Name change

I’ve been thinking about dropping my pseudonym for a while now, and I’ve just about decided I’m going to. It doesn’t serve any purpose anymore, and, in fact, the only purpose it ever served was to ease my fears about blogging when I first began back in 2006. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about and what I was getting myself into, so I thought I might take on a different name, just in case. It’s been kind of fun having a pseudonym. It’s nice to be someone else, or at least have the potential to be someone else. But, as it turns out, Dorothy isn’t anybody else; it’s just me with a different name. And it’s getting more and more complicated having a pseudonym, given the fact that I interact with so many blogging people on Twitter, Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc., and I use my real name on all those sites. So, for the sake of simplicity, you’ll see me around the blogosphere as, well, me!

18 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Life

18 responses to “Name change

  1. Such an interesting blog and/or issue.
    I, too, have felt it from time to time, Cipriano not at all being my real name. And then you end up getting to know someone in the blog-world, or even in the book-publishing world…. or an author you end up corresponding with, and you feel sort of dumb continuing on with the alias. I always thought your name was Dorothy.
    But you are inspiring me, here.
    I, too may abandon Cipriano and begin using my real name.
    So, thank you.
    Yours truly,
    Johnny Depp

  2. I can’t top old Johnny’s comment, there. Hee-larious. JOHNNY! I loved you in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape!!! (But what’s with all the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels? Seriously.)

    Discovering you as Rebecca on Twitter kind of blew my mind, though. And then I didn’t know how to address you over here. So basically, you are making my life easier, which I’m sure was your objective to begin with. :-)

  3. Cipriano’s comment made me laugh, too! This sounds like a positive act of simplification, Dorot….. Rebecca. Even if it might take a little getting used to! I have my blog name, my maiden name and my married name, all of which I use in different places, and it does feel a bit schizophrenic after a while!

  4. I’m glad you have resolved your schizophrenia and I hope you feel a little better about it! I struggled at first with a psuedonym but it was just too hard – and I ended up feeling fine about just using my first name (although in the end, so often WordPress just puts in my Twitter handle/WP username instead!).

  5. Well, you certainly fooled me! Good luck in uniting all the multiple blogging personalities! :)

  6. Since I am transitioning with my (last) name, too, right now, I understand how complicated it can be trying to remember who you are in what situation! It’ll be a relief to just be you now (and hopefully I’ll not forget and call you Dorothy! :) ). And Johnny Depp can stop by my blog any time he’d like….

  7. See….not forget to call you Rebecca…. (Now I AM embarrassed–my sentence got a little turned around there…).

  8. Well, you will always be Dorr to me, most especially every time I hike Dorr Mountain. But, since, actually, I’ve never really called you anything other than Rebecca except in blog posts and comments, this won’t seem like much of a transition at all to me. I’m envious in some ways. I, too, chose not to use my legal last name way back in 2006 when I didn’t know what blogging might behold. It turned out to be a wise decision, because being a minister’s wife, I really can’t, despite having revealed it elsewhere, see ever revealing who I am on Telecommuter Talk.

  9. Even though you are Rebecca pretty much everywhere else, Dorothy will come to mind first, at least for awhile, when I think of your blogging self :)

  10. You know, I’ve already gotten used to calling you Dorothy on your blog, and knowing you as Rebecca LHI on Twitter, and Rebecca H on Goodreads. I didn’t even know Dorothy is an alias until now! Anyway, they all represent the virtual you in my mind. All these on-line ID are tricky and most interesting. Would our real life self change just because we have a different name on the Net? mmm… I’ve been thinking about this for some time now, yet is still reluctant to reveal my real life ID. For reasons of privacy and security yes, and also for the different perception people might have, especially if there’s a major gap between an alias and the real name. :)

  11. I find using my own name simpler, too. It’s great that you now have the confidence to do so. It does mean that I am circumspect in writing about my family, but I would do that anyway (as you do) to protect their privacy.

  12. zhiv

    Fascinating. As you know I’m pretty attached to Dorothy. But I have a few reactions. First of all, bravo for taking the leap, of any kind. Go for it. Secondly, I’ve been considering and putting off making some basic tech upgrades myself. And just reading this got me to go over to your twitter and goodreads spots. So that’s some progress. You’re causing me to go beyond the thought and maybe even do something… which isn’t the strong suit over at zhiv, but you never know. Good for you.

  13. It never crossed my mind that you were using an alias. Perhaps that’s because I have always used my real name…

    OK, maybe I have an alias too. When I first started blogging more than 7 years ago, an expert explained that was “the way”. Now that I’ve been using the alias for so long, I think mine may have to stay.

  14. I believe the alias means much more for the writer than for the reader, I do understand the easing of fear point… but to most of your readers you will be a virtual friend, but still a stranger.

    PS: just read your review of Bakewell on Montaigne (as Rebecca) in THE QUARTERLY CONVERSATION
    :)

  15. I understand. It was a consideration for me when I started blogging again a few months ago. Now, I have people in comments call me Anne, Cam and Anne Camille. Confusing? Not really. I think each of my (many) siblings calls me a different variation of my name, so it isn’t that different. But I have been selective about reveling my full name on my blog. Just recently, someone, who is in the same Facebook group as I (a very large group), sent me a friend request. The message? “I like your earrings. You look smart and confident. Is that good enough?” Well, actually, no! It was kinda creepy. And I immediately thought, “Oh boy! this weirdo knows my full name!” And, for people who may read this who, (unlike Dorothy/Rebecca) don’t know my last name, let me say that it is very unusual and I don’t know anyone in the US with the same surname that is not a sibling or a 1st cousin. All w the same name in other countries are 2nd & 3rd cousins.

    I think I’ve thought of you as Rebecca since I first learned your name several years ago. (Have we really been blogging that long?) Same with Hobgoblin. The only thing that continues to confound me — in fact, I can’t really believe it *ISN’T* his real name — is that Muttboy has another name! I’m not even sure how you’ve referred to him recently, but I’ve always loved that your dog had a pseudonym though his given name is way cool too!

  16. Simple is good! Nice to “meet” you Rebecca!

  17. Johnny!!! Welcome to the blog. Please stop by often :)

    Emily — yes, hopefully my life will be easier as will those who come across my blog and try to figure everything out! It’s been fun being Dorothy, but it just doesn’t make sense anymore.

    Litlove — it will take some getting used to, I think. I’m kind of fond of Dorothy (such an old-fashioned name!), and I’ll miss her. But she no longer makes sense to have around, so it’s time to send her on her way.

    Readingwithtea — I think I’ll end up being “ofbooksandbikes” on quite a few blogs, but we’ll see. I haven’t had a chance to comment much, and I don’t know how it will work. That won’t be so bad — people will know who I am! There really is nothing wrong with just using my first name.

    Jenclair — thanks! Some people knew that Dorothy wasn’t my real name, and others didn’t, and that doesn’t seem quite right, so it really does make sense just to come clean!

    Danielle — yes, you do understand! It will be a relief, although it will also be strange. But that’s okay; I’ll get over it soon enough. And I’m sure you’ll be used to your “new” name very quickly as well!

    Emily B. — yes, there are sometimes very good reasons to keep things secret! When I started blogging I knew I wouldn’t be a minister’s wife (or it was highly unlikely!), but I didn’t know what other situations might come up that required discretion. But I think I’ve been blogging long enough to know now …

    Stefanie — that’s just fine. And if people slip and continue to call me Dorothy, I won’t mind in the least!

    Arti — I think your reasons for keeping your pseudonym make perfect sense, and if I felt that Dorothy was significantly different than Rebecca, I might keep the name. But my real life and my blogging life have been melding for quite a while now, and there’s not a whole lot that separates the two, for me.

    Lilian — yes, it does require more caution, although I’m not inclined to write much about my personal life, although my latest post is somewhat revealing! It figures that right after I get rid of my pseudonym, I’m inspired to write a post on my childhood.

    Zhiv — you are awesome. End of story.

    Bikkuri — I wonder whether pseudonyms were much more common back when we first began blogging? I’m not sure, but it would be interesting to know!

    Sigrun — thanks for reading it :) Those Quarterly Conversation reviews are another reason to drop the pseudonym. It just doesn’t make sense anymore! Thanks for the encouragement.

    AnneCamille — I think Muttboy should stay Muttboy! and Hobgoblin will keep his blog name as well. No need to drag them into my self-revelations :) All this name stuff is very strange, and Facebook is a huge part of that. The Facebook privacy issues are scary, largely because they are so difficult to keep on top of. You are right about going by many names in person; I’ve been Becky in the past and am still Becky to my family, and occasionally also to the rude people who just call me Becky without asking!

    Marg — thanks, and nice to “meet” you too!

  18. I can’t imagine anybody calling you “Becky”. Of course, a few years ago, a new employee accidentally called me “Annie” during a meeting. About 5 co-workers burst out laughing and made unsolicited comments like “she’s is DEFINITELY not an ‘Annie’”. While there have only been maybe 10 people over the course of my life who got away with calling me that, I was a bit uncomfortable at how everyone in the room agreed that name didn’t fit me.
    Which I guess I’m doing to you right now. Funny how some names just don’t fit people but I’ve never been able to articulate why a name does or doesn’t ‘fit’.

    I may call you “Dorothy”, but I’ll never call you “Becky”. Promise.

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