You know how I’ve been saying since 2015 that I want to change my professional name? And then in 2017 I tried again and didn’t actually get anywhere? Well, I think I finally might be close to actually, like, doing it, at long last. And you thought this day would never come…
I’ve more or less settled on the name Finn Longman, despite my initial reluctance to use the name Longman. I’ve been trying out Longmore, as a variant, but I’m not convinced by it, so I’ve decided against using it longer term — no doubt to the relief of the person who messaged me on Instagram the other day to tell me their name was Finn Longmore and their dad had just asked them if they were nonbinary after finding one of my posts. They are not. I am relieved, because that would’ve been a terrible way to inadvertently out someone.
Finn Longman still feels strange, if I’m honest with you, but I don’t think I’ve ever worn a name that didn’t feel ill-fitting, and this one’s more mine than any others, so… there we have it. The best option I’ve hitherto managed to come up with. I’ll grow into it, right?
It’ll be a long and gradual transition — some parts easy, like changing usernames on Twitter, and other parts hard, like buying a new domain name for this blog and setting up redirects so all the old links don’t break immediately. YouTube’s also probably going to be a little complicated, though less than it would have been a few years ago now that ‘brand’ accounts are a thing.
I’m not going to start just yet — firstly, I want to keep @miriamjoywrites as my username on Instagram until the #BooksOutLoud challenge is over, to avoid confusion since that’s the URL that’s on the graphic. Secondly, I’m giving myself a window of adjustment to decide if I really want to use this name.
But I thought I should warn you that that’s going to be happening, and that the branding of this blog (hitherto unchanged during my various experimental periods) will be changing accordingly.
And now for some Q&As, just to clarify a few points:
Are you changing your name legally?
Nope, just the name I write under.
Why change it?
Gender stuff, genre stuff, aesthetic reasons. Miriam Joy didn’t sound like me, didn’t fit the stuff I write, wasn’t hitting the right notes.
Are you going to rerelease your poetry under this name?
No plans to as of yet. Those poems are from 2013-14 and they reflect the person I was then more than the person I am now. Broken Body Fragile Heart explores those first months after I started using the name Finn, back when it was a secret name I kept close to myself, but it’s still more a reflection of me before. It seems sensible to leave them under that name, at least for now. If I release any more poetry it’ll be under the new name.
If you do end up publishing any academic work, what name would that be under?
Yikes. Hadn’t thought about that until now, and haven’t the foggiest. My degree is in the name Miriam Longman, so potentially that, though I’m not sure. It’s pretty unlikely to be an issue for a while yet, if ever.
I’ve been contacting you via the email address on your blog. (miriam at miriamjoywrites dot com) I’m guessing you’ll be changing that?
Yep. New email address will be on there once I’ve got the domain name sorted. I’ll email anyone I regularly contact through there and make sure they’re aware of the best way to reach me. It’s gonna be a long slow process of updating many, many links.
Because I’m mcCooler than you.
Why didn’t you just stick with @delorfinde as your username everywhere like you did before 2011?
I ask myself this question regularly.
What are your pronouns?
Same as before: they/them. Hoping the new name will mean people don’t default to she/her after seeing my username, as they have tended to do until now.
If referring to you in an authorly context or review, should I call you Longman? What if I’m talking about your poetry?
Please just call me Finn. It always made me feel super weird when people referred to me as “Joy” in reviews of my poetry. If that’s not an option, full name? It’s less weird for everyone. But sure. If you have to call me Longman, I guess … do that.
What are you gonna call your book blog now?
I don’t know. I’ve been using miriamjoyreads to distinguish it from miriamjoywrites, which won’t work anymore. Maybe I’ll come up with a pun. Suggestions appreciated.
Any connection to Benjamin Longman?
Any connection to Longman Publishing?
Nope. Luckily I don’t write dictionaries, or that could get confusing.
But you’re not long or a man.
I’ve had this surname for 23 years, my dude, and before that, my mother is a 5’1″ woman who has had this name since she got married. You think we haven’t heard this one before? You’re not original.
Can I keep calling you Miriam?
Depends on the context. In real life, sure, probably, unless it’s in a dance context where everyone knows me as Finn (because that’s just gonna get confusing). Once I’ve switched over, though, I’d prefer if you’d use Finn online / in the context of my writing.
And… that’s all the potential questions I could come up with, but if anyone’s got any others, drop them in the comments below and I’ll endeavour to answer!