Which looks like this:
Up until about three days before I was born, my name was supposed to be Taraneh (which means song). Right around that time, my dad was reading a novel which he then passed on to my mom. Guess what the heroine's name in this novel was? If you said Sarvenaz, you win a blogger gold star.
My sister, who was born 3 1/2 years later, was named after a flower but also given a name that "went" with mine: Golnaz. That's kind of a thing in my culture. For example, my mom and her five brothers and sisters all have names that begin with 'H.'
I was named after a character in a novel and now I write them. Cool story, right? Do I think it's a coincidence? Honestly, yes and no.
I really believe that what we're named impacts us pretty profoundly. It's the sound we hear day in and day out, the sound that's associated with us. And if that sound has other meanings or histories, I think that can become embedded in us, too.
Now, I actually like my name when it's pronounced correctly. I like its meaning. I like the story behind it. And, to be totally fair, my parents had no idea they would be emigrating to America when they chose it for me. But when I was a very shy kid in school, seeing every teacher and classmate struggle with it and, sometimes, put their own confounding spin on it, did I hate it? Yes. I would have given anything to be named Mary, or Jennifer, or Kate or any other lovely and easily pronounceable name.
Or Taraneh. My almost-name which would have been shortened to the perfectly anglicized Tara. And then, would I have been a different person than I am now? I'm sure to an extent that I would be.
Naming characters is is one of my favorite parts of writing. I often think about their backstories, what made their parents name them what they did, and how it may or may not affect who they are. My main character in The Mapmaker and the Ghost is named Goldenrod--an unusual name that plays a significant part in her story.
Do you think your name has affected who you are? If so, how?