Thursday, December 13, 2012

Undercover Writer

Did you know that there are more bloggers out there than you think who hide their identity?! I've always wondered the cause behind to anonymity. I've always been "Miss Banana Pants" and/or Michelle Clark. The first is easier to remember and sounds silly and sums up my personality a bit better so it stuck. But I'm finding in my network of blogger friends that many have chosen to remain anonymous; to hide behind a cloak of mystery and it's always intrigued me. When I met my new friend, "The Mommy Ref", I got a better glimpse into what it means to be an undercover writer. Why do they do it?! Why not let everyone in? Apparently, exposing someone's soul on paper takes a lot of confidence and vulnerability and those sorts of things don't come as easy to some as it does to others. There is so much "bullying" in the world. We think our children have it bad, but I've seen just as much of it in the land of motherhood. There's a lot of it happening online everyday. I've asked "The Mommy Ref" to answer some questions and help us all understand what "coming out" as an undercover writer means to her and why she's worn a mask of mystery until now. I hope you give her some love and encourage her the same way that she's encouraged me! Without further adieu. . . .

When Miss Banana Pants asked me to write a guest post, I was really nervous to answer “yes”.  I actually read her request and did not respond at first because the original response was a swift "thanks, but no thanks”.  I am a rookie with this blogging/Facebook/writing thing. I don't entirely open up yet. I still hide the "real me" behind "The Mommy Ref" facade. Being new to the writing arena, I am often asked why I choose to "hide" who I am. Is it because I had something horrible happen in life?  Am I hiding to give me an opportunity to talk trash about the people closest to me?  Is the "real" me too afraid of being judged for my parenting decisions or life views by friends and family?  All are extremely valid reasons for some, but mine is a bit more simple.  The main reason I choose to not use my real name is due to the lack of confidence I have about my own writing skills. I made a decision to create a page which did not advertise who "The Mommy Ref" really was.  The decision to be able to hide behind a new name was something I did not feel comfortable with at first.  I have never been one to be fake or to try to be someone or something I am not.  However, I quickly figured out that I don’t have to be fake, just not completely exposed. My new blog just would not have my “name” attached to it.  Perhaps this would end up being the truest version of me.  I actually liked the thought of being able to see my day to day friends and family and not wonder what they have or have not read from my recent ramblings.

Being a working Mom of three small children leads to a lot of fun topics, but I still wondered if would I be able to capture these “once in a lifetime” moments effectively?   Are my thoughts as funny as I think they are?  Will anyone be able to relate to me?  Am I the only one thinking or feeling these things?  I wanted to be challenged to grow.  Challenged to figure out who I really am without those closest to me telling me how I'm supposed to think or feel.  You  might say I am attempting to stay anonymous.

However, I don't consider myself anonymous.   Anonymity is not having any identity at all.  This is far from my mission.  I consider myself on a journey of creating an identity that reflects my character and my passion.  If done right, it will be parallel to the real me and assist me in my own personal growth.

I see this as a journey of discovery.  In just a very short amount of time I have been discovering myself little by little.  I have discovered that I am not as funny as my kids think. They are our biggest fans, after all!  I have also discovered that once I write things out and then read them later, just how much freedom my own thoughts mean to me without being tainted by other's opinions.  I haven’t written very many posts yet, but I wrote one about how I struggle most with finding time for myself. This is such a struggle for moms everywhere. It's my greatest fault in the area of self-confidence, in my life, and in my writing.  I need to lose weight.  So many of you mamas out there are all fit and fancy, but not this Mommy Ref!  I have some conditioning to do.  Since reading my own writing and what others have posted on there and emailed me privately, I have lost almost 10 pounds.  I feel better about myself than I ever have.  I don’t feel like it is too hard or the wrong time.  I own this new mission.  Although I don’t know my readers in person, I have been able to get to know some great people in a very short amount of time.  I was extremely surprised at the amount of supportive people I have already met in the blogging world that "get" me better than some that actually know me in real life.  I hope to meet many more on my journey.  More importantly, I want to be an inspiration to someone else that may be in similar shoes and needs help getting pulled out of the mud.
Being detached from your “real” life has had its pros and cons.  Many readers have already asked if I will always hide behind the whistle.   For now I will keep the whistle…I will save my picture and true identity for announcing the accomplishment of my weight loss goal. Maybe soon I will be in a place where the facade will no longer be something I wish to hide behind. For now, it's a fun place where I'm learning little by little every day just how OK it is to be the real me. 

Have any of you every felt this way? What words of encouragement can you offer my new, beautiful friend in her journey of self-discovery? Share some of your moments of anonymity. . . 

Don't forget to check out her blog at THE MOMMY REF and show her some love! You can also laugh along with her mindless rantings everyday on her FACEBOOK PAGE


  1. I understand you wanting to be anonymous. I am in a sense too. I have no blog, nor face book page. I do show up on twitter at infrequent times but I am only known by my comments. People will draw a conclusion about me from my comments. I'm hoping it is positive. I think anyone could put a name on a blog and a picture and it still would not mean a tremendous amount here unless they were known in person. I think you not doing that allows people to draw a picture of the real you in their mind from the words and thoughts you put down on paper. I think it allows a purer assessment of the person if a name nor picture is there. You are not your external looks or your name, or your location. You are who you are deep inside and I think we all have a tough time of letting anyone in those rooms to have a look around. I know I do. So if not having a name and picture allow you to do that better then everyone benefits. It allows you not to have to put your writings through the filter of what will so and so think if I say this or that and that filter may alter what you say. I wish you well regardless if you stay anonymous or not. I know some of my friends in this blogging world do suffer at times from those close to them because they put the raw and hard out there and hear it from those close to them. I admire their courage to do so.

    1. Thanks for the encouragment, Mark! I can always count on you! I think you are right. It's hard to let people in to the places of your feelings and opinions, whether you put a name to a face or not. My new friend is a beautiful gal and I love her to death already and so glad she got a bit of this off her chest. :) Thanks for reading!

  2. Writing requires such bravery. We give a little bit of ourselves every time we do. Thanks for stepping out and sharing your gift!