A week or so ago, I realized it was probably time to get a more professional email address. It's not like my old email address was embarrassing--it just wasn't my name. And it included my birthyear. And made reference to my day-job. None of which seemed to scream "serious writer here."
So, I decided to get a new gmail account. But robinweeks was taken. As was rweeks, weeks.robin, and a host of others. I didn't want a numbered email account, like robinweeks8757: I'm an original, dangit! I also didn’t want to include my middle initials (Weeks is my married name—I kept my middle name and my maiden name, but I don’t hyphenate), because I’m not including them in my pen name, and figured it would be confusing.
Fortunately, robinweekswriter was available! Yay! Perfect! Professional, screams "serious writer here," includes my name, and has no numbers. I'm set. I snapped it up, retrieved all the email from my old account, and started loving the tags and filters of gmail (seriously--so cool!). I changed my email address on Twitter and Facebook and all the other various organizations that email me. I considered keeping my old email address for non-writerly friends and family... but my old email won't forward mail unless I pay them money. Snag.
I considered just maintaining and checking two separate email accounts... but I’m really loving those tags and filters. How can I live without being able to see all the emails my mother sent me with just a click of a button?
So, with a sigh, I decided to just send everyone to the gmail address… and hit another snag. I don’t want to tell everyone to start emailing me at robinweekswriter. My high school friends? My siblings? My cousins? Extended family galore? They know I’m not a writer. Not a real, published one, anyway. To them, I’m a lawyer. And I am—and I’m not at all ashamed of that. Or of my quest to be a published novelist. But…to tell them to start calling me a writer right now seems… presumptuous.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m happy to call myself a writer. Plenty of actual published author-writers have proclaimed that anyone who writes is a writer, and I write, so I’m happy to own the title. Among writer friends. Who know what I’m talking about. Who understand that I’m not putting on airs or trying to predict the future (in the same way robinweekslotterywinner would do) or making a very premature announcement.
Anyway, I'm a bit ashamed to confess that I went and got another gmail account that makes no reference to any occupation and plan to start handing out that one to my friends and family. The neutral account will then obligingly forward all my mail to my secret identity account. Which I just announced to the score of people who read my blog, and to untold hundreds who may someday stumble upon it. No spam, please: I know how to filter you out!
Anyone else have this paranoia? Do you maintain separate email accounts for your non-writer friends? Feel like your writer life is your little secret? Should I find a support group somewhere?