Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

A Rose by Any Other Name…

86 Comments

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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.

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

86 thoughts on “A Rose by Any Other Name…

  1. I decided to write my books with my initials and a shortened version of my maiden name. I felt more comfortable doing so but everyone knows me by both, I’m not hiding. Some call me Debby here in cyber land and others call me D.G. As long as they know who I am that’s what counts. 🙂

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  2. I chose to remain anonymous (though you found me out. ;). )
    And I use nicknames when referring to members of my family. I chose this BC I am wanting to go into a professional setting and I talk very openly about things. I don’t want anything I say to ever get back to me.
    Further, I refuse to openly use my children’s names as they cannot make a decision to remain anonymous yet. What if, in ten years Baby is looking for a job and they refuse her because a google search of her name brought them to my.blog where it indicates she has ADHD? Paranoid? Probably…. But when it comes to anonymity on the internet I’d rather be paranoid then public 🙂

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    • Exactly why I’ll never give out my kids’ last name.
      I do want to work professionally someday – at writing. This blog is basically my resume, which is why I try to keep it reasonably PC and positive. 🙂
      Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some of my sisters had been trying to get me to blog, they told me that I didn’t have to use my real name either. I do, but mostly because I had a blog that I’d had to create for school purposes several years before. I know that look people give you as well when you mention that you write. Their eyes just kind of glaze over sometimes and they check out. You go for what you want, though and what you need, because what some don’t realize is that when you write it’s not necessarily because you want to (though it can be) but because you need to in order to be who you are.

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    • I think that’s something that’s hard to comprehend for anyone who doesn’t write – that compulsion to do so. You have to wonder in fact whether there is any such thing as a writer who actually chooses the profession. The need to create is innate.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always used my real name, and never gave it a second thought.

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    • Have you had an active public voice for a long time, John?

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      • I got my first AOL account when they first got going (in the early 1990’s), and participated in Usenet, LISTSERV mailing lists, bulletin boards and forums. I started at LiveJournal in about 2001, was an early adopter of Facebook and Twitter, and have been blogging since 2012 (there were a couple of minor efforts to become a political pundit before that, but they never went anywhere). Seems like just yesterday…

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  5. The content of my now defunct blog was too personal to include my name. As soon as my cover was blown I took the blog down. There really was an enormous freedom to being anonymous. Now, about your version of “coming out”. A friend of mine shared this Ted talk with my about how we call have closets to come out from. It’s not only a sexual preference thing. Hope you enjoy this as I did, https://www.ted.com/talks/ash_beckham_we_re_all_hiding_something_let_s_find_the_courage_to_open_up?language=en.

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  6. I use my real name and didn’t really consider not using it. I also use my real name in almost all circumstances when I write frequent comments on articles about climate change, shale oil/gas (aka fracking), and other environmental issues. I don’t disclose my address, although it is fairly easy to find out what town I live in from my blog. I also don’t usually disclose names of friends and family. I may use first names or initials, but, more often, refer to people by relationship. My spouse and children have a different surname, so they have some protection from people we don’t know in real life connecting them to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think people in general with a strong or positive message to relay tend more to want to use their real names, as you have. But at the same time, protecting loved ones who don’t necessarily want to be actively part of that message is equally important. Interesting. 🙂

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  7. All the very best Linda for your publication.
    I do go by a pseudonym, and it was mainly because I was not very comfortable using my real name and am more outspoken when I am anonymous 😉 My colleagues know that I have a blog (at least a travel blog) but since they can’t guess my pseudonym they won’t be able to find it out. It does feel very weird when some of my close friends, who are also bloggers, comment on my site and call me KG. Because I am so used to them calling me by my name and I , for a second, wonder who they are referring to. After almost a year or so I felt comfortable posting a silhouette picture of myself in my profile (the current one and the previous one). I am not sure if I will ever ‘come out’, but then life is full of surprises.

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    • It certainly is! I wonder if I would be more outspoken if I was to have an anonymous blog, but then again, what you see hear is really who I am. I don’t like to upset people, and so I remain for the most part politically correct. The opinions which are not, I keep to myself. 😛
      Thanks very much for your best wishes, KG! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I use my nickname but have links to my facebook with my real name. My nickname started as an online character name and over the years just became “me” with my nerdy friends. So I am Grynnie even around my mom and friends in real life. It just seemed to flow when I started blogging.

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  9. I initially created my blog as anonymous. I wanted a place to diary write/vent where select few friends but no family can read my words and feelings. I’m still weird about posting alot of things, sometimes i wrote a whole post and delete it cause i think its too revealing to actual places and people. I only use my first name here and dont facebook follow many people because my facebook is my real life facebook. I still havent even said the name of the store i work in even though it’s probably obvious for anyone living in New York. One book idea I had was to write short stories about actually things that happened at work( i’ve witnessed some stuff working retail lol). But it was too much trying to hide all those details, names, places and times. I think it would be liberating to write truly free but i haven’t reached that place yet.

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    • One day you might get there. Ten years ago I would have said no way to using my real name. But still, I must be careful… always thinking of what might be repeated should I become famous. Ha!

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  10. Oh, well, I just think it’s kind of fun to have a secret identity that I made up myself! And it makes me feel more free to just let all my crazy thoughts out there, without worrying what anyone will think. There are tons of people out there with my real name (which I don’t really like that much anyway), but I’m the only Hobbie DeHoy in the world! Whee!

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  11. So, it’s pronounced; Lyn-Dag hill, ? Interesting. What nationality is that ? Ø©_Ø©
    JFWY

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    • No, it’s actually Linda G. Hill. BUT, it works well all together since the main character’s surname in my novel is Dagmar. So I have my character’s name IN my name. 😀

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  12. Hi Linda. Thought I’d say hi and say I use a blog title but don’t hide my real name on my blog. I’m a bit long in the tooth to care and at a stage where, if I can still embarrass the children, it’s a bonus. However (and it is a big however) my wife made it clear hen I started blogging she wanted anonymity so I have given labels to everyone (she is the Textiliste, my children the Lawyer and the Vet, my brother the Archaeologist and so forth).

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  13. I never actually considered a pen name or using my maiden name. I use my first name here and in all social media, as well as a more social blog. I don’t post my kids or info beyond my state name. I understand how anonymity would provide certain freedoms, but I think for ME, I need to use my real first name because I am all about being genuine and honest when I reach out to people, so to not use my own name would feel disingenuous and rather unfair if I’m hoping people will be open and honest in return. This blog is also my “serious” foray into writing and as such, I thought using my own name was warranted, though I do not have my last name public. The idea of a pen name is intriguing and fun, but as I write nonfiction, it probably would be less appropriate for me. Being mysterious could certainly be fun! Alas, it isn’t really in line with what my goals are.

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    • Using your first name but leaving your surname out leaves you with a great opportunity to decide what to do in the future. Should you choose to go ahead with a pen name, no one will look twice – and you don’t have to even admit that it’s a pen name should you choose not to. Very well thought out! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I use a pseudonym because I work for a rather conservative company and most of my work associates are rather conservative people. And I tend to be a little more (a lot more?) left leaning. So I’d rather not use my real name and I’ve divulged to no one from my work that I even have a blog. I don’t link my blog to my Facebook page, which is under my real name, although I mostly read about what my kids are up to, and I rarely post there. And I don’t Twitter (is that a verb nowadays, or is the verb “to tweet”?) so I can pretty much say whatever it is I want to say on my blog without any real world repercussions. Yay anonymity!

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  15. I hate my real name, but I love my pseudonyms (both of them). ’nuff said.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. As part of my blog name I use my last name as it was spelled before my ancestors left Ireland. And adding my first name probably wouldn’t tell anybody anything, since all us Irish girls are Mary

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  17. I write under a pseudonym and I’m glad I did it this way. I like to hide :-). Someday when all of my kids are legally mine, I may post their pictures; but I may not. People I know in real life know this is me; but if you don’t know me in real life, you don’t know me as anything other than Leigh Michaels. And I like it that way. It wasn’t actually a hurdle for me; I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a pen name; as a teen I knew that I would go by Leigh (it’s my middle name – I’ll give you that 😉 ). Anyway, there you go! 😀

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  18. My husband hates me blogging so insists that I do not use my real name … he trusts no one……………….. NO ONE AT ALL!! 😉 I love everyone and trust then too so I keep him happy as willow and I can blog! xxxxxxxxxxxx

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  19. I use my real name for my blog. After all, I’m writing/publishing with my real name, so it only makes sense to have my blog with my real name. I’m just careful not to get too personal or give out too much private info.

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  20. I think most people do know my name, but because it is not the name of my blog I feel protected. I have found people I know reading my blog to be a bigger deal, and something I spent a while wondering about every now an then.
    Best wishes getting published. Very exciting.

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    • Thanks very much, Tric. 🙂 I have people reading my blog who I know well – haven’t come across anyone yet who live close to me but I don’t know well who have read it yet. I do wonder if it would be weird.

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  21. I don’t blog (except guest posts) yet but I’ve never doubted that i would use my real name. I really don’t have anything to lose (no kids or family).I can understand those who wish to maintain anonymity so the blogging doesn’t mess with their real lives.

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  22. More importantly, I was never tempted to NOT use my read name. I never really understood the reason to not use my real name. I’m not hiding anything.

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  23. I never really felt like I had a choice since I started blogging to promote my books. Though I did try to have a different handle when I commented and that just caused confusion. Better to be me and realize it’s the author and not some random person responding to comments.

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  24. Nah, I don’t mind it. I am careful not to use my children’s names and even more careful not to show their current faces. I do not post my adult children’s photos without permission, but other than that, I find it’s fine. (Same on Instagram, because I’m public.)
    I do sometimes think about the job situation, but I think I may actually get more work now than I used to, and I suppose if an employer doesn’t like my online content, he or she wouldn’t like me working for them, so it helps.
    My blog was started as a rebellion against renewing my teaching license, and I can say with certainty, I’ve succeeded 🙂

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  25. C. S. Boyack is a form of my real name. That’s what goes on my blog and my novels. I never post pictures of family or include their names.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It makes sense if you’re going to publish under a pseudonym (partial or full) to keep it consistent across the board. Is there a reason you modified your name? Just curious – don’t want to pry, so don’t feel obligated to answer. 🙂

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      • I sometimes get Googled because of my job. The paycheck job and writing are two separate things. It isn’t that hard to figure out with a little effort, but that was my thought.

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        • Ah, I see. It’s tough I think for some people to separate the us they see from what we write. I’m sure half of the people in my life would have me committed if they read my fiction… Which is part of where my initial hesitancy came from. Now I figure they can look deeper or get lost. 😛

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  26. Hi Linda! I write under a pseudonym, though the more I write, the more comfortable I am becoming at sharing things – like my age, my marital status, a pic of me at 17. I have my reasons for writing this way, but have been wondering lately if I might feel comfortable using my real name on my blogs. Right now I don’t because I am trying to find a job, but if I had a job, not sure it would be prudent then either. Only time will tell . . .
    Great post!!

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    • Thanks, Sadie. 🙂 Jobs are definitely another one of those things to take into consideration. I started blogging TO get a job – nothing has come out of it so far. I guess it depends where your goals lie, workwise. 🙂

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  27. Good post. I can relate to the “flake” label. LOL, I just went full on crazy and embraced the label, however. 🙂

    I blog under “See there’s this thing called biology” because I found myself typing those words so many times in internet discussions and on other blogs and in letters, just everywhere.

    I enjoy pseudonyms, avatars, anonymity, and odd blog names, but on my own site I have doxed myself. That’s kind of a funny story, but basically I got tired of a couple people threatening to tell “the whole world,” who I was. Than I realized I wasn’t rich and famous or running for political office or anything, so it’s not as if blackmail or sending the paparazzi after me is a very effective threat. In a bit of defiance I just doxed myself and use my real name in my email.

    If anyone would like to send the paparazzi out after me, however, feel free. Also, if anyone has any sexy pictures from my misspent youth, they should definitely humiliate me by posting those all over the internet 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha! Yeah – if only I knew how good I looked back then compared to now. Haha!
      How brave of you to embrace it from the start! There’s a lot to be said for that kind of go-get-’em-ness. 😀

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  28. And MASSIVE congrats of the nearing of your publication!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. This is quite interesting Linda. I think (pretty much know) that returning to my maiden name was a fight to get back to me…be me…not Mom, Widowed Wife, functioning (partly) member of society…just me and who I am. Knowing that those here in my life of the past 23 years do not know me by this name, it is a way to come back to me without caring….without fear of judgement. I feel at ease with me, the me I was and want to be known as once again. Gosh, can you tell how much I loved the thought out of this question, THANK YOU for making me really realize my answer :*

    Liked by 1 person

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