One of the best parts of being an author is the chance to create an alternate reality. Fiction writers do this regularly, but a non-fiction blogger covering Christianity, philosophy, and sexuality may need to be a bit more creative.
Charles Heyworth was born out of a childhood dream to have a secret identity as well as the practical necessity of differentiating content between business, faith, education, and personal stories (aka. what I made for breakfast)…I do alot of writing!
The benefits of a ‘Nom de plume’ (French for ‘pen name’) include an increased sense of privacy, the ability to explore various ideas, and a separation of work and personal life. More importantly, within Christian circles there is a tendency to make our writers and preachers into celebrities and expect different things from them than we do everyone else. This means that the writer gradually becomes disconnected from the experience of life that the readers enjoy.
I chose this pen name so that my life experience does not change as my work becomes well known. The point of this blog is not about my opinions, but about the opportunity that these give you to ask yourself questions and ‘re-imagine your life as a Christian.’ The pen name helps to insulate me from the effects of success so that my writing will continue to reflect the experience of my readers.
The downsides to writing under an assumed name are trying to remember who said what and the inescapable dilemma of whether to show my face in a video. After all, no matter how many online identities I create, I only have one smile to share. Maybe you’ll see it sometime…
For now, what you may be interested in knowing is that I have studied at over 8 different universities on 4 continents. My global experience has given me a perspective on Christian life that is very unique from someone who has spent their whole life in the same environment. Chapter 4 of my biographical story “Road to Royalty” talks about the challenge I faced with relevance of a suburban American christian practice to believers in rural China. I became a writer by accident as I sought to discover a way of living as a Christian that was worth sharing with someone else.
Like everyone else, I am still on my journey of faith and look forward to sharing it with you. If you would like to know anything more about me, please leave a comment here, or check out my book.