It took me a long while to decide to use my real name on my blog, and a little while more before I really felt comfortable with it. To start with, this blog was about me “coming out” as a writer. You may think it silly to equate it to announcing one’s gender preference (granted its nowhere near as traumatic as all that) but in a way it was the same. I’d seen, after all, the way people looked at me when I told them I was writing a novel. The word “flake” might as well have been stamped on my cheek for all the lack of praise the confession got me. It seems if they can’t see the finished product, the product will in their mind never be finished.
So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I signed up with WordPress using my own name. I was tentative – worried people I know would see my efforts and laugh. I still worry about that. But, having said that, I have gained a certain amount of confidence in myself. I started a Facebook page recently with the title “Linda G. Hill, Author” (you can find me here: https://www.facebook.com/lindaghill.fiction?ref=hl Like me!!) and that felt weird particularly when it asked me if the person I was making the page for approved. I think I actually yelled at the screen, “It’s ME!”
I still think about blogging under a pseudonym, even now that I’ve been blogging consistently here with my real name for a year and nine months. There’s a freedom in not using your name; what stops me is not being able to see the point. I’m quite happy here this way. I feel relatively secure in that I don’t disclose my precise whereabouts; I post pictures of my children knowing that they can’t be identified by their surname. (It isn’t “Hill.”) I find it easier than trying to keep up a facade. I don’t need to be careful not to give myself away… and I’m so close to being ready to get published that I’m no longer shy about calling myself a novelist. You’ll get your proof, damnit!
I would say the majority of blogs I follow here are anonymous. I realise there are many reasons for wanting to remain that way. For those who don’t use their real names, have you ever been tempted? And for those who do, was it a difficult hurdle to get over? Please share your story.