Is it a good idea to use a pseudonym when you’re writing? Or is honesty the best policy?
Many writers in the world use pen names for their writing careers. There’s a number of reasons why someone would wish to use a false name to write under, and a lot of them are very valid reasons which any writer should think about before they start writing or publishing their stuff.
Imagine if you were writing erotic novels, or vicious murder mysteries, and yet were a primary school teacher. Parents and employers may not be so delighted to learn that one of the people given charge of small children is writing vivid and lewd novels for the world to read. Hiding behind a false alias can therefore save one a lot of hassle in the workplace.
Writers tend to build a name for themselves in their chosen genre. For example, Agatha Christie for mystery novels, Isaac Asimov for science fiction. However, if a writer more well known for one genre wishes to change or cross over into another genre, then the preconceptions associated with their name may cause problems. In this situation, creating a false identity can help someone start fresh in their new genre.
Sometimes multiple writers get together and write their novels as a combined effort. In these cases it can be easier to simply assume one false identity to avoid having to confuse readers by putting down two names on the books.