HELP! I keep changing my Substack name and it's driving me mad!
I am frustrated and definitely not satisfied. For most, if not all, of my writing career I used the “pen name” of E.L. Drayton. The reason, to keep it brief, is because I let my ownership of ericadrayton.com lapse when I was a teenager. Unaware of just how important keeping that URL would be to me. Fast forward to just the last couple of years when I miraculously was able to get my URL back (it was held hostage by some phantom third party that wanted upwards of $675 for it and I was unwilling to pay) and I quickly decided to change everything from E.L. Drayton to Erica Drayton. This leaves me with many options for variations on my name should I choose to differentiate genres I write in. But that’s for another post.
I mention this to illustrate why I seem to have an inability to pick a name and stick with it. I have some morbid fear that my name will either be too vague or not unique enough. By “name,” of course, I mean whatever I should call my Substack newsletter/blog. Honestly, I blame Substack for why I’m even stuck in this predicament. If I were using a service like Mailchimp the only reason I might have a “name” of some sort would be if I had a huge fanbase and I wanted to call my readers something unique to my “brand.” Do I have a brand? Okay, not going down that rabbit hole today.
Instead, here I am not wanting to go by just “Erica Drayton” for the name of my newsletter when there are such bangers out there likeor , to mention but a few. Why can’t I be unique and different, like that? I’m hip, quick witted, creative. There is no reason why I can’t come up with something better than what I’ve had in the past:
Erica Drayton, The Storyteller
Writing with Erica Drayton
Write More with Erica Drayton
And my latest: Fantastical Writing w/Erica Drayton.
It all seems so blah. I half-expect in the middle of the night I’ll wake up and shout out some incredible combination of words (or one word to be even cooler) and it will not only define me as a writer but will capture my very existence and core as a human! Am I expecting too much from a Substack name? Should I just be “the nameless” and leave it at that?
This truly haunts my thoughts every single day. I look at my Substack name and think to myself, “who is going to want to subscribe to a blog with the word ‘Fantastical’ in the title?” What does that even mean? What if they think I’m trying too hard to be different and now I’m coming off as overconfident. Have my ideas and stories been truly “fantastical” of late or am I projecting a self of me that I aim to reach but have not yet? I should not be having these wild and wacky thoughts. I should be working on my twist of Oz books. But instead I am spending my days and nights poring over Merriam-Webster’s Thesaurus trying to find “the word” that will knock anyone off their feet when they come across my Substack.
What is your Substack name? How did you come up with it? Did you hold a seance or have your tea leaves read, perhaps? Not that I’m considering that option, or anything…
I realize the irony in the fact that I managed to change my Substack name AGAIN just before this post was prescheduled and didn't have time to add it here because I was too busy creating the logos and wordmark, etc in Canva and Photoshop (respectively...) but I hope 🤞🏾 that I am able to keep this name "Pen to Paper Stories" for all of 2023? Let's check back in December and see what name I have...
I thought of Adventures in Secrecy with T Van Santana in less than a minute. I knew I would overthink it and that it would haunt me if I didn't like it, so I tried to quickly think of something I could live with. I don't know how fitting a title it is 😄 but I'm pretty happy with it. I think titles are mainly there to help us stay engaged with the work.