When I first started commenting on blogs ('twas the late, great Miss Snark that finally made me crack - pause for a moment to remember...), I didn't want to use my real name. I used to use a version of my name on a social site that had several trolling problems and once a woman with serious psychological problems that some of the people on the site got drawn into. So when I got my internet courage back up again I wanted to stay anonymous - but I didn't want to be one of the great flock of anonymi. I wasn't afraid to be identifiable and to show at least some of my personality.
And so, and you all know this bit, McKoala was born. She's me, but fluffier. And vegetarian.
However, recently I've begun to wonder about the sense of this. When my agent took me on a few months ago I created a web site in my real name, but didn't link it to this blog. In the past week or two I've become involved in a Top Secret but Very Exciting Project That You Will All Love and I've decided that that is a place where I would like to use my real name. I've dropped a big fat clue in This Secret Place as to my dual identity, so I think you'll spot me.
And yet... I still don't want my real name on this blog, or in many of the place where I post as McKoala. The most rational explanation is that because I'm trying to sell young adult writing, the utterances of McK, and some of her friends, *wavey*, are not anything I would particularly want my kids reading if they fell into that age group, so why would I want somebody else's kids to read them? That then begs the question, should I be posting anything I wouldn't want my audience to read at all?
But you are also my audience *more waveys*. You are an important part of my network as a writer; many of you have critiqued me, many of you have supported me, many of you have made me laugh and all of you have been nice to me. I like you. And I like not to have to mince my words around you. So I thought I would see if I can handle a dual identity. I'll stay McKoala here and at EE and most other places, but I'll use my real name where I'm being sensible (hah!). Not that I'm planning on being that sensible.
Other people have approached this issue in different ways. Robin and Precie choose to keep their blogs secret, although they post widely under their blog names. Church Lady pushed Takoda's bunny down the canyon, and then was herself pushed by Chris, who felt there was more benefit in using her real name. Conduit has never made a secret of his real name, and has now linked his real-name website to his blog. Others manage dual identities that are clearly connected to one another.
For now, I think I'd still like to retain a level of privacy for the real me. Of course, this could fall apart very fast. I'll need to create a new profile as the real me so I can log under the right name at Top Secret Project, and feel free to place bets on how long it takes me to post using the wrong name in the wrong place...
Bets aside, I'd be very interested in your thoughts on this and your own choices, and, of course, your advice on what you would do in my situation.