Writing just Cowboy Lore?

Becoming a writer does not happen spontaneously.  Many failed attempts, many rejections and countless disappointing reviews leave room for nothing less than determination.

The initial decision in launching a career as a writer is to select a genre, or is it?

I write what I thought I knew something about.  “Write what you know,” peers, family and friends said.  “This is good; you really know what you’re writing.”

Writing just Cowboy Lore?

Writing just Cowboy Lore?

Living and growing up in rural Wyoming I know cowboys, I know horses and ranching and agriculture.  I am the community 4H leader, a mom, a rancher’s wife.  But that’s not what I want to devote my writing to, forever!


In this beginning, as I launch a career, I write of this.  This west is where I am, who I am, and what I do.  And this is where, I begin.

In this launch of my writing career, I chose the pen-name OLShepp, for Ondi Laure Shepperson.  Choosing a pen-name is not necessary, nor is it essential.

Yet my name being so long gave me one reason to select a slicker identity, not to mention a sleek attempt to maintain a hint of disclosure, right?  OLShepp has a ring to it, some western aesthetic appeal, and OLShepp looks good in print; it’s elegant, simple and be even sexy!

So I launched under the pseudo name OLShepp in 2007, plastering my pen-name across the web, attached to everything I wrote.  I near completion of my first novel, “Big Horn Catchmequick” (Indeed about a horse.) I take a step back and question this choice of identity.

OLShepp, rings coherently true to a writing life of cowboy books and western lore.  One day may arrive when I  write of another genre, another voice, another audience, though.

When choosing a pen-name, an image, be careful not to choose a name synonymous with a sheepdog.  For now, writing as OLShepp is justifiable.  My audience may drudge up, even, some respect to OLShepp.  And perhaps my next novel shall be about a sheepdog, or better yet written for the sheepherders amongst us.

I expected my future to entail this writing of westerns, until I read the best advice I have ever read.  “Forget writing what you know. Learn what you need to know to write what you love!”

Having been granted this freedom in my writing to write what I love, brings me back to writing of the west, of the heritage that makes the west unique and appropriate for OLShepp and her sheep dog.

One’s writing is the determining factor; the content is where it counts.  The writing makes the writer, not the name.

One thought on “Writing just Cowboy Lore?

  1. A name is indeed important, OLShep, I did not think of a sheepdog when I saw your name. I was led to your blog through the linkedin comment on the blog post requesting followers. I am checking out some and I like the way you write and your attitude, so I am choosing to follow your blog.


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