Thursday, October 10, 2013

Real Stories. Fake Names.

One of Writer Abroad’s favorite bloggers has a big photo of her 10-year-old son on her blog today. It got Writer Abroad thinking. Because Writer Abroad does not put personal photos of friends and family members on Facebook, blogs, or social media sites.

But that doesn’t stop her from writing about these people for magazines and books.

So isn’t she contradicting herself?

Probably. Life is full of contradictions and so is Writer Abroad, but still.

Writer Abroad has written about her family several times for national newspapers and bestselling anthologies. Does this give away their identities in the same way that posting a picture of them on Facebook would?

The 21st century sure makes answering questions like this complicated.

Writer Abroad has been thinking a lot about this lately. Especially since her editor mentioned two things: 1. Get more personal and 2. Consider using pseudonyms—even in the acknowledgements.

So…where is the line between revealing too much and not revealing enough? Between real stories and fake names? Does anyone else struggle with these things? Does anyone else have different policies regarding what they will share in their writing versus what they will share on social media sites?


  1. Oh, this is near and dear to my heart. I blog under a fake name so my students can't find me. That way I feel more free to post personal pictures (which rarely include me). However, now that I'm publishing a book, I've started a new blog where I'm reeeeeeally trying to embrace being "myself" and putting it all out there. It's scary. I think the bottom line is whatever YOU are comfortable with is the right way to go.

  2. Yeah, what L. Shanna says makes sense. Faking your name on your blog to keep your students off the track! Now that's creative. Wish I had thought of doing that when I started blogging. I often do find myself wincing over the interior glimpse my students are getting; not that there's any real danger; it's just a matter of comfort. Of course, students appreciate that glimpse too.

  3. Blogging under a fake name that's a great idea. That help to blog with our comfort level.

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