To be anonymous or not to be anonymous. That is the question. And it is a question that a lot of people face when starting a blog. It is a question that I thought of quite often before I started blogging, and when I first started writing, I blogged anonymously. I chose to blog publicly shortly afterwards because I realized that if someone really wanted to find out who I was in real life they could do so easily.
It helps when there is not a lot to lose when you blog publicly. I write for myself more than for anyone else and if someone doesn’t like what I have to say then they don’t have to read my blog. In general, I try to be fair, kind and thoughtful – though, of course, sometimes I can get snippy. Yes, a lot of what I write about is fairly mundane, boring, and otherwise silly, but it doesn’t matter to me. Writing is free therapy. Even if I choose not to talk about a specific event, crisis, or situation that is happening in my real life, blogging allows me to step away, center myself, and focus on what is truly important. Writing about my favorite pair of jeans might help me get a little perspective. The perspective comes from stepping away; not from the jeans!
I can understand why people choose to blog anonymously. It might be liberating not to have to censor oneself. But I have to wonder if it is really hard to keep oneself anonymous. I would have a hard time. You may be writing about something extremely personal and, like me, use writing as therapy. You may be writing about extremely controversial topics. You may even be writing about your workplace or bosses and don’t want to get called out. Now, that’s a dangerous situation – we’ve all heard the horror stories. Heather Armstrong (Dooce) was fired for writing about her workplace and co-workers satirically; lucky for her she is now one of the top-ranked bloggers in the United States.
Either way, I respect every writer’s wishes. We are lucky to live in a society where we have the choice to express our views, thoughts, and opinions – right or wrong, good or bad. We are lucky to have freedom of expression.
So, whether you choose to blog anonymously or not, I encourage you to be honest in your writing, to be honest with yourself and, most of all, to have fun!