Friday, December 16, 2011


As promised, here is my announcement:

Something really exciting happened today! My first big step forward, in the pursuit of becoming a freelance writer, came to fruition. I have Mel at Stirrup Queens to thank for it. She gave me the opportunity to write a post for BlogHer and it was published today. I am so thrilled about this! Here is the link to the piece, in its official state. I also copied it below.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read it!
Hiding in Plain Sight:
Writing a Blog Anonymously

In case you haven't figured it out, Her Royal Fabulousness is not the name on my birth certificate. Confession: I am still living in the blogging closet. Although I desperately want to come out of the shadows, I am still grappling with the idea of blogging publicly, under my real name. As a member of the blogging community (specifically infertility blogging), I see my fellow bloggers split into three camps. There are those who are completely open about their identities, those who blog with real first names but no other identifiable information, and those who use assumed identities, like mine. We all have reasons for choosing our preferred level of privacy, but my decision has left me unsettled.

When I initially started my blog, it was invite only, and non Google-able. I felt very private about my writing, and needed my blog to only be read by the eyes of those who love and support me. Then, after a little time finding my writing feet, my confidence grew. I began to feel a connection to other women blogging about infertility and loss, and decided to take a risk. Soon, I switched it to a public URL, but did not make it Internet searchable. Now, with some encouragement (positive feedback on posts does a lot for your ego) and growing relationships with my online friends, I decided to make it searchable. However, my blog still has no identifiable information. I write under an alias, have a separate email address for most blog-related correspondence, and use a shadowed picture of myself. Even as I created my BlogHer account, feeling so proud of myself to have my first freelance writing gig, I sat and stared at the profile page, trying to decide whether to use my real name or not. Why shouldn't I be forthright and take full credit for my own writing? Why shouldn't I promote myself personally and professionally?

The reason is very simple: I blog about a topic that makes people uncomfortable. When the subject of infertility is raised, people who have never experienced infertility don't know what to say, because it is a topic that traditionally is only spoken about while wearing a white paper gown, feet in stirrups. So, once people know that someone close to them is infertile, what ensues is an awkward, and sometimes hurtful, conversation. For me, it feels easier to avoid the issue than deal with the “what ifs.”

What if more people in their day-to-day lives knew about the nitty gritty details of my treatment? Would I be subjected to uncomfortable silences or uncomfortable glances? Would inappropriate comments be made? Would it threaten my credibility at work? These questions are the ones swirling around my head as I frantically make sure I am signed into the right Google account before posting. I can only imagine those who blog about cancer, mental illness, AIDS, and other personal health issues also grapple with these feelings.

Ironically, my husband and I have been relatively open with those close to us about our struggles with PCOS, miscarriage, infertility, and our upcoming IVF treatment. Our immediate family, close friends, and even our bosses know. However, when I think about my extended family, colleagues, and any random stranger knowing the status of my ovaries, I feel uneasy. It doesn't seem logical to have these fears. I didn't cause my medical issues, I know that I am one of many women dealing with something similar, and being confident and outspoken are two of the qualities I like most about myself. So, why is it so hard to see my condition as a badge of honor, instead of something to keep concealed?

Interestingly, His Royal Fabulousness started a craft beer blog the other night. In addition to feeling really proud of him, I also began to turn green with jealousy. For him, it was as simple as putting the template together, writing his introductory post, and putting a link to it on Facebook for all to see. Of course he did, because it is easy to be public with his blog. The subject is so innocuous. There are lots of other beer geeks out there who want to read about porters, IPAs, and rare stouts that only a handful of people have tasted. He has no reason to worry about what his friends, family, and co-workers might think when they find out he is a craft beer fanatic. There is no perceived shame in it.

But blogging about infertility? That’s a whole other bowl of wax. I desperately want to get to a place where I can put my picture and name on my blog. I want to pursue writing about infertility on a professional level. I want to take credit for my work. I'm just not there yet.

But, I will be.

I will be offline for the next week, while on vacation. I can't wait to catch up with everyone when I return.


  1. Congratulations on your first publication! It's a fantastic article and well-deserved. Now go enjoy Aruba!

  2. Great article! Congrats on your first writing gig!

  3. That's awesome - congrats!! I agree completely with everything you said... and have been struggling with the same questions. Not sure how we get to that point. Close family and like you said, even our bosses know but not sure how it will affect our every day lives it "everyone" knew. Maybe it would be a burden lifted and we would get more support that we thought we would... Hoping we reach that point soon.

  4. Well, you will be more comfortable in time. I was pretty annonymous for a while too, then as time wore on I got tired of being secretive. Especially when it is such a bog part of my life and people always want to know what is going on with you.

    I talk about it to my close friends and family and use my first name a lot, but not my last.

    Do what feels right. You will evolve as most of us do.


  5. Congratulations. Your post is wonderful. I am anonymous on my blog but like you, am very open with close friends (and my boss knows). I have contemplated posting my blog to the world and coming out, but am not strong enough. I do know that I will be very open about infertility after I'm a mom. Strange, eh?!

  6. Congratulations! That's so great! And what a fantastic post. Yay!

  7. Congrats on the great article! I keep my blog anonymous but generally don't feel ashamed to tell people, in person, that we are struggling - I feel that more of the general population should be made aware of what we infertiles go through! There is certainly not enough awareness out there, as far as I'm concerned. However, I have not come out about it on FB, I'm not brave enough for that and my hub would freak if I did!

  8. Happy IComLeavWe!

    Stopping by to say hi and congrats on the having your article published!

    I'm one of the people who openly posts under my real name. We are open about our MFI and I know we make some people uncomfortable but this is what I needed. My family and friends know I blog but generally, if they usually read blogs they check in while others don't bother. I don't share it with people on facebook. I don't share my blog with my parents even though they know that I blog. They know that I sometimes blog about them and they know it could lead to uncomfortable moments so they don't ask and I don't tell them. They just know that its good for me and it helps me so they encourage it. But everyone finds their comfort zones in their own time. :)

  9. Congrats on being published! That is so awesome!

    I have remained anonymous on my blog. If you knew me IRL and stumbled across it you would be able to figure out pretty quickly it was me. But because we have kept our struggles fairly private I haven't wanted to be public about who I am on my blog. Whenever we finally have our family, we plan on being totally honest with the world about what it took us to get where we are.

    Also, have fun on vacation! We are cycling in January as well.

  10. Yay, congrats! That's so cool that you're on BlogHer! Love the post and relate to all of it.

    I cannot believe I'm just getting to commenting on this now--work has had me swamped.

  11. congratulations on being syndicated on BlogHer! Exciting! I think that it's easier to be public with a non-personal blog. I rarely blog about infertility and most of my writing is "fluff", but I'm still not 100% comfortable with people in the Real World reading my blog. LIke you, I hope to get there someday.

  12. Great post, I really enjoyed reading. I'm definitely not public because I don't want to include others in my story yet. I have told a few friends and have been disappointed by their reactions. I debate telling others all the time, but I am a blogger who keeps her identity somewhat secret. No one IRL follows my blog. I'm happy to keep it this way so I can be more open about everything. Thanks for the post!

    Visiting from ICLW.

  13. very nice and great article! I'm very private about my if and my blog. It's just easier. In my experience no one wants to hear about my baby struggles and no one wants me to rain on their happy pregnancy parades. It sucks. Thank God for anonymous blogging or the isolation would consume me.

  14. congratulations, just here from the ICLW, stopping in to sa hello. for me i blog using an unidentifiable name, because truly, i am ashamed tht i am struggling with infertility, people who are not just dont understand wat its like , i rather not have a stigma attached to me by "normal" people

  15. Here from ICLW. It's difficult to decide what to do isn't it? I blog using my initials - which makes me pretty unidentifable. I decided to do that, because I wanted to be free to write what I needed to write - and it gave me that freedom!

  16. Here from ICLW. I love this post!! I've been open from the beginning, putting mine on NetworkedBlogs on Facebook and inviting my friends, but the biggest reason for that has been that one major reason I started it was to be a part of the solution to the silence surrounding IF. It's impressive that you have been able to expand your influence and reach when you didn't start out open!

  17. Great post! If you googled enough you could easily figure out who I am on my blog but because of my profession I use my blogging name.

    Wishing you the best and I hope you had a great vacation.

    Happy ICLW and Merry Chirstmas!

  18. Congrats on your post!
    I know what you mean about wishing you could be more public. I have my picture on my blog but don't use real names. I also keep my blog unsearchable. There are times I wish I could share the link on Facebook or similar, but honestly it is nice to have a relatively safe outlet where I don't have to filter myself extensively.
    I wish you well in whatever you ultimately choose. :)

  19. Thanks for sharing. I know how you feel... I blog secretly still, and I haven't even shared with my family and close friends. I guess that some of my rants have to do with my close-to-home experiences and I am not sure what kinds of reactions I would get if I were truly open and honest. I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet.

  20. ICLW 89. I blog under an assumed name because of my career, and I doubt that will ever change. We're open about our issues with people who know us, but I don't want a random potential employer knowing only that part of my personal life. Congratulations on your article being published!


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