But what do I know? I'm just writin' for fun;)

Lori said...

I always find it strange and felt uncomfortable to address you with Lazy Writer, you know? It's not very addressable. I was happy when I discovered that your name was actually out there, and I could call you Susan.

Chelle Sandell said...

Even though I think it's a catchy name, I believe it's a valid concern. When I first set out in blog land, I loved so many of the catchy titles. Which made it a difficult decision on what to name mine. I read an article on branding and thought I should start trying to get my name out as an author through networking. Can't wait to see what you decide on. :)

Tess said...

Go with your gut, I say.

I remember a friend who started a website for her first novel -- then when her second novel came out she said, "I should have just used my name. That's what readers search for anyway and that way it would be one site for all my work".

Even though it was a little bit scary putting my actual and full name on my blog header, I think it was a good idea. If nothing else, it gives me funny statcounter keyword search things to laugh at. Last week someone found my blog by searching "Tess fingers".

I don't even want to know what that was about ;)

Sheri said...

Geez, you get a lot of comments! I have trigger finger just scrolling down so I can leave a comment adn this particular comment I have been dying to leave since the first time I saw your pretty face and mismatched name... CHANGE YOUR NAME! It does not serve you well and clearly you are not a lazy writer. It puts out a negative right away that, yes, if an editor or agent or anyone for that matter were to see, how could they not wonder, well if she's lazy why would I want to work with her. I have bitten my tongue and not conveyed this to you because, obviously we don't know each other, but now that you ask... CHANGE THE NAME!!!!!

Janna Qualman said...

Susan, yay! I think it's great you're making the shift to your real name. Kudos!

I do admit, though, I was partial to Lazy Writer, because we "met" when you first commented on my lazy writer poem, remember? Ahh, memories. ;)

And I sure love Payless! I was there today. Though I bought shoes for my daughter, I was still pretty excited. *grin*

Tabitha Bird said...

Keep the name if you love it. Any agent that loves your writing because it is brilliant won't care what you call yourself :)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I, too, have this problem. I came up with my name in a 5 minute whim when I set up my blog. I'm all over the place in my blogs so not really sure it works.

Lazy Writer certainly caught my attention. I do think it has a value. Agents, editors, and publishers will base their opinions on your writing, not your name. I hope!

Dawn VanderMeer said...

OMG, I've been thinking about names too. Long story and I'll post about it soon, but in the meantime... I think Lazy Writer is cute, but I see your concern: it could send the wrong message. You are so NOT lazy. What if you just switch to the name you'll be writing under?

Solvang Sherrie said...

You are so not lazy! Definitely a change is in order. Suddenly Susan? :D

Heather Sunseri said...

I feel I've gotten to know you so I don't even think about the name anymore. I agree with the masses, you're definitely not lazy. And you're right, so much is out there about making the right impression on the internet. So much pressure...

Glynis said...

Having named my first blog New Scribbles, I decided to set up an author blog and just used my name. That way if a publisher or agent wants to find me quickly *grin*, my name is there staring back at them.
So Author Blog: Glynis Smy sits boringly awaiting fame LOL

Lazy writer might portray the wrong image.
Musings of Susan R Mills?
Interesting topic, thanks.