I have a pseudonym! This is a pen name, for those who were unaware of the meaning of this interesting and intellectual sounding word.
As a journo, I kinda assumed I would need to write under another name at some point in time, but I must admit that I had hoped it would be for more noble reasons. I imagined needing to use a fake name to protect myself from the wrath of the government after exposing an enormous spy scandal, or from the Italian mafia for blowing the lid on their crime syndicate.
But alas, my alter ego, Justine White (the feminine version of my brother's name + my mother's maiden name) came about through rather boring means. We freelance to a lot of publications and we sometimes write entire magazines. As such, a reader might notice that ALL the copy has been written by no more than two or three people, which looks a little unprofessional. So, instead of hiring more writers, we just change some articles (usually those we wrote that we dislike) to somebody else's name. Dishonest? Maybe, but that's how the industry works. I know one political writer who has a different name for every party he write about!
I have to say that I findhaving a pseudonym quite exciting. When I have to write a sparkly article on the useless CEO of some giant corporate, I like to fantasise that Justine will write a scathing story of his incompetence for the front page of The Sunday Times. Alternatively, when I'm writing a piece that I'm just hating, it's quite nice to blame it on Justine.
On the other hand, it does mean that some things that I am proud of are published in the name of somebody who doesn't exist.
Nevertheless, Justine has her uses. Maybe I should start a blog in her name...