When I started my blog a year ago I had a difficult decision to make: To be anonymous or to write under my own name.
Being anonymous you could write everything in your mind, perhaps helping those in similar situations, without ever offending anyone. You could write about your innermost thoughts, without becoming a figure of ridicule, or pity.
As a writer trying to break into the industry, you could use a blog to invent a whole new back story of your own life, and then carry it on, in the vein of Bridget Jones’ Diary. Or you could write your own controversial story, like the Diary of a Call Girl. Sadly, my professional life hasn’t been spent in that area. Anyway I felt both of these genres have been done to death. And if you were very successful at some point you’d have to ‘come out’. Keeping a secret in the public eye is a notoriously difficult thing to manage.
On the other hand who cares? If all you want is fame and fortune what does it matter how it happens? Discuss.
To be honest, a year ago, I didn’t really think too deeply about the matter. I just wanted to write a blog because I actually like writing under no pressure. I wanted to write about what it’s like to come and live in the UK from a country no-one has heard of, or at least hadn’t when I moved here. I didn’t consider writing a Bridget Jones’ type story at all. I didn’t think I’d write anything ‘creative’ on this blog. If anything, I thought I’d join the blogosphere to learn more about writing, the publishing industry and agents. I didn’t expect I’d make so many friends online, nor that I would start writing the story of my life here. As you may imagine, writing about matters so close to my heart hasn’t always been easy. However, I know I’ve been as truthful as you can be after 25 odd years, and I know I’ve been honest to myself.
Of course there have been times when I’ve regretted the decision to write under my own name. There were times I would’ve given my right arm to write candidly about someone close to me, or about a problem which will remain nameless but which has plagued me for six months now. Or just write a humorous piece about people I know or work with, without repercussions. There were times when I did write something untoward and paid dearly for it. Sometimes I’ve even considered starting a separate blog just to vent my anger, frustration or delight without limits. Perhaps one day I will, or have already done so. The beauty (or the ugliness) of the online world is no-one knows.
But a year on, I’m glad I’m here, under my own steam as it were. I’m glad I have readers who enjoy my story. New friends who drop in and make cooing noises when I’m miserable, laugh when I’m trying to be funny, sigh when I’m happy. Even tell me if my haircut is OK or not.
So here’s a big thank you to you all. Couldn’t do it without you.