WordPress asks “do you blog anonymously, or as yourself?”
The answer to this is quite simple. Up above on the Masthead, if that’s what it’s called, it says “Tinman’s Blog,” and since no-one would give their son the name Tinman as a forename (though thanks for the third name Maria, Mum) it’s reasonable to assume that I blog anonymously.
They then, rather more interestingly, ask why. And I’m not sure. I originally came to the world of blogging as a simple commenter on the daily phenomenon that was Twenty Major’s blog (I’d link to it, but it’s gone now). The routine rarely varied: he would post something each morning, usually scurrilously funny, sometimes scurrilously scurrilous, and would then vanish for the afternoon (we used to try and guess at what he did, I once suggested that he was a lollipop lady) while a 300-comment battle took place between his followers as we slagged each other, argued with each other and tried to outdo each other in witty repartee.
A cauldron such as this was no place to announce “My name is XXX, and I live in such-and-such a house” so, since the pacemaker was less than a month old at that stage and the wounds, in so many senses of this phrase, were still raw I took the Tinman18 name. Over time I have dropped the surname part, rather like Purdey or Madonna, and am now simply Tinman.
When my blog started I was essentially a Twenty Major Lite, writing scathing and often shamefully personal insults about the then government. Over time I have gone in my own direction, and while there are certain ex-leaders of our country who I would still openly refer to as crooks I have settled on a more gentle type of blog. There should be no reason therefore why I should not now write under my real name. I know one girl who has done it, a blogger formerly known as Maebh now writes as Megan McGurk, so why shouldn’t I?
Well, two reasons. While I do have a small number of friends, both in my hometown and at work, who are aware of the depression and other problems that I suffer from I would not be thrilled if the whole office knew about it, nor my entire local pub.
The other reason is more simple. I like Tinman. I like his persona, which is half-storyteller, half-wit. I would hate to see him leave my life.
I know he’s me, but a me with a lot of the flaws hidden.
He’s a me that I really like.