Diary of a mum returning to work – What’s in a name?

Now that mum of three Lucy Mason has emerged from her Primal Detox week of hell, she’s considering some of the bigger issues attempting to resurrect a career throws up. Like what name to call herself…

What’s in a name?

I really love my old surname. I wasn’t so keen on Lucy when I was younger – there were four Lucys in my class at primary school, so for many years I was always known as ‘Lucy C’, and I remember wishing my parents had been more imaginative when naming me. Maybe Pollyanna, or Starlight or something more interesting like that.

For a while my two sisters and I used to pretend we were called Ian, Neil and Dickie Green, which I know sounds weird now, but it didn’t seem so at the time (we lived in the country, so there weren’t many other kids around to point this out). My younger sister still gets called Dickie Annie now sometimes, but she probably won’t thank me for saying it here.


Anyway the point is I love my old surname. It’s like an old friend, a huge part of me that I’m not sure I want to let go. After I got married two years ago I changed to Mason and I like my new name too – it’s certainly easier to spell. I used to be forever yelling “D for dog, G for gorilla, E for elephant” down the phone at work when giving out my email address (at the RSPCA, hence the animal connection).

So now I’m relaunching my writing career, however,  I’m in a quandary – do I go with my old or new name? All my bylines are listed as Lucy Courtnadge, and my old contacts are more likely to remember this name, but on the other hand it IS supposed to be a fresh start, and it would be a lot simpler if my work name matched my bank, passport, driving license, Amazon account etc. And let’s face it, it’s not like I’m letting go of a huge, established brand or anything.

I’ve looked at domain names for a future website address, and while Lucymason is already taken (surprise), and Lucycourtnadge isn’t, I’m still drawn to the fresh name, fresh start idea. I can explain to old contacts that I’ve changed my name (while still keeping my old email address), I can even include both names on my Linkedin profile, and what probably swings it is that I won’t have to shout animal names loudly and slowly down the phone anymore. In fact, I think I’ve made my decision.