CALM ELM – Middle Initial Crisis Question

After a very long hiatus and only spurred to action because my brother decided to switch hosting companies, I have logged back into this site and lkd at it and felt both inspirational and defeat. Inspiration, ah the hope the dream that I can get back to my long lost dream of being a writer. Defeat at the middle initial.

That was spurred by listening to Tim Ferris’s interview with Michael Lewis (pls note there is NO middle initial between Michael and Lewis; I would also point out he is a real writer with many many successful books behind him).

Erica L. Moffett – that was who I wanted to be, emphasis on the L. It stemmed a lot from the fact that my initials spelled ELM. It also stemmed from somewhere else, some remembrance of writers who used their middle initials. But then a few wks ago I listened to Michael Lewis explain to Tim Ferris that he dropped his middle initial after an editor called him out on it: the middle initial was pretentious, self-affecting, just drop it (I can’t remember the exact words at this time but I remember the spirit). Michael Lewis was so exuberant at saying, “He was right! The middle initial served no purpose other than to be pretentious.”

Erica L. Moffett. I was so proud of my middle initial that I even made sure my daughter had two middle initials and that her initials would spell a word: CALM. So the two of us are now CALM ELM or ELM CALM. Whoever needs to be CALM first can go first.

Then the whisper…Michael Lewis doesn’t need the middle initial. Barack Obama doesn’t need the middle initial. George Orwell didn’t need the middle initial. So many people don’t need the middle initial .

But Dorothy Sayers was Dorothy L. Sayers (noting of course that she was also a real writer with many many successful books to her credit, like Michael Lewis.)

In the end, I am only the writer I am. Dorothy L. Sayers was my second grown-up heroine (Harriet D. Vane was my first). I love my L. I love ELM, I love CALM. I know it is so much more practical to give them both up. I hear my daughter, CALM, in the other room playing and waiting for me. She needs me, I need her.

Signing off here. Erica L. Moffett aka ELM.