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  • Writer's pictureLeena J.

Pen Names, Alter Egos, and the Courage to Write

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

“This is an experiment.”

That’s what I have to tell myself to keep writing. Not that I hate to write. On the contrary, writing is and always has been a love of mine. Stories move me so profoundly you’d think I had lived a piece of the life of every character I've read or imagined.

But despite this, I find I cannot write as my external self...the self everyone sees. The words are less apt to take shape in the face of all the anxieties I imagine confronting if anyone were to ever discover the racing, raging, world inside of me.

No, if I'm to be honest, I can only write as my inner self...the self who notices that no one notices...the self whose observations are too painful or too vulnerable to actually verbalize.

The Gypsy self who loves to wander but not without purpose.

The Spy self who is always uncomfortable but moves with intention.

The Artist self who writes, sings, paints, and shoots (photos) with delight but guards her heart.

Hence, pen name and alter ego. I call her Leena, and here, she is free.


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