HIDING BEHIND MYSELF – Marilyn Armstrong

#FOWC — Hidden Identity

When I first started blogging on WordPress more than six years ago, I was still very into the book I wrote, so I took as my online address part of the name of my book and I called myself “Teepee 12” because the book is called “The 12-foot Teepee.”

A couple of years down the road of blogging, after I’d broken through and had an audience and all that, one day I realized no one knew my name. Everyone called me “Teepee.” I had never intended to be anonymous. I’d been writing publicly since I was a very young woman, so my name was published in a lot of places. If I’d sought anonymity, I should have done it a lot sooner.

So way back then, I switched and started using my own name. Why? Because I got really tired of being called Teepee. The book became old news and I seriously wish I’d taken Serendipity as the address for this blog because it would have saved me from WordPress’s shenanigans when a couple of months ago they decided to not bother to protect site names anymore. I’ve had to dig myself out of that hole. If my address had matched my site name, it wouldn’t have been an issue, but they were different and Serendipity was no longer an option.

So I had a secret identity entirely accidentally. Which was silly because I was at that point still a published writer under my own name, so having a secret name as a blogger while publishing as myself in magazines seemed a bit peculiar.

Thus I became me. A lot of people decloaked and became themselves at that point. It turned out that being yourself made you no more of a target than not being yourself because any hacker who wants to really know who you are will find out quickly enough. I could do it, but I don’t want to bother.

Hacking is like, you know, WORK. And as Maynard G. Krebbs used to say: “Work is a 4-letter word.”

Amen, Maynard. Amen.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.

17 thoughts on “HIDING BEHIND MYSELF – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I still maintain my anonymity. However naive it is to hang onto that particular illusion. I’m published too (poetry)…but I’ve had a stalker in my past, and didn’t want to give that creature any possible crack in which to further invade my privacy. So far so good. And EmBeeCee? Is easy to figure out if one wants… or maybe not. Again, so far, so good.

    One question? You say that “If my address had matched my site name, it wouldn’t have been an issue, but they were different and Serendipity was no longer an option.” Um? My address (email) doesn’t match MY site name, and I don’t think they’ve messed with that…or perhaps they have. It’s unwieldy enough (site name) that maybe nobody else wants to fool with it. Lucky for me perhaps.

    And mea culpa. I know that early in our association here, I was one of those who referred to you as “teepee”. Um apologies. I just didn’t know any better. Thankfully I learned. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Serendipity is a single word and many people have used it and when they stopped protecting it, everyone else who ever even USED the word was on the search engine — except me. They essentially eliminated me from their search engine. No one could find me. I wasn’t the only one, either. Who got picked? I think it was their usual random stuff. Anyway, I didn’t want to be anonymous. I like publishing under my own name.


            1. Spring 2014. I was really very sick. Kind of close to dead. For all that, I never thought I was going to die. I was in very good hands, medically. Garry wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but I knew I would be okay, eventually.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I cling to the cloak of anonymity, but it’s only an illusion. Other bloggers have managed to not only find me online, but to come to my house. These days, it’s nearly impossible to hide from everyone, not that I’m particularly trying to hide. I’m just not confident enough as yet to use my real name on my blog, although there are now quite a few bloggers who are in the ever-growing club of not only knowing who I really am, but also where I live (and probably where I work). So be it. I also cling to the illusion that any follower is a plus, even though I try, really really hard, to ignore those stats. (PS – Loved your book. It’s in my collection of books signed by their authors, and I’ve read every one of them.)


    1. First, thank you. I really appreciate it.

      Second, I think people who can hack Equifax can probably find me. They can certainly find Garry. We’ve been public since we were married. Garry was pretty well known everywhere in New England and we bumped into fans in Ireland, Scotland, Baltimore, Disneyworld … in other words, everywhere. When you are public, you are public and changing your name on a blog is not going to make the world not know who you are.

      And more than that: I’m proud of being a writer. I never felt like hiding it. I never believed that I needed a fake name to say what I mean. I’ve never been very good at hiding anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So true. I did the same, hence “Covert Novelist” but the entire time I’ve written, I preferred people call me by my given name as what I write is honest true and on occasion personal. Oh who am I kidding, everything we write becomes personal for one reason or another or we wouldn’t write it, lol. I Love you, incognito disguised whoever you are…lol Marilyn Teepee. You’re awesome in my book and I’m happy and proud to have met you. So from one “incognito” to another, enjoy!


    1. Thank you. I never wanted to hide my writing. I just took that name like a handle on a ham radio. It wasn’t intended to disguise me. More to amuse me and to remind me I wrote a book with that name. When I realized everyone was calling me Teepee, I changed it. It took a while before everyone got it 😀


  4. I was randomly browsing the other day and actually came across another Serendipity blog. The guy had been writing for some time elsewhere but I don’t think he had been on WordPress for very long and I immediately thought “Is this the blogger that got Marilyn’s site name?”


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