On Writing and Pseudonyms, where Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

So just a quick shout out to Karen, who just announced her move to her real – name space.  I wish you all the strength and healing you can find in combining your separate pieces into one whole.

I’ve always written under a pseudonym,  and I have no reason to think that will change.  I have no burning reasons to keep my identity secret, but I do prefer to keep my real name and this place mostly-unconnected by google.  I doubt many people would consider me a privacy advocate, but I am strongly against corporate informative asymmetry.  That is, I don’t mind anyone knowing who I am or what I write, but I want to be the gatekeeper of that information,  not a search engine.  I firmly believe that the only way to keep something a secret is to keep it offline, and I’m not going to give away my personals for the benefit of someone else’s algorithm.   I try to share enough that sponsored content is relevant, but not so much that I become de-anonymized.  That there’s no way to tell if I am or not bothers me more than the marketing anonymity itself.

I’ve written here so long that “sharah” has become her own persona.  If we were to meet, I’m sure you would see the part of me that is here.  But she’s not all of me, and never will be.  There’s no way, I think,  for any single voice to represent all of a person. We cannot translate ourselves onto the screen as whole, complete beings.  So you get a part here and a part there, like the blind men describing the elephant.

I’m going to segue here to a post by Danielle LaPorte: One night stands and other sacred containers not meant to be breached.

“Sometimes you cry in a stranger’s arms precisely because they are a stranger.  You let your secrets be witnessed because the witnesses are outside of your every day reality.”

I came here and cried in your arms because you are all my strangers.  You were witness to my pain when no one else could be.  And now, inside this sacred container, we have a different relationship than we could have outside of it, one protected by the blank wall of a pseudonym.

Thank you.  Thank you for standing witness, for abiding with me on this journey, for reading, for commenting, for coming back and moving forward.  This space is nominally mine, but without you, it would be bare and sterile.  Instead, it is filled with warmth and companionship and I am so grateful that it, and you, are here.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “On Writing and Pseudonyms, where Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

  1. Thank you so much for the shout out. 🙂

    You know, when I was debating to shed my anonymity, I had some real moments of grief. Serenity is so much a part of me, what this community did for me in some of my darkest times… well. This sums it up perfectly. “I came here and cried in your arms because you are all my strangers. You were witness to my pain when no one else could be.”

    But Serenity is a part of me, as is running, as is writing, and I am hoping my new space will help me combine more than just one part here and there. Time will tell, I suppose.

    xoxo

  2. I totally feel where Serenity is coming from. It was hard to leave my previous space, even though I’m moving to another anonymous space. We create a persona when we right under a certain pseudonym and it’s hard to let that person go.

    I tried to write under my real name and it was too restrictive. As a middle school teacher I just couldn’t tackle what interested me for fear my students would find my words and use them against me. I hope to develop this persona in more ways than I did the other, for her to be who I am as a writer. We’ll see if I can manage that.

  3. Love these thoughts. It’s true – we’re never all “out there” on the screen in the same way as we are in real life (I realised this the other day when someone commented to say how organised I seemed – ha – totally wrong impression there).

    But I just want to end this comment with echoing your words:

    “I came here and cried in your arms because you are all my strangers. You were witness to my pain when no one else could be. And now, inside this sacred container, we have a different relationship than we could have outside of it, one protected by the blank wall of a pseudonym.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s