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Personal vs. Professional Boundaries: Why I Used a Pen Name for Five Years

July 10, 2012

Last week I announced the startling blog-revelation that I had been writing under the pen name of Bradley J. Moore for the past four years. My new e-book, “At Work as it is in Heaven” had just been released by Patheos Press, and I decided to use the opportunity to reclaim my true identity, J. B. Wood.

Although some were surprised, I can’t say the twittersphere was exactly burning up in gossipy shock. I’m not that important, and the switcheroo wasn’t such a big deal.

All the same, for those who have followed my writing, it certainly begged the question: why did I feel the need to use a pen name to begin with? Was I trying to hide something? Was I embarrassed to be transparent with my friends and co-workers? Was I leading a secret double-life?

Several years ago I had authored a business book, which is one thing. But now approaching midlife, I felt called to write from a deeper space, to dig around in my soul a bit and produce something more true and substantial than the typical know-it-all business advice. The problem was, however, I wanted to share it with the world – not just as a professional, but as a person.

But was it possible to reconcile my role as a discreet professional while still baring my soul?

I was a little skittish about revealing my inner thoughts for fear that they might not gel with my professional image. I do have one, after all. I’ve worked hard for it over twenty five years, and it’s important enough not to screw it up with some stupid personal venting. That kind of thing happens all the time. Plenty of people have gotten fired over some nonsense they posted on a personal blog.

Click here to finish reading this post at The High Calling.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2012 8:30 am

    Well, I have known you for all those five years, but I guess I really didn’t. Although I suspected the truth, I never really knew and never brought it up.. Probably at the time of your decision, it made sense. But as you’ve matured and found your voice, it probably seemed a little silly. After all, like your boss, this is you — no matter what name you use.

    At the heart of the High Calling is living out our faith — front and center – the world. And I applaud this stepping up into the vision.

    I recently had a job interview, knowing full well what a Google search would produce to the board. This what they’ll find. I am a Christian. I write about work and life and faith. So take — or leave it. I can’t change that piece of me.

    The great philosopher Popeye said, “I Yam What I Yam”. And it’s true.

    I appreciate the honesty here and I love you like a brother. I loved Bradley and I love Jim. (I guess was made up, but I’ve always had make believe friends!)

  2. July 10, 2012 9:53 am

    Like on the bottom isn’t taking me to the Higher Calling.

  3. July 10, 2012 1:57 pm

    i’m gonna read it…

  4. July 11, 2012 12:13 pm

    “Most of the blathering you see on the internet
    comes from the unemployed, self-employed, freelancers,
    or those who work in social media.

    What do they care?

    The gainfully employed managers, however,
    are under greater scrutiny.

    And the higher up you go in management, the greater
    the expectation for maintaining professional boundaries.”

    I must say…this sounds quite rude and narrow minded to those
    of us who are not gainfully employed managers.

    But, hey…what do they care?

    • July 11, 2012 7:21 pm

      Well, you know Nance a lot of what I say is tongue in cheek… Didn’t mean to come off rude and narrow minded. Just saying what it feels like for me, may be different than those who aren’t in a corporate fishbowl.

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