Man With Pen Is Actually A Woman? What? Blogging & The Glass Ceiling

James Chartrand of Men with Pens, is not who he seems.

Chartrand has been all over the ‘net for years, blogging at Copyblogger, FreelanceSwitch, FreelanceWritingGigs and basically everywhere else freelance web writers hang out.

He’s a she.

James, who still wants to be known as James, says that when she started writing, it was a desperate attempt to avoid the welfare line.

And she did well.


But I was still having a hard time landing jobs. I was being turned down for gigs I should’ve gotten, for reasons I couldn’t put a finger on.

My pay rate had hit a plateau, too. I knew I should be earning more. Others were, and I soaked up everything they could teach me, but still, there was something strange about it . . .

It wasn’t my skills, it wasn’t my work. So what were those others doing that I wasn’t?

One day, I tossed out a pen name, because I didn’t want to be associated with my current business, the one that was still struggling to grow. I picked a name that sounded to me like it might convey a good business image. Like it might command respect.

Taking a man’s name opened up a new world. It helped me earn double and triple the income of my true name, with the same work and service.

Obviously, women taking male names isn’t new: George Eliot, even JK Rowling. But this is 2009, and men still make more than women—double or triple in James’ case?

There are no words.