I’ve changed the name of my main LiveJournal from nishi_shinji to riandarcy. This is a trend that will continue through most of my online profiles in the upcoming weeks.

Here’s my explanation for it:

I’ve renamed this journal from nishi_shinji to riandarcy.

I know. I’m not sure I like it either, but I feel like it needed to happen.

Y’see, when I took the name nishizono what feels like a million years ago, I was younger and sillier, and it seemed like a funny thing to do. Nishizono Shinji is the serial killer alter-ego of a police detective in a manga, and while writing fan fiction is hardly murder, it still fit under the category of things I didn’t want people to know about me. I never thought I’d make so many friends here, and I certainly never dreamed that writing fan fiction would lead to me being published. I never thought the name “Nishizono” would stick.

And honestly, I’ll always be Nishi. You guys will still call me that, and I’ll always answer to it.

But over the last few years, I’ve gotten more serious about my writing. Getting published is a weird, wonderful experience, and it adds a whole new set of responsibilities to your life. You’re not just a writer anymore; you’re also an agent, and PR person, and marketer. I think I was unprepared for all the changes, because I went into a kind of panic-induced hibernation after Simulacrum was published. When I came out on the other side eight months later, I decided to throw myself 100% into being a published author, and I felt that in order to do that, I had to devote myself 100% to being Rian Darcy.

It probably seems ridiculous that I’m writing such a long post about changing an online name. After all, it’s not like I’m leaving fandom or calling it quits on fanfic. But the name “Nishizono Shinji” is one I’ve carried with me since 2005; it’s not just a nickname, it’s a part of my identity. It represents a part of me that was young, and excited, and scared of rejection, and brand new to having people read what I’d written.

Who I am now isn’t who I was 8 years ago. I’m still young, and excited, and scared of rejection, but I’m also older if not wiser, and I pay more attention to the words I write down. I feel more responsibility toward the characters in my head, to tell their stories in the best way I can. And that’s exactly why I need to let Nishizono Shinji become Rian Darcy.

Some of you are new friends, and some of you have been here since the beginning, but no matter how long I’ve known you, I want to thank you– really, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart– for all your encouragement, and praise, and constructive criticism. This weird, nebulous, virtual space we call “fandom” is my favorite place on Earth, filled with my favorite people on Earth, and no matter what name I’m using, that’s one thing that will never change. I love you all.