Why I’m Writing Under a Pseudonym

Even though I said I never would.

Meaghan Ward
Jul 24, 2019 · 3 min read

I have been writing on Medium for two years now, and this week I decided to create a new account to start writing with because of some things that have gotten in the way of me being my authentic self.

I hate that it has come to this.

On my other profile, I once wrote a passionate essay about why I DON’T use a fake name on Medium, specifically because I want to get all the credit if my writing does well — I don’t want to not be in the spotlight if that is what it comes to, and of course that’s what we all want it to come to.

But last week, I found out that my daughter is reading my posts online, and she is NOT happy with me about it.

My daughter is thirteen and has a number of special needs.

I have been writing about her, and parenting, online for years now, and I was horrified when she told me she had read something I wrote and didn’t want me writing about her online anymore.

Actually, she asked me:

“Mom, was I really a mistake?”

And that was when I knew that if I was going to be able to keep writing authentically about parenting a child with special needs, I wouldn’t be able to do it where she could see it.

I was always so proud to write under my own name.

I don’t just write on Medium, but I am working on novels, too, and making a name for myself and building an email list is a huge priority of mine, something that I will still be working on because now I will be writing on Medium under TWO profiles.

Yes, that’s right, I am not abandoning my actual self to hide behind this shadow self.

Well, I am, but with good reasons.

I can’t have my daughter be negatively affected by what I write online if she happens to read it.

What’s more, is I don’t want her father or my parents reading what I write, because sometimes I go a little to deep with the subject matters of mental illness and relationships and I think it would make them very nervous, if not downright angry with me if they knew my true thoughts and feelings about things.

Are you really being authentic if you write under a fake name?

This is what bothers me about writing under a pseudonym — I always wonder, is this really who the person is behind the name and the stories, or is this just one part of themselves that they are sharing to make a certain sort of impression?

The whole point of starting a new profile is to be able to write authentically and be unapologetically me… but secretly me.

It feels weird and a little bit icky, but so many people on Medium do it, how could it be that wrong?

But there’s an upside to this.

I am trying to look on the bright side of this whole starting over situation.

It hurts to go from an audience of 2.1K followers to 29 followers, but everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s sort of like I am starting over.

I plan to write more about relationships, dating, sex, my body image — all of the things I was too embarrassed to write about before, the things I held back because I didn’t want people I know reading them.

I want to make it a point to post every day, and see how quickly and how well I can grow this new following.

I really hope you will follow along with me… if you’re reading this, you probably already are and just don’t know it. 😉

Meaghan Ward

Written by

I’m the girl your parents warned you about. Stay in touch: http://meaghanward.substack.com

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