Name and Shame

There’s a lot of talk in the scribosphere at the moment about posting under your own name, and whether you should or not.

(Some thoughts from Danny, Jason, and Phill.)

I post here under my real name. That’s because I want people to know who I am.

In its own small way, this blog is an advert for my writing and myself, a way for people to find out a little more about me.

There’s a down side to standing behind my own name, and that’s this:

I can’t critique TV or film shows I don’t like.

This blog is associated with my writing, is part of the information footprint about me. While I would dearly love to spend posts and posts disrespecting certain shows, I can’t.

Because the people running those shows might want to work with me some day. And so leaving a trail of breadcrumbs about how much I despise their children might not be such a good idea.

Anonymity would help me get around this. A blog without my real name attached would let me rant and rave and vent about some of the rubbish that gets on our screens.

And yet…

If I was anonymous, I’d lose the most useful part of the blog. Making contact with other smart people at the same stage of their careers as me. Getting my name known.

Given that, it’s not too difficult to play nice.

8 Replies to “Name and Shame”

  1. My Gran always used to say:

    “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    Mind you she also said:

    “Sodomites should be castrated.”

    and

    “Never trust a Chinaman.”

    So perhaps her opinions aren’t worth that much.

  2. Although I don’t exactly post under my real name, I do post under the pseudonym I plan to write under when I finally sell something. I do occasionally post about stuff I don’t like I try to be honest and not snarky. I think most people will forgive you for critiquing their material if you’re reasonable about it.

    I hope, anyway. Otherwise the people at Smallville are going to blacklist me.

  3. Well, I guess if people want to put up blogs under fake names so they can act like jerks in public, that’s up to them. I’d rather make industry contacts and just be cautious about not revealing too much information for stalkers, etc. Plus, I want to make sure I can get copyright and plagiarism protection for that which belongs to my pen.

  4. I’ve always been a firm believer in presenting your true self to the world, so they can see you as the thoughtful, intelligent, respectful human being you are — or the ruthless, egotistical, uneducated pion you truly are.

    You are the former, Piers, and I’m very glad to know you — the real you.

    KJC

  5. KJC: Aw, you sweetie. :)

    MaryAn: I guess if you’re established in the industry already it’d be OK to post anonymously. It allows them to share stories that we might not otherwise get to hear. But I don’t understand new screenwriters who want to keep their real name quiet.

    Emily: Exception for you, as you’re posting under your nom de plume. So actually, writing a blog in your real name would be the odd thing.

    Phill: Nothing to say to you really, I just thought you might feel left out. :)

  6. It all depends upon who you are, doesn’t it? Sometimes you just need the freedom to talk about the craft of screenwriting without any outside distractions.

    But one of these days, I’ll reveal myself. But I’d like to do it in person, I think.

    -MM

  7. Why can’t you criticise shows under your own name? George Burns said that his critics were like eunuchs at an orgy. You, Piers, are an active member of the orgy, an honest-to-God frontline stormtrooper in the world of screen (big and small) and each morning you get to wake up smelling the napalm (some days it even smells like victory).

    Is it not possible that your future employers and colleagues will judge you not just by your carefully-crafted scripts but also but your experiences and your Weltanschauung?

    Feel free to sit on the fence until your arse crack reaches your neck. Anyone who has produced a work of art, be it a film, a TV show or a painting, knows that EVERYONE who saw it has (or should have) a view, that that view is a personal one based on taste and that views can and do change over time.

    Final thought: as Lionel Shriver suggests, not everyone loves their children, esp. if that child changes beyond recognition between conception and coming-of-age.

    PS Does Phill have his own blog?

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