“You have a blog? What is it?”

“…I`m not ready to launch it yet.. like, it`s public an` all but I`m not ready to tell the world about it yet”

Yeah, I can say dumb things like that. Sometimes. This time is was the Doc who was asking. In between giving me my numbers and warning me to stay off cheese and cream and nice stuff For Life.

Sure, I got to talking about my running. Bragging, actually. As if the fact that running ten miles on occasion means I`ll automatically be rejected from the Fatty Artery list. Sadly, it seems I`ll have to join the Starvation Club to qualify for that honour.

But Doc was interested in my blog.

“So what`s it about?”

“Em…well…you know, different things, like running. An` stuff”

You can tell that I am highly articulate in reality, no? And that I have a clear focus for my blog just like the WordPress people recommend (and dammit, I`m not even going to link to their post)? And that I think I can write on here anonymously forever?

Mensa won`t be head hunting me any time soon.

I left the surgery, clutching a sheaf of numbers, a receipt, a Lowering Your Cholesterol brochure, and a half hearted resolve to follow it.

Juneathon Day 17: Dragged my daughter around the ramparts for a mile and half. Speed:27 minutes per mile. Patience: Waning
Hauled a bag of fresh fruit and veg home for homemade soups and salads. Dumped the last of the Key Lime pie. Pondered what life would be like without cheese, chips, chocolate and anything else beginning with ch.

Not cheery.

I remembered the cake book I`ve to blog about. And all those less healthy Ottolenghi recipes that I haven`t even got my teeth into yet. Not to mention the restaurant reviews I`d planned to do and the pretty cafés I`d photograph. You don`t expect me to take a pic of cake now and just leave it there, do you? I owe it to my readers to at least taste the thing.

It led me to wondering would I blog any differently if I knew the Doc were reading it. Would I lie about late night chip noshing f`rinstance. Or just leave out the bit of detail about chomping on Chinese takeaway.

I wondered should I ever reveal myself at all. And to the question:

“What effect would it have on my writing if I knew my readers in real life?”

Do I want to set myself up for well meaning pals stopping me on the street and saying “Hey, you know that fancy quiche you blogged about? Well, it`ll block your arteries faster than quick drying cement” or “Read your blog last night. See you injured your hip.Don`t you think you`re too old for all that running lark?”

And what about the doc? How can I possibly lie to him about my `ch`food intake, or my alcoholic preferences for gawdsakes, if he`s tuning in. Not that I have it in me to lie of course… just saying, it eliminates that option, that`s all.

And anyway, the next time he`s see me I`d be second guessing what his thinking. Any quizzical expression and I`ll immediately interpret as his judging me for the one and only time I ever slept in my running gear. I`d be morto*.

So my thinking for now, at any rate, is to blog to the world but remain incognito. That way, at least my children won`t be embarrassed for life and my family reputation for sanity will remain intact. My work colleagues won`t be sniggering even more behind my back and my friends will, maybe, remain my friends.

And I`ll be in good literary company. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Stephen King and Charlotte Bronte all used pseudonyms. Not, mind you, that you should expect to hear Red Hen has won the Pulitzer prize any time soon.

But this girl can dream.

And I`m freer to dream if I remain incognito. No real life nasty people about to burst my bubble. Just supportive cyber ones who`ll `like` me and maybe even `follow` me.

Meanwhile, I can blog about my cake and eat it too.

But maybe not as much of it.

* Morto=Dublinese for mortified, embarrassed

11 thoughts on “Incognito

  1. Pingback: Pantheon, Rome | redhenrun

  2. What??!! And not be your wonderfully witty and honest hen self??….. All that real stuff’s way too distracting……Please, please cluck on and continue to make me laugh 🙂 🙂

      • The poor chooks have no idea their mother is a crazed blogger. Well, the know about the crazy bit, but that`s it. And I aim to keep it like that to spare their embarrassment. That means another ten years of my being incognito. Hmmm,yep, testing times…

  3. Beautiful writing. I can relate to these thoughts. I am NOT incognito with my blog, and I sometimes feel awkward about it. When I’m writing a post I have to think, “Anyone could read this… my dad, my boss, people I knew from high school…” It’s a bit strange. It has helped me be authentic, I think, in that I can’t play up one particular aspect of myself or downplay another… I just have to be who I am–vegetable AND cookie eating, dedicated runner AND girl who’s hopelessly tempted to sleep in. 🙂

    • There`s lots of ways of looking at it. Yes, even in terms of whether being incognito allows us to be more ourselves or not. One thing`s for sure, once we give up our anonymity, the genie won`t be bottled up again.

  4. Know exactly what you mean, I blogged for two years before my parents read it, now
    we have moved away it is great way for them to keep in touch with our new life in the country but I do have to sensor it a little!

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