Friday, March 17, 2006

Slow-moving Friday

Ok, only a week in and already the placebo effect of decaf has worn off. I think part of the problem is that, while I'm not particularly enthused about the freelance projects I have on my plate today, I *am* looking forward to all the errands I need to run later in the day. Only problem? Gotta get the freelance stuff done before I head out. So I'm totally at cross purposes here.

And that's why I'm retreating to the comfort of a nice, warm meme about pseudonymous blogging, as seen at PPB's and jo(e)'s a few weeks back.

Is your blogging persona more serious than your real life persona?
Hmm, that's a tough one. I think it may be, just because the blog gives me room to think out stuff that floats around in my head for weeks on end. So by default I'm a bit more serious here than I am in my day-to-day life... I think. D might disagree, as evidenced by his concern for my grumpiness this morning. But grumpy and serious aren't the same thing, are they?

Do you think the only safe way an academic can write publicly is to write anonymously?
I'm not an academic, but I am a working journalist, and I think many of the issues around anonymity are the same. Journalists are supposed to maintain objectivity -- that's a lengthy discussion we can have another time -- and it's hard to do that, or to satisfy others' perceptions that you can do that, when you're blogging under your real name. So even though my blog is semi-anonymous, I shy away from writing about politics, etc. due to the possibility that someone could connect my personal beliefs with my journalism... and that would be bad. I'm envious of people like Dawn Friedman, whose freelance work and blogging topic overlap.

Do you think that your blog could ruin your career?
See above. "Ruin," I think is a bit far-fetched, but "put a wicked hurt on"? Yeah, that's a possibility.

Do you use a pseudonym out of fear?
Sort of, although I really could have chosen a much better, and more fun, pseudonym back when I started blogging in 2004. It's also freeing, though, to know that I can write about goofy stuff like bra sizes in pregnancy and not have it connected with my professional persona.

What is the biggest drawback to writing pseudonymously?
The weird dance you go through when revealing your "true" identity to other bloggers. Pseudonyms make it all seem a little James Bond, which is probably good for self-protection in the long run, but it's a little awkward in the short run.

Has anyone stumbled on your blog and found it accidentally?
Not that I'm aware of.

Have you outed yourself to any other bloggers?

Has your blog allowed you to experiment with writing?
Yes, a little. I am much more breezy and unfiltered here... little to no revision and, honestly, you're lucky if you get a spell check. I spend so much time worrying about every single word of my professional writing that it's a relief to just blurt stuff out here.

Why do you use a pseudonym?
For the reasons above, combined with the fact that I have relatively unusual first and last names, which when searched together make me the top Google result (for pages and pages). I've had editors read a story of mine, like it and then Google me for clips before ever even contacting me about assignments. So I really don't need them learning about my spats with D or my intense desire, thus far resisted, to drink wine while pregnant.