Sunday, January 21, 2007

If Spinsterella’s real, then who the fuck am I?

(Everybody’s talking about blogging personas. I’m copying. It’s what blogging’s all about, isn’t it?)

It was easy to begin with.

This would be a themed blog. It would consist of (1) stories about my exes, (2) stories about my current adventures (misplaced optimism, eh?), and (3) ruminations and rants on Being Single In Today’s Society. It would be completely anonymous. (I also had an ambitious plan to reclaim the word ‘spinster’ from it’s current derogatory status. I haven't quite succeeded yet.)

Back then I also had a 'normal' blog for talking about what I had for my tea and what I was watching on the telly. But I killed it off ages ago because it was rubbish.

Since then I’ve veered off course somewhat and Real Life Me is increasingly breaking out (ooh, it’s just like The Fly!). From this blog, and my comments on others, you can gather a pretty accurate idea of the books I read and the music I like, where I come from and what I (approximately) look like.

I have also leaped over the fourth wall and met some bloggers in Real Life. Patroclus and LC in a semi-planned manner (we happened to be going to the same gig) and Loganoc by freaky coincidence.

I’ve thought about setting up another blog for non-spinster stuff. I do have opinions on things other than Not Having A Boyfriend and would quite like to blether on about them too. I often think that it’d be nice to have a diary-style blog.

Another reason is that I sometimes find the hoops you have to jump through to retain anonymity (never mentioning work, being careful about real-time events etc) frustrating.

But how to do it? Just have it as an annex of this one – here’s my normal-life blog? But then I still wouldn’t be able to give any real-life details.

Start afresh; far, far away from here? But I’d miss the camaraderie of Spinny’s blog-chums.

I could be cunning - set up a new blog, gatecrash this corner, but keep it a secret….then I could have conversations with myself too! But I’m not post-modern enough for all that, and as I have penchant for combining blogging with red-wine consumption I’d be rumbled pretty quickly.

Anyhow, back to the point – how much of Spinny is Real Life Me? Well, I really am a 30-something spinster – it’s not like I’m a married 50-year-old welder from Gateshead called Barry. I like to think that Spinny is an exaggerated version of just one aspect of my personality.

But there’s probably more of her in me, and of me in her, than I’d like to admit.


  • In the brave new world of blogging, we're all schizophrenic nutbags.

    By Blogger LC, at 9:07 AM  

  • It's called 'living the postmodern condition'. There's no longer a unified self, but a kaleidoscope of fragmented selves.

    Some might argue that there never was a unified self in the first place, as we tend to act differently depending on where we are and who we're with, etc. The thing about blogging is that the fragmented selves acquire visibility and persistence - i.e. Spinsterella is always there, published for posterity in blog posts and available online for all to see.

    By Blogger patroclus, at 9:30 AM  

  • meeting loganoc was not a freaky coincidence. one of her hobbies is finding bloggers in meatspace. she found me, too. and Hairy Man.

    By Blogger Chaucer's Bitch, at 9:38 AM  

  • There's even been a sad old bastard pretending to be a dog in his blog! Euch!!!

    But talking of creating additional persona, I wonder if any of your readers has come across this blog and can guess which prominent blogger and regular commenter is behind it. I got it in 5 seconds.

    By Blogger Murph, at 9:48 AM  

  • The link above was


    By Blogger Murph, at 9:50 AM  

  • I pretend to be a dog too, but only in my picture.

    This multiple personality stuff confuses me.

    By Blogger Billy, at 12:20 PM  

  • Interesting you should post on this Spinny. I was chatting with my brother Bob about *precisely* the same thing just the other day - when we could get a word in edgeways, what with Keith Allen and Stephen Fry *insisting* on having a competition to see who could burp the Dead Parrot Sketch for longest.

    Bob was saying he'd tried it both ways - complete fiction *and* totally no-holds-barred honest, non-fiction, fly-on-the-wall reality-blog (...I think that's where all the cockrot/calliper stuff comes from) and he said it made no real difference either way. People still thought it was a load of shit and only came to drool over all the saucy pin ups in stockings and suspenders etc.

    So in response to your dilemma, I don't know? You could always do something creative like start up a band and plug it mercilessly to 14 year old goth girls splattered in feck blood on myspace - I suppose... You can *sing*, I take it? Don't worry - it needn't be an impediment to a career in pop nowadays. I'm sure we can always come up with some studio trickery to make it sound as if you can't...

    Real life *tends* not to be quite so exciting as the life of the imagination, don't you find?

    And isn't there the old line quoted in The Outsider - something like 'and as for living, well we can always leave that to the servants....'



    By Blogger Robert A. Swipe, at 12:23 PM  

  • I forgot to mention the scarey bit that all of YOU lot know considerably more about me than most of my close friends.

    I don't like to think about that too much.

    I'm very scared by the thought that Loganoc tracked me down through this blog and i'm going to continue to believe it was a coincidence. CB - you'd be easy because you're open about where you work, your real name, pics etc. You could just wander round Bristol looking for Americans...

    I can't sing for shit, btw...

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 12:35 PM  

  • I bet you've got a lovely baritone, Barry.

    By Blogger Geoff, at 1:46 PM  

  • I don't have the wit or imagination to have a different blogging persona. I'm pretty much like I am in *real* life, which may be either disappointing/boring/terrifying, depending on your viewpoint.

    I've never understood the thinking behind secret blogs. The only reason I'd be tempted to do that is to get away from my "stalker", who would probably find me anyway, sigh ...

    By Blogger Betty, at 1:55 PM  

  • ....mmmmmm

    By Blogger Murph, at 2:06 PM  

  • But she doesn't really have to be a separate person, does she? We all project different version of ourselves in different contexts. She's just the you that does blogging.

    As for anonymity, you could mention what you do for a living without anyone finding out who you are. Same goes for real-life events, as long as you don't mention locations.

    After all, look at Petite Anglaise. She's anonymous, tells quite a lot about her life, and would still be anonymous if it weren't for book deals and journalists - but it wasn't the actual blog entries that got her identity discovered.

    Anyway, if you're anything like me, whatever you do with your blog will never quite hit the spot. What we all really need is the ability to tell the absolute truth about everything and make loads of friends as a result, but for it to never have any impact at all on our Real Life. Not possible. Oh well.

    In fact, you have the edge over us non-anonymous lot. We can't talk about work or social events in case our bosses / colleagues / friends / family are reading. But you can!

    The solution: Write fiction. That way nobody ever knows what's real and what isn't. It's ironic to me that I have waaay more freedom to tell the truth when I write fiction than I ever do when I write non-fiction.

    By Blogger Clare, at 2:18 PM  

  • I just posted a long tome of a comment which got eaten by the Evil Blogger (Blogger seems to have an Evil Twin now)... to reconstruct...

    Online vs "real" identity seems to have suddenly become the topic du jour, as http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/01/22/deadly.triangle.ap/index.html.

    I agree with those who contend we always present only facets of ourself in each situation, and also agree with Patroclus' take that in cyberspace, a single facet/fragment can take on the weight and quality of complete personality.

    I also observe that, in the past ten or fifteen years, folks who meet me in person (post-cyberconversation) appear to find the in-person me to be, well, unsurprising. However, in earlier days, this was not always the case. Doubtless this is partly because an 18-year-old girl is always going to 'sound cute' in cyberspace no matter what she looks like, but I think there may be something more than that. Have I integrated selves better, now?

    I've been online too many years to really assess.

    I'll note that most folks who try keeping up multiple blogs, web sites and what-have-you find that they end up defaulting back to a single one, where their identity becomes a somewhat muddied extension of whatever that one started out as.

    By Blogger Valerie, at 8:27 PM  

  • "Meatspace" … Hee hee.
    Thank you, Chaucer's Bitch. I hadn't heard that one.

    By Blogger dive, at 8:45 PM  

  • Spinny,
    As Will said, we
    are all just actors on a stage. Your a bright girl and witty to boot. Some part of the "real" us always comes through no matter what role we're playing. You are partly who you think you are and partly who I think you are. The parts combine to make the whole.
    If any of this makes sense then you are even smarter than I give you credit for.

    By Blogger Remiman, at 1:50 AM  

  • I've had my pen name for nine years before I started blogging (had a zine back in the day) and I've always seen him as the outlet for my Id, and my Real Life self as my Ego, with the subconsious as the Superego.

    By Blogger Nigel Patel, at 6:26 AM  

  • I have no idea who that secret blog belongs to. I suspect it might be someone whose main blog I don't know either... either that or I'm a bit thick.

    If I had a secret blog, it would be so I could say stuff I don't want particularl people to read. Like, for instance, my employers.

    By Blogger Clare, at 9:27 AM  

  • Secret blogs? Heavens above, surely not.

    By Blogger Occasionally Lost, at 9:30 AM  

  • I suppose my blog counts as a secret blog (though not the world's best kept secret), given that it's about work and that my work involves signing an official secrets act. I do my best to avoid saying anything that compromises my employers or name the donors or individuals who I'm criticizing, but the work I do and the small size of the country I do it in means that people can work it out if they see it.

    I keep it a secret because the primary audience is not people who work here, but people who are interested in what's good and what's bad in international development.

    By Anonymous riddledwiththepox, at 1:48 PM  

  • it is what it is. something you created. your thing.
    and i like it, and i hope you keep writing it.
    so ha.

    By Blogger First Nations, at 8:43 PM  

  • You are free to do whatever you want with it. It's your blog. You can cry if you want to.

    By Blogger Sassy Sundry, at 8:52 PM  

  • *stamps foot*

    but i wanted to know what you had for tea and what you're watching on telly

    (in my case, thai chicken curry and nuffink 'cause i'm sat 'ere bloggin')

    and i just have to ask: did i ever comment (unknowingly) on your other blog? (because you've commented on mine - oo-er, the intrigue...)

    By Blogger Urban Chick, at 8:23 PM  

  • Ah, Betty, you're here. I thought you'd got away from me once and for all....

    (cue Bernard Herman-esque, Psycho soundtrack eeeee eeeee eeeee eeeee ...sound effect...)

    Well Spin, I'll let you into a secret, if you ever want to kill your blog off, just post up a 15 year old picture of yourself trying to look like Lou Reed on the cover of Transformer and change your name to Roberta. Worked for me. Dead as a doornail now. Even the Munters won't touch me with a barge pole. Shames, as we used to have such a laugh, didn't we? Oh well.

    Mind you, most of the people who comment on yours hated it anyway. I only keep it going to deprive them of the satisfaction of thinking that they've seen me off. It'd take more than that.

    So when are you seeing lover boy again?



    p,s, I see Patroclus has been at the Ladybird book of cultural theory again...

    By Blogger Robert A. Swipe, at 2:51 PM  

  • Hey, I *wrote* that book :-)

    By Blogger patroclus, at 3:01 PM  

  • hello - i'm back.

    Blogger just swallowed my comment answering everybody and I can't be arsed.

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 3:04 PM  

  • Could you sign my copy please P?? That way it'll get an extra 50p when I flog it on ebay....



    By Blogger Robert A. Swipe, at 1:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home