Tuesday, January 30

What's in a name?

When I was growing up I went through a phase when I had loads of pen-pals, mainly from Sweden but for a while I even exchanged letters with a boy in Tanzania, although that came to an abrupt halt when he suddenly proposed, and we all realised that he was more man than boy (and rather confused about my age - I was only 11).

Blogging is kind of like a modern-day alternative to pen-palling, but with the additional opportunity of being completely anonymous should you so wish. The option of keeping your identity secret can be incredibly liberating and no doubt contributes to keeping the creative juices flowing. But herein lies the crux of the matter. It's probably safe to say that most bloggers very quickly become addicted to feedback from others. It's absolutely wonderful to know that someone, somewhere has read my nonsense. But how to get noticed (and comments) if you want to remain anonymous? Because, unless you are a marketing wiz, in the early days of blogging most comments will most likely be from friends and family. And how do you remain motivated if no one sees you? The answer, I think, lies in another question (well strictly speaking two). Why are you blogging, and for whom?

Initially I wanted to tell everyone I know about this blog, but I quickly realised the knowledge that friends and family could be reading my ramblings would be completely counterproductive and inhibiting. After all I started this blog in an attempt to rediscover the joy I once had of writing, not as a means to stay in touch with faraway loved ones. And despite having enjoyed my five minutes of fame tremendously (when I received more than 10 comments for one particular post, thank you, thank you) I can still say with some degree of confidence that I blog for me; I write and post daily in order to try and be more creative and to try and create some structure in my life.

But of course I am well and truly hooked on exploring an ever-expanding community of like-minded bloggers. I particularly enjoy reading the profiles of my favourite fellow bloggers, and since many share my desire for anonymity I always wonder what prompts someone to choose a particular nom de plume.

So, what's with the Waspgoddess? Without giving too much away I can tell that no, I’m not a white Anglo Saxon protestant (WASP), nor am I suffering from delusions of grandeur, believing that I am a goddess. Instead my parents chose to bestow upon me an ancient Nordic first name, meaning goddess or goddess-like, so they are really to blame for any divine aspirations I may occasionally have. And when I worked with a woman of Polish heritage in British Columbia about ten years ago, I found out that my name means wasp in Polish. I quite liked the dichotomy of the two and so Waspgoddess became my pseudonym, my alter ego, to use whenever I have a desire to shield my true identity.

Photo by Ron.


NuttersNotes said...

Doing it for YOU....it's the only reason that you need should any counterproductive "friends" ever give you any criticism! Keep on writing/blogging/living....and, happying up!!! of course.

Day 2 is posted

La Cubana Gringa said...

I'm with you on the creativity that anonymous posting allows you...but don't think you're safe from being proposed to by a Tanzanian man again! It could still happen! :)

GeL(Emerald Eyes) said...

Hi Waspgoddess,
I'm here initially because I saw your comment on Dreamer Girl's (Sophie's) blog about smiling and carrot cake recipies. I love carrot cake and just joined Sunday Scribblings a couple of days ago, so here I landed.

Terrific post- writing/posting for yourself is the number one reason to me as well. Many have asked why I don't post my photo, even though they feel they are being confidential. Well, uh...it isn't anonymous with my photo: duh! LOL

I enjoyed that your post is also informative by debugging (I'm a terrible punster, but I do so kind) what many might think with the acronym "WASP".

I read your profile before commenting here. It's always my style to do so. Ironically, I just saw Transamerica w/ my daughter. We know someone whose relative has a minor role in the film and lent us the DVD. Cool movie even if that weren't the case.
Many of the movies you've seen, I've only read as books. Too Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time fave books.

Waspgoddess said...

nutter: thanks for your wise words and also for prompting the happying up! it's made me so much more aware.

gringa: hahaha... i guess you never know, eh, but i write so much about my man that i doubt it. hope your exam went well :)

gel: thanks for finding me, love your blog -- it's beautiful.

Hope to see you all soon.

Sophie said...

The reason I blog is the freedom of writing I experience through it, which I don't have so much in my job as a freelance writer.

I like the comments also, but more because I like meeting new people, people with different opinions maybe, with different backgrounds and from different cultures :)


little miss said...

I readily admit, WG, that I immediately looked up wasp in Polish. I like it. Pretty name.

I am also INCREDIBLY impressed that you blog every day! I could never have that discipline! Though there are days when I simply HAVE to blog and can't get anything done unless I do, there are also days where it is the last thing I want to do and it is a struggle. So good on you!

Waspgoddess said...

Sophie: you are so right when you say that meeting new people from different backgrounds with different viewpoints add something very special to the blogging experience, and I suppose that's the main reason why the comments become so important.

little miss: good to see you again. I really want writing to be part of my everyday life again, and I like having something that is certain; plus it's a great "journey", I never know where my rambling thoughts will take me :)

[a} said...

Hi! Saw your comment at Sophie's, decided to pop in.

I'm with you on anonymity. Initially I let my family and friends read my blog, but then I realized I was "cramped" creatively. So I moved my blogspot addy :)

Your wasp-goddess name is awesome! Thanks for telling the story behind it, I was wondering!