The OED defines identity as
‘The fact of being who or what a person or thing is’ or ‘a close similarity or affinity’.
The ‘fact’ part of the definition is a bit on the dodgy side (as far as my pondering goes anyway) because it is ‘a thing that is known or proved to be true’ while ‘true’ is ‘in accordance with fact or reality’.
Thanks to Brett Jordan for the image via Unsplash
It is a fact that the writer of this blog is LF Meleyal. That is the name on my passport and it is a true fact that the passport belongs to me. I have a close similarity to the person photographed on that document so it is safe to say, I am LF Meleyal – Lel to my friends, Dr Meleyal to people who ask me ‘is that Miss or Missus?’
But for a year this blog was called ‘The Guardian Review’ (why is explained on the tab pages at the blog page header). Later it was labelled ‘Creative Writing: Competitions’. More recently I changed its name to ‘The Complex Scribe’ to accommodate the fact that the focus of the blog had shifted away from writing competition entry specifically onto general waffling about writing.
My novel is being published this year. The publishers, and colleague writers, have emphasised the importance of having a visible online ‘platform’. I have very definitely preferred the anonymity of not having my name or face attached to my blog. Partly this was because of my previous professional role. I used to teach at a university and it felt messy having elements of me visible. It isn’t that I ever wrote about anything especially private, or controversial but I wanted a clear separation between work and non-work.
If I am really honest I probably also hid behind my blogs because I lacked confidence in my writing. Imposter syndrome, as a million writers on twitter would agree, is acutely felt. Despite a reasonable track record of writing and the fact that I am now Chair of the Scarborough Writers’ Circle, it wasn’t until my novel was accepted for publication I developed the confidence to call myself a writer.
Now it is time to own it. I am LF Meleyal and I am a writer and that is true.
This is my blog.