Round Two

Last week was hard. Things don’t seem to be getting any better. In fact, it seems like I’m in the opening minutes of Round Two and I’m not sure I have it in me to fight back.

I went off my meds cold turkey last Monday. I spent all last week famished. I didn’t think I ate so much more than usual but I promptly gained three pounds. I was hoping that when I went off my meds, and officially started TTC, I’d go back on a loose version of my past TCM diet, cutting out processed grains and trying to eat more fruits and veggies. Oh, and I was not going to drink even one diet soda. I’ve failed on both counts, miserably on the latter. I know that women do worse than drink a few Diet Cokes when they are trying, so why do I berate myself so much for this shit?

Luckily the uncontrollable appetite has died down and now I feel almost like I did before, hungry for meals and not so focused on food between them. I’m still eating more than I would on my meds but I don’t feel out of control, so I’ll take it.

One thing that has been hard is the exhaustion. I knew my meds made me feel alert and focused but I didn’t realize that off them I’d feel like I’d been hit by a mack truck. There has been a lot of face slapping on the drive home and frequent attempts to get in bed earlier each night. Slowly but surely I feel less tired and more ready to face each day, with or without a Diet Coke in hand.

I have to admit, I think a lot about TTC. I’m temping so of course I know when I’ll likely ovulate and when we should have sex. I realized last weekend that I never got Pre-seed and immediately ordered some online. Today I realized we should have sex tonight or tomorrow and that the Pre-seed wouldn’t arrive at my parents’ house in time (I have to send everything there lest it get taken back to the post office for me to pick up). So I checked on their site to see where I could buy it and wouldn’t you know, that shit is sold at Walgreens and CVS now! When I was last trying, 4ish years ago there were only two random pharmacies in all of SF that sold it and now you can get it anywhere.

Anyway, after having to ask two older gentlemen where to find it, and then quickly covering it with a box of M&Ms when I passed not one, not two, not three, but FOUR students (two current and two alumni) on my way to check out, I left with the fertile friendly lube in hand. Pulling up to my parents’ house after tutoring later that day, the first thing I noticed was the Amazon box. My pre-seed had arrived a day early, making my CVS trip totally unnecessary. Touche two-day prime shipping. Touche.

Of course Mi.Vida and I got into a tiff tonight about how both of us feels we sacrifice more than the other in this gig called parenting. It was a long and difficult conversation, one that deserves its own post, but needless to say, both boxes of Pre-seed will be factory sealed tomorrow morning.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned here but things are pretty bad at work. Last week I was told I will be moving rooms (I have over 25 things on my walls alone) and then asked to consider if I would teach a 5th grade, double-period English core next year when I return full time. I don’t want to go into the details of why teaching this class would torture my soul but I will assure you that it would be bad. So bad, in fact, that I realized if I have to teach it next year I will be incredibly miserable at my job. Like crying myself to sleep each night miserable. I sobbed most of yesterday about it. I’m lobbying for another class and may or may not be successful but I’ll definitely have at least one period that I really don’t like and have never taught before, which will require an incredible amount of prep work on my part. This is along with the FOUR OTHER DIFFERENT CLASSES I will already be teaching. So yeah, next year is going to SUCK ASS. Big time.

The only light at the end of the tunnel right now is getting pregnant relatively quickly and spending a good portion of next spring NOT at work. Of course that puts more pressure on me to get pregnant quickly which I absolutely DO NOT NEED right now. So yeah. Work not helping my state of mind, or my attempts to be super nonchalant about TTC.

I spent much of yesterday scouring on-line teaching boards, trying to find a promising prospect. Nothing doing. Man, it is cut throat out there, let me tell you. At one point I was actually considering going back to get my Ph.D., that is how desperate I was feeling. There is NO WAY I’m going back to graduate school in this lifetime so I’m going to have to keep hoping for a K-12 or community college opening that I’m qualified for. For now it doesn’t look good.

Of course this morning a position I qualify literally landed in my reader. So I spent much of today typing an outline of a letter of rec for my vice-principal to write for me and trying to get a hold of my graduate professor (the one I SWORE I’d never speak to again) to see if she’ll write me one too (or just sign one that I write for her). I also dropped $40 on official transcripts from my grad school. Man, what a racket.

Of course I’ll apply and put my best foot forward doing so but I don’t have a lot of hope. I’ve applied to four similar positions and never even got confirmation that they received my application. I doubt I’ll get anything from them either.

The final pin ball rattling around in my head is about some creative writing classes I want to take this summer at my lovely alma mater, UC Berkeley. There are two I’m interested in, one on writing children’s picture books (5 Mondays) and one on developing the idea for a Young Adult (YA) novel (8 Tuesdays). Together they cost a considerable amount of money and require me being away from home two nights in a row for five weeks. The reasons to take them both are I’m not really sure what direction I want to go with my writing right now, and while I have ideas for both, I need direction to develop either of them. Also, it will be summer and I’ll have some time to dedicate to both projects, which I would love to do. I feel both classes would get me to a good jumping off point for the rest of the year. Also, and of course this is uncertain, I might be either very pregnant or having a baby next summer, in which case I couldn’t take either class. I also know that taking them while working just won’t be an option of me. So yeah, I’m toying with that idea. Of course the idea of being with Isa for two nights in a row is what started our little tiff today about carving out equal time for ourselves. I guess I really do want to much. I always guessed that was the case but now I’m sure.

I’m sorry for that incredibly long and sordid vent. I really needed to get that all out. I hope you’re all doing better than I am right now, and if things are shitty I send my love. Shittyness sucks, as you well know.

Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesday: The Mediocre Return

I have this thing I like to do. It involved me looking back through my old posts from the same date or month either a year or two ago. I was doing that the other day and came across this post. I have to admit, it made me feel pretty good, not just because I was speaking positively about myself, but because it reminded me that last time Mi.Vida was out of town for SXSW, it was a total cluster fuck, and in comparison this week with him away was truly a walk in the park (nothing like a little perspective to cheer a girl up, huh).

So anyway, after yesterday’s self flagellation, I thought I’d bring back my favorite Paint-By-Weekday theme and talk some shit sparkly-sticker-sayings about myself. Because even when things aren’t all unicorn farts and fairy queefs, I do manage to pull a few things off. So here we go, in no particular order, some stuff I’ve done recently that doesn’t suck kicks ass!

– I made it 5 days solo parenting. During that time the house didn’t burn down, the back down was locked most of the time (I think), the cat got fed twice a day (not that she’d let me forget that) and her box was even cleared of fecal matter and urine clumps a couple of times. Plus, I only ate popcorn for dinner once. And even though my daughter started dropping f-bombs all over the place, she also, eventually, stopped. FUCK YEAH!

– Speaking of shit my daughter can say, she has about 25+ Spanish words now and understands everything I say to her in Spanish. Her favorite Spanish word (actually, her favorite word period) is “más” (more). Oh and she also says “pease” when she asks for things, which is both polite and ridonkulously cute.

– While the house may not be clean (per se) it also wouldn’t qualify me for an appearance on Hoarders so that is something.

– I survived a week without my bestie being in the country (while my man was simultaneously out of town) and I only spent a good portion some of that time rambling incoherently to myself.

– I met up with a mom who also aspires to be a writer/illustrator. We managed what resembled an adult conversation while our kids played and we’re planning on meeting again. I also didn’t let myself feel too jealous that she has three days a week, while her kid is in childcare, to devote to writing/illustrating.

– I finally watched Before Sunrise, though I must admit I think I was ten years too late on that one. I just didn’t like it that much. (Did anyone else realize it’s just two people walking around Vienna talking?)

– I took Isa to a high school friend’s daughter’s first birthday, where all my old high school friends/acquaintances said I look FABULOUS (their capital letters, not mine). That felt pretty fucking good.

– I started putting Isa in her crib for a minute when she purposefully hits/scratches me and have been consistent about enforcing that consequence. I also bit my tongue when my ILs said they wouldn’t be doing that at their house because they didn’t think it was appropriate.

– I got my feature piece to the magazine on time. I also think it’s pretty good (I intend to post it here later this week). Oh and my editor already read it and think it’s AWESOME (my capital letters, not hers).

– I’ve been straight ROCKING the March Photo Challenge and enjoying it immensely. I plan on creating my own self-imposed photo challenge next month just to keep putting up a picture every day because I absolutely adore it

– I may have finally thought of an idea for a young adult novel. It’s still in the very early stages of idea-dom but I really like it so far. I have no idea if I could pull something like this off but if I could do it, and do it well, it would be aMAZing.

– I finally got around to doing the dishes today. Sure the dishwasher is actually doing the bulk of the dishes but I put them in the dishwasher. It couldn’t do them without my help. So yeah. I did some dishes/facilitated the dishes being done.

– What else… oh, in the second paragraph of this post I spelled “flagellation” well enough for the spell check to know what I was intending to say. (Though spell check deserves more credit for that one than I do, still I’ll take what I can get.)

– Oh, and my daughter says, “Love loo Mami” (alternatively “Love woo Mami”) to me now, which isn’t something for me to be proud of but does makes me melt into a puddle of goo every time she does it. Truly, it’s indescribably wonderful. (And actually, the first time she said it I burst into deep, wracking sobs–while buckling Isa into her car seat. Poor thing was terrified.)

You know what, writing this post actually did make me feel better about myself. Huh, who woulda thunk?

What are you tootin’ your own horn about today?

Prioritizing one’s passions

This is the stack of books sitting by my bed. Actually, some are nestled safely in my night stand, while others feel my foot falls every morning as I lumber into the waiting dark. I’m currently immersed in all of them, in some way or another. Obviously I don’t read them all every day. Sometimes I don’t read one for weeks, or months, but they all house a place keeper and I return to each of them regularly.

This stack really epitomizes my life right now. I feel pulled in a hundred directions; I’m always thinking of a million different things. I have about two hours of time to use as I see fit every day and literally dozens of things to do. Some I need to do, some I want to do, some can be avoided, others are absolute necessities. At the end of the day, when I have that one precious hour to dedicate to myself, how should I spend it?

Do immerse myself in Spanish, strengthening my skills so I can more effectively pass the language on to my daughter? Do I fine-tune my copyediting abilities so I can better contribute at the magazine where I volunteer? Do I read about how to write a better children’s book or work on the book I have in my head? Do I indulge my OCD driven, anxiety riddled pre-TTC self, creating a plan to follow before we try again, granting myself some semblance of control when I know I have none? Do I learn how to better nurture my relationship, or just spend some one-one-one time with my attention starved partner? Do I fill my mom-toolbox with strategies for dealing with my increasingly defiant daughter-turned-tantrum-prone toddler? Or do I just enjoy the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy (I’m reading it in Spanish) so that when that one 7th grader in my class asks me, for the umteenth time, if I’ve gotten to “the part with Prim,” I can finally say YES! YES I HAVE! AND IT WAS AWESOME! Or do I write a blog post? Or do I simply veg out in front of the TV?

I have so little time and so many things I want to do with it. I’m starting to wonder if doing everything a little bit is better than abandoning some projects for the time being and returning to them later, when I can afford them the proper attention. Can I really pay adequate attention to this space and work on my book? Can I make teaching Isa Spanish a priority and put in the hours strengthening my relationship? If it’s not possible to do both, how do I decide between them?

Obviously some passions trump others. My partner should always come first, and I have recently been reminded of this in the saddest of ways. But the idea of being forced to abandon my goal of raising Isa to be bilingual, or being truly bilingual myself, devastates me. Just as the idea of leaving this space uninhabited, even if only for a few weeks, carves a great hole in my chest.

This past week, working on my book, has been wonderful. I finally figured out a way to make it work. And while a critique today took some of the wind out of my sails, it also grounded me in ways that I appreciate.

Last week, when I said my farewells and started publishing old posts, I was hoping to have one page ready to share at the end of the month. Now I already have that and I have every intention of completely at two more. Last month I never would have thought that possible, but now I’m sure it is. And that feels amazing.

At the same time, finishing that one page required an immense amount of work. I’ve been glued to my computer for the past week, barely looking up to make eye contact with my partner, let alone giving him the attention deserves, the attention I want to give him. I know he supports this project, just as I have supported many of his in our years together, but it’s still hard.

So what is a girl to do, when she’s lucky enough to have so many passions in her life? How does she prioritize when they all feel so pertinent? Truly, if you have any suggestions, I’d love to know.

Begging for help

I’m deeply enmeshed in Isa’s six month to one year photo book. I always planned to work on is this week. What I didn’t plan was Shutterfly’s big sale, which ends Wednesday. So I need to finish our book, the abbreviated family version (of which multiple copies will be made) and the calendar by Wednesday, preferably by Sunday as the beginning of next week is kind of crazy.

Shutterfly has changed their photo book service. Now you have pretty much complete control over what you create. You can change layouts, adjust the sizes of the photo spaces, move them, delete them, add text, add stickers – it’s bascially super awesome. And super time intensive. It’s taking me ages to get through the book. Of course I’m uploading 200+ photos for every month, but still. It’s going to look sooooooooooo awesome when it’s done.

The calendar shouldn’t take too long but I know it will. I need to work, work, work until this is all done. For this reason I won’t be posting much on my blog for a couple of days, though there might be some fun pictures tomorrow.

In the meantime I need to beg for some help. Next month I’m writing my first piece for the mothers group publication that I’m copy editing for. It’s an 800 word reflection on a specific topic. The issue is about sex and my topic is sex after baby – most specifically the first time you have sex after birth. I offered to do it at my first ever magazine meeting. When they brought up the piece no one said a word. It was like crickets. I’ve always been so comfortable speaking about sex (I attribute that to my liberated college roommates and the feminine sexuality class they encouraged me to take in college) so I felt I’d be a good person to tackle the subject. Also, an 800 word reflection piece is a great way to show them what I can do (researched features still terrify me).

Of course now that I have a couple weeks to write the piece I’m totally flailing; I have NO IDEA what to write. So I’m asking all of you. When you were approaching the fateful first post-birth sexual encounter what did you want to know? If you haven’t experienced that yet, what do you think you’d want to know if you were in that position? Should I tackle the physical aspects or the emotional? Should I try to touch on both?  If you have any specific recommendations of what I should do please feel free to share them.

Really, any help you can give will be much appreciated.

I hope you’re all having a restful long weekend filled with tasty leftovers.

Not Measuring Up

Today I f-ed up really bad. Like spectacularly bad. Let me set the stage for you.

My sister comes at 6:45, just like we’d planned, to watch Isa until my in-laws come and get her. I leave for work at 7am, a little later than I wanted but I’ll still make it with plenty of time. There is no rain for the first day in almost a week and the freeways are surprisingly clear. I’m making great time and am listing all the things I’ll get done in the twenty minutes I have before class starts.

Then my phone ring. It’s the mom of the girl I drive to school some days. But why would she be calling me?

I think you can probably guess where this is going.

Cue expletives. Cue apologizing profusely. Cue exiting and heading back north.

We ended up meeting at an exit half way between her house and where I was when I’d gotten the call. Luckily we didn’t hit too much traffic until we were off the freeway and we (just barely) made it to our first classes on time.

The poor girl, who evidently has a lot of anxiety about arriving to school late, wouldn’t speak one word to me in the car. I apologized a dozen times but she never answered me. And fair enough.

I spent the entire car ride trying not to cry openly and stealthily wiping tears away from under my glasses.

Later, at school, the secretary called my room to ask if I’d remembered to bring snack for the staff room. I think you can guess where this is going. I’ll be bringing bagels and cream cheese to school on Monday to make amends.

Now I know that people make mistakes. I know people forget things. But you have to understand, I live my life enveloped in a thin fog of anxiety, constantly worried that I’m forgetting something very important and have no idea. When it actually happens, like today (or the time I realized my car insurance renewals weren’t sent to me and so I’d been driving without coverage for almost a month) my confidence in myself is absolutely shattered. It will takes months for me to build it up again. In the meantime I’ll be constantly semi-panicked that I’m unwittingly neglecting someone or something in my life, to the detriment of myself, my family or people I care about.

In the meantime I will be relying on my phone, and an extensive system of calendar notes and alarms, to ensure that I don’t forget to pick that poor girl up again.

Speaking of neglecting someone in my life, it seems I’m deeply entrenched in my tri-annual I’m-missing-out-on-my-daughter’s-childhood-freak-out. Last night at dinner, as my father-in-law related all the amazing things Isa is learning and how she’s fundamentally different each and every time she comes over, I suddenly realized that he probably knows her better than I do right now. He spends 25 of her waking hours a week with her while only spend 15 plus the 15 waking hours of the weekend (my daughter sleeps a lot, evidently).

And he’s right, she is changing so fast. By the time summer comes, and I get my two months with her, she’ll be a completely different person and I will have missed more than half of the second year of her life. It’s making me cry just to type that. I wish so badly I could be with her every day. My heart aches to leave her every morning. I thought working part time I’d get more time with her but she takes these insanely long naps in the afternoons and while that is helpful for me to get grading and chores around the house done, it’s not great for me seeing my daughter. Sometimes being a WOHM just guts me. This is one of those times.

The reality is, it’s my fault I can’t be with her. If I had taken better care of my money. If I had chosen a different career, maybe I could be home with her right now. But I didn’t and I can’t. There are so many aspects of myself that disappoint me right now. I’m unimpressed with how poorly I handled being a “single mom” for five short days. I’m crap at keeping our house in decent shape. I can’t/refuse to cook. I’m barely getting by as a teacher, creating lesson plans on the spot and taking weeks to grade papers. My relationships is flailing (though things on that front do, finally, look better). I struggle with juggling my family and job responsibilities. I feel like in every area of my life I’m falling short. I look around and see other people surviving, even thriving, in much more difficult situations and yet I can barely function in what is really not that difficult of a position. I’m completely forgetting about commitments I made to people for christ’s sake! Evidently I’m not even trustworthy anymore. Do you know how that makes me feel?

So yeah. I’m feeling pretty ashamed of myself today. Maybe it’s CD1 hormones ravaging my body and mind. Maybe it’s missing my man (god do I miss him). Maybe it’s mourning my friend’s father. Maybe it’s just general fatigue, wearing me down. Maybe it’s missing out on yoga all this week. Maybe it’s just that I’m not measuring up. I don’t know.

Before I go I wanted to thank everyone for their helpful advice on yesterday’s post. Hearing all your view points really helped me get a better sense of what I should do. Obviously today’s fiasco has shaken me and I’m not sure what my final decision will be. Right now I have a “phone interview” on Monday and then they’ll send me an article to copy edit. I’m going to see how I like doing that and if I feel good at it. Then I’ll have a long talk about all of this with Mi.Vida and we can decide what works best for us. Who knows, maybe the choice will be made for me when they don’t actually offer me the position. Until I know it’s actually my decision to make, I’m not going to stress too much about it.

Under Advisement

Golden Gate Mother’s Group is looking for a copy editor for their monthly magazine (the one I was featured in here). I requested more information on the position and am seriously considering it. The problem is I’m not sure it’s a good fit for my life right now. I’ve decided that a good old fashioned pros and cons list might do the trick. I’m also hoping my wise readers can offer me some advice.

I like to start with the cons, just like I always like to hear bad news first.

CONS

– A considerable time commitment (20-25 hours a month).

– The monthly meeting is on Monday (which is when Mi.Vida’s organization has their weekly meeting. I’m sure he’d be willing to make that work but it will require careful planning and possibly some stress).

– No financial reimbursement for considerable time commitment.

– I don’t love the publication (but I certainly don’t hate it – just a very neutral opinion of it).

– I have no experience being a copy editor and am not sure I’d be good at it.

– Would definitely take away from precious blogging/yoga/chores/Mi.Vida time, possibly a lot.

– Will require some very stress days/nights right before press time.

PROS

– An opportunity to try something new in the field of writing.

– Would build skills in the area of shortening articles (which I could then transfer to my posts, which tend to run, dare I say, a tad long).

– Gain experience in writing on a semi-professional publication.

– Get to see if I like copy editing.

– Would actually be praised for correcting other people’s grammar, instead of scoffed at (also get to brush up on my English grammar – which yes, I would actually enjoy – DORK ALERT!).

– Learn more about San Francisco and resources available to families/mothers. Maybe even start to feel truly at home here and invested in this city.

– Work collaboratively with other women who like to write (and actually live near me).

– Be a part of a community of women/mothers with similar interests.

– Might lead to opportunities to write for them (or others), eventually.

– Learn a new skill in an area I’m interested in.

Basically, I’m most worried about the time commitment. I would be so much more interested if I could share the position with someone, transforming it from 20-25 to 10-13 hours a month. I plan to bring that up during the phone “interview/chat” that comes next. I’m also leery of the stressful late nights that would happen before deadlines. My schedule is strung so tight, there is little room for anything to give. I worry last minutes deadlines would require sleepless nights, causing my teaching (and general mental/emotional health) to suffer greatly.

There are a various positives that really stand out for me. The idea of trying something new in the realm of writing is exciting; I think I’d relish the challenge of perfecting my grammar skills and learning to shave content off an article. I’m also drawn to the idea of collaborating with other women who are interested in writing and live in my city. For the first time I might find a community here where I belong and I might even cultivate some lasting friendships. I think it would be fun, but of course I don’t know that it would, as I have ZERO experience in editing others’ work.

So, dear readers, what do you think? Do I heal more obligation and stress on my already full plate for the chance to nurture my passion for writing and possibly create meaningful connections with others? What would you do if you were me?

Useful Tuesdays: Anonymity?

Blogging. It seems there are as many ways to configure your blog as there are blended coffee options at Starbucks. Some people put it all out there, giving their name and the names of all their family members. Some blog under a monicker but use their children’s real names. Others give everyone a nickname and stick with them. A few even keep their city or state safely hidden behind pseudonyms. Many bloggers post pictures of themselves and their families while some never show their true face.

I blog under an assumed name and I’ve given one to my partner. I use my daughter’s real name, I’m not sure why. At some point I wanted to change that but I already had “Isa” written in so many places in my blog it felt impossible to go back. I have divulged where I live and posted countless photos of myself and my little girl.

On my new blog I use my same assumed name (Esperanza). I thought of using my real name there but I linked to it many times from here so that felt counter productive. Still there is nothing on that blog I wouldn’t want associated with my IRL self. Anyone I know could read that blog if they wanted to.

I suppose that is why I keep this blog anonymous. Without my real name I can say whatever I want about anybody I want. And I have said things about colleagues at work that I wouldn’t want them to see. But really, that’s about it. My girlfriends do know about this blog and I’ve had to filter what I say about them accordingly (I learned this the hard way). Actually, I posted a link to my blog on Facebook during NIAW so I guess anybody could have clicked through and then scoured my backlogs for shit talking. The reality is I knew they wouldn’t. I didn’t even expect them to click to the miscarriage piece in the first place. That is why I put it out there, because I knew it would be ignored.

And I have no reason to assume it wouldn’t continue to be ignored. And yet I’m not sure if I’m ready to test fate (or my friends’ curiosity). Do I want people who google my name to find my blog? I don’t know. If I knew they could do that would I censor what I write? Probably, though I can’t point to any specific topic that I would handle differently.

I am not trying to remain completely anonymous. I’ve sent things through the post to myriad other bloggers and they’ve sent things to me. Most of my daily commenters know my name and some even have my address. I suppose my pseudonym is more to protect my blog from the people I already know and not to protect me from the unknown Interwebs. But maybe it should be about protecting myself, and my family, from the unknown dangers of the Internets. I’m certainly all sorts of naive about that.

None of this would really matter if I weren’t faced with two separate issues simultaneously. One has to do with BlogHer. Mel recently offered to syndicate one of my pieces. I dressed up my BlogHer account a bit and posted my piece, but for some reason, on BlogHer it felt strange to use my pseudonym. Don’t most bloggers there use their real names? Don’t most writers, in general, want their work associated with who they are?

At the same time my local mother’s group, Golden Gate Mothers Group (GGMG), which has thousands of members and puts out a bimonthly publication to its dues paying constituents, has asked me to be the subject of their inaugural interview column. They solicited me after putting out a call to all blogging GGMG members, requesting our URLs to compile a list of San Francisco Mom Blogs. I guess they liked Second Hand Happiness and wanted to interview me.

They would also like to use my real name in the interview (but are fine if I’d rather stay anonymous). As I said before, I have no real issue associating my name with my other blog except that I’ve linked from here to there so many times I’d basically be outing both places.

So now I’m not sure what to do. Using my real name in the GGMG article will out me on my other blog, at least to all the mothers who read that publication (which I believe only appears in print, not on the internet, so the “damage” would be contained). Of course if I used my real name on BlogHer I would be outed on this space anyway.

I’m not sure what to do. I feel ignorant of all the reasons I might want to keep my identity secret (at least to a google search) and I worry I’m being too presumptuous in assuming that my IRL peeps would ever take the time to read it. And if they did, would I really care? I’m a pretty open person, for better or worse, and I don’t really mind people knowing what goes on in my mind. But maybe I only say that because I know they don’t. Maybe if I knew anyone could find this place I wouldn’t feel nearly as comfortable here.

The reality is I have no idea what to do.

Do you write anonymously? Why or why not? Can writers branch out under assumed identities? Or does maintaining a moniker automatically prevent them from making a name for themselves? Should I use my real name at BlogHer or GGMG?