Thursday, 18 February 2010

It's Been a Year....

When I started my blog a year ago I had a difficult decision to make: To be anonymous or to write under my own name.

Being anonymous you could write everything in your mind, perhaps helping those in similar situations, without ever offending anyone. You could write about your innermost thoughts, without becoming a figure of ridicule, or pity.

As a writer trying to break into the industry, you could use a blog to invent a whole new back story of your own life, and then carry it on, in the vein of Bridget Jones' Diary. Or you could write your own controversial story, like the Diary of a Call Girl. Sadly, my professional life hasn't been spent in that area. Anyway I felt both of these genres have been done to death. And if you were very successful at some point you'd have to 'come out'. Keeping a secret in the public eye is a notoriously difficult thing to manage.

On the other hand who cares? If all you want is fame and fortune what does it matter how it happens? Discuss.

To be honest, a year ago, I didn't really think too deeply about the matter. I just wanted to write a blog because I actually like writing under no pressure. I wanted to write about what it's like to come and live in the UK from a country no-one has heard of, or at least hadn't when I moved here. I didn't consider writing a Bridget Jones' type story at all. I didn't think I'd write anything 'creative' on this blog. If anything, I thought I'd join the blogosphere to learn more about writing, the publishing industry and agents. I didn't expect I'd make so many friends online, nor that I would start writing the story of my life here. As you may imagine, writing about matters so close to my heart hasn't always been easy. However, I know I've been as truthful as you can be after 25 odd years, and I know I've been honest to myself.

Of course there have been times when I've regretted the decision to write under my own name. There were times I would've given my right arm to write candidly about someone close to me, or about a problem which will remain nameless but which has plagued me for six months now. Or just write a humorous piece about people I know or work with, without repercussions. There were times when I did write something untoward and paid dearly for it. Sometimes I've even considered starting a separate blog just to vent my anger, frustration or delight without limits. Perhaps one day I will, or have already done so. The beauty (or the ugliness) of the online world is no-one knows.

But a year on, I'm glad I'm here, under my own steam as it were. I'm glad I have readers who enjoy my story. New friends who drop in and make cooing noises when I'm miserable, laugh when I'm trying to be funny, sigh when I'm happy. Even tell me if my haircut is OK or not.

So here's a big thank you to you all. Couldn't do it without you.

11 comments:

Rose said...

congratulations on your first year- I have read your blogs and always mean to comment- I really enjoy your writing and will be back for more in year 2

Susan Erickson said...

I know what you mean about not being able to be completely candid because you never know who is reading. I admire those writers that don't seem to mind. The backlash effect is not kind. Writing a blog for a year is an accomplishment. Congrats!

mettebassett said...

Happy 1 year blog Birthday! I'm looking forward to the second :-)

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Happy Blogging Birthday xx

Wildernesschic said...

Happy Birthday "Helena Halme" as you know I am a bug fan x
One day we will get our lunch

That's Not My Age said...

Your haircut is OK - happy blogday!

Christina Lindsay said...

Happy Birthday to your blog. I've really enjoyed reading 'How I came to be in England'. I'm on part 18. I must finish reading. Anyway hope you're very well. Love Christina xx

Margit said...

Happy anniversary, Helena!I agree, sometimes it would be tempting to have an anonymous blog where you could vent all you innermost thoughts, or say something really outrageous. Ultimately, however, it's just like real life where we also sometimes wish we could be a different person... but you are what you are - and that is a good thing!

Helena Halme said...

Thnak you for your good wishes. It seems strange that a year has passed, but then time flies when you're having fun!

Helena xx

The Divorcee said...

I understand completely the dilemma. I understand the need to write responsibly, as despite my writing anonymously I have an inkling it wouldn't take much of a stretch for those who know me to put 2 and 2 together. I have people lurking in my past who have delighted in creating problems when there should have been none, so am always mindful even when I don't feel that way inclined.

In the end, I think that being as honest as your writing comes across as, speaks for itself- you have established such a lovely voice and I always look forward to your posts.

Happy Birthday HH, with love xx

Make Do Style said...

congratulations on the first year and I always think it is fine to be open and honest. Much better in fact xx