A Bringer of New Things

Musings on personal growth, books, motherhood, writing, and more.

Getting Braver: Goodbye Pen Name

I’m no longer shielding who I am. / Femme au jardin by Claude Monet (Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve decided to do away with my pen name. That’s right, “Sarrah J. Woods” is not really my name. It’s a pen name I made up several years ago because I needed some distance between my writing life and my everyday life in order to feel comfortable sharing my personal thoughts with the world (and, in particular, the internet).

But suddenly I find myself not needing that distance anymore. In the past several years I have grown into a place of much greater inner confidence, stability, and security than I used to have. The pen name now feels like an unnecessary and awkward hindrance, not so much with blogging, but with submitting my writing, connecting with other writers, and other contexts. It seems I have outgrown it.

The odd spelling of “Sarrah” was a tribute to my grandmother, whose parents spelled her name that way. The “J” was a tribute to Jane Austen, and “Woods” was simply a reflection of my love for being in nature, particularly forests and woods.

My real name is Anna Eplin.

There, I did it! That still required some bravery, though it’s hard to articulate exactly why.

But now I feel freer in moving forward with my writing life.


The main purpose of the photo above is to add some color to my life: in February I always get a case of the grays.

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This entry was posted on February 9, 2018 by in Discoveries from Writing and tagged , , , , , .
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