How this weird Danish philosopher supercharged his writing brand by using pen names
There's good business reasons besides the privacy paranoia
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Danish philosopher and all around weirdo Søren Kierkegaard pulled some strange stunts in his life
Like many well-known philosophers and intellectuals, he was a weird dude.
What this says about the climate of Western intellectualism, I leave to you the reader.
But Kierkegaard had his own odd ideas about the culture of his time. He'd trot around Copenhagen, stovetop pipe on his head, umbrella under his arm, and then spend his free time writing letters to the editor of the local newspaper.
Not always under his own name. Kierkegaard was famous for "sock puppeting" in his hometown newspaper. He'd write a letter under one name, then get into an argument with himself under another.
He wasn't some kind of lunatic. Well, not the dangerous kind of lunatic, anyway.
He did this with a purpose in mind.
Kierkegaard despised "the crowd". He believed that people under the influence of popular ideas transformed into an anonymous, faceless herd, all living the same thoughtless zombie-like existence.
In the crowd nobody thinks or acts for themselves. They just repeat ideas put in their heads by the priest, the newspaperman, the politician, and the scientist.
The multiple pseudonyms were part of his personality. Today we'd call it a public relations campaign.
But he also used the many faces of his "authorship" for another purpose.
In this piece I'll talk about the lessons writers, creatives, and artists of all sorts can use to build an audience and grow your brand, inspired by Kierkegaard's antics.
Read on to see how you can use his oddball methods for your own profitable schemes.