I have been blogging as biochembelle for approximately 1.3 years now. It has been a fascinating thing. Over the last few months, I’ve been thinking considerably about where this part of my life has come from, where it has taken me, and where I want to go with it.
I started off blogging pseudonymously, and for many months, Paramed was the only one who knew my “true identity”. Even today, most of my friends, colleagues, and family don’t know about my blogs. This came up on Twitter recently, and someone asked, in essence, why? Why would I keep my real life and my blog life separate, so to speak?
I think initially I didn’t know where blogging would go, how long I would stick with it, what I would have to say… I chose pseudonymity because I wanted to be free of worrying what people I know thought of me and this blogging thing. I felt that I could and would be more honest under a pseudonym than under my real name. And I think, in the beginning, that turned out to be true.
But now, I feel like I’ve found my voice–and it’s very much like the one that I use with my “real-life” friends. Even though I have a bit of a temper, I often take a moment before speaking, so I can moderate my tone and words. There are still times when I get riled enough to fire off a heated or snarky response, but for the most part, I show at least a little restraint.
Coming from the blogging side, I initially kept pretty tight control over things that might tip someone off to my real-life identity, partly for the same reason I didn’t tip real-life friends off to my blogging identity. There was also a little fear about how my blogging would be received, and as I mentioned, I wasn’t entirely sure what voice and personality I was going to cultivate online.
Over the past few months, I have become less protective of my pseudonymity. There is a strong feeling of community in parts of the blogosphere and Twitter-verse that engenders a sense of trust. There are now a few bloggers with whom I communicate via email, who know at least some of the details of who I am, which I don’t discuss publicly. Most of these know my other/real-life identity. Even though these are people I feel like I could trust, I know fully that there’s the risk of it getting out.
I also find that there a places where my blogging and real-life identities are beginning to intersect, and it’s a little odd sometimes to have conversations with someone who doesn’t know about both. I’m thinking about how these two worlds can and should come together. Even though my blogs have mostly been about the culture, politics, and life of a scientist, I think there are other avenues I’d like to try out that might necessitate (or at least, be smoother) if my other identity is known.
And this is where I turn to the blogging community for help.
If you’re a pseud blogger–Who knows both your identities? Why did you choose to tell those people (if it was a choice)? What have their reactions been? What keeps you from merging identities publicly?
If you were once a pseud blogger but revealed your other identity along the way–Why did you do decide to reveal your other identity to the world at large? What was the impact of doing it? What have been the advantages and disadvantages? Overall, was it a positive or negative experience for you?
If you blog, and have always blogged, under your real name–Did you consider using a pseud, and if so, what prompted you to write under your real name? What has been the overall reaction to and impact of blogging under your real name?
I hope you’ll leave a comment or, if you prefer, write (or direct me to) a post about your choice and experience. Accept my advance gratitude for talking about this 🙂