“I don’t like my name. You can call me Anna from now on.” My daughter Laken announced when she was about five. “Why? You have a beautiful name.” I thought so, since we’d chosen both of our daughter’s names with care. Being identical twins, we wanted them to have something unique to represent their individuality. Granted there was the whole ‘Sissy fiasco’ when both were called Sissy so much due to our families difficulty in telling them apart that they started daycare each believing that their real name was Sissy, really confusing their teacher… but that’s another story.
But I could understand. When I was little I didn’t like my name. No one could pronounce it or spell it right; I used to wish my name was Lisa. I knew if I’d only been named Lisa, like four of the popular girls in class, things would have been different for me.
It wasn’t until I started high school that I began to appreciate my name. Now my name would seem mundane compared to the wide flux of names today. The majority difficult to pronounce and impossible to spell but all proclaiming the originality of the person they represent.
Because names are important. Most think of a particular name and an image develops in your mind. That’s why I have an impossible time choosing names for my characters. Some writers choose names based on their meaning, their heritage. Me, I choose a character name based on what image comes up in my mind when I think of that name. Think of the Twilight characters, what if Bella and Edward would have been Bertha and Eugene?
Since the ‘Anna Phase’ only lasted about a week, I think my daughter has accepted her name and even though many still spell my name wrong I love it and wouldn’t change it.
What about you? Do you love your name or would you share what you would’ve like to have been named or what‘character name’ would represent you?