Thursday, 6 January 2011

Losing my anonymity

I started writing notSupermum during the summer of 2008 and at first I had no idea what to write about. For years I'd kept handwritten journals and when I realised there was such a thing as a blog I thought it'd be fun, and so I started writing this online journal to record the same sort of things I'd always written about - family, life events, everyday sort of stuff and news about my daughters.

It didn't occur to me that anyone would want to read it, but I remember being stunned when someone left a comment on my of my blog posts - the fact that they'd actually taken the time to do that was amazing! But then gradually over time other people started reading it, and lo and behold I even started getting followers!

For the first six months I published photos of myself (all since deleted) and wasn't as bothered about being anonymous, but when I decided to keep it that way I removed all details and images that could lead back to me.  However, as time has gone by my anonymity has been diluted somewhat. I've met a few, although not many, bloggers and hopefully will meet more if I get to the Cybermummy conference (I'm still looking for a sponsor by the way!) 

I've told a couple of friends about the blog, and I know they read it occasionally, and for a long time that was the extent of people who knew about my dark blogging habit. But as time has gone by I've felt compelled to tell more people that I write a blog, mostly friends - mainly to explain where the products we're asked to review come from - and my colleagues found out about my blog when I had to ask for the time off to take part in a trip and explain why I was going.  I suppose I could have made something up, but I'm not very good at lying. Only one of my colleagues, who's also a good friend, knows the name of my blog, although I think one or two have found it - I imagine if you know one or two details about a blog it's not that hard to find it.

Here's the thing: how do I continue to write this blog anonymously? It's hard to do it when I know some of the people who'll read it. It limits the subjects I might want to talk about, and perhaps might colour the amount of information I would want to share on here. How do I write a blog post about something very personal to me without somewhere in the back of my mind, wondering if they are reading it, raising their eyebrows and saying "well I didn't know that about her!" I can think of quite a few subjects I'm reluctant to write about now because of that loss of complete anonymity, which is sad really. Every time another person known to me finds out about my blog, I lose another piece of privacy. Another little piece of anonymity. Another outlet for my innermost personal thoughts. How do I get around that without deleting the whole blog and starting again? I don't want to start a second, parallel blog because I like the people who visit this one and leave thoughtful, helpful and witty comments. Do I want to start all over again?

Isn't it strange that I worry about my privacy yet I publish everything on a public forum? It's a bizarre contradiction isn't it?

I need to be anonymous because this is one of the only outlets I have for ranting on about my ex-husband. I don't criticise him in front of my daughters, and there's only so much you can say to friends before they start to roll their eyes, but on here I can say exactly what I need to about him, with no comeback. 

I don't know what the answer is but I'm definitely going to continue blogging. Blogging has made such a big impact on our little family, particularly over the last twelve months when we've been lucky enough to be offered some great opportunities and make some wonderful new friends, all because I write this blog.

So, what to do? I dunno. What do you think?