Every response is its own story.
When you leave a comment on someone’s work on Medium it announces that “Every response is its own story.”
In a funny way that’s actually a good way to look at the issue of whether or not to tell your stories and live your truth.
It takes a particular kind of bravery to write under your own name. And it takes another form of bravery to write under any sort of pseudonym, assumed name, or pen name.
But it also takes a special kind of bravery to write at all, to speak up at all, to give voice to what is in you to say.
They always say the names have been changed to protect the innocent. But the names have been changed to protect the guilty too.
If people who have behaved badly in your life see themselves in what you’ve written then maybe they shouldn’t have behaved so badly in the first place.
If they can see themselves in your work then it says more about them than it says about you.
They were self-aware enough to recognise themselves reflected back in the mirror of your work but also arrogant enough to behave the way that they did.
So, basically, f*ck those people.
Anne Lamott, in ‘Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life,’ said it better than I ever could: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
As you know, I’ve been wondering whether or not it’s counterproductive to start using a pseudonym when you’ve already got an established presence online under your real name.
There’s several controversial subjects that I’d like to tackle but people don’t have a sense of humour about. I’m not too fond of getting death threats.
I’ve over 15,000 followers and an existing audience for my work under my real name. But I’ve also had stalkers in the past and even death threats.
Though one death threat was for not having read Harry Potter so I didn’t take it too seriously!
If I write under a pseudonym it will be because I want to tackle subjects that I feel like I can’t under my own name. But it comes at a price — having to build up from complete scratch another name.
I won’t stop writing under my own name. Maybe I just need to think of writing other things under a separate name as like writing in another genre.
It’s not so much to protect my identity as to demarcate between me and not me. Though that seems like an awful lot of work just so that I can tell jokes.
Tell your stories and live your truth. Thank you. I’ll be here all week.