Saturday, November 07, 2015

Honest-to-Blog: Pen Names, Blogging, & Real Life

[C'est moi, 2015]
Hi, I'm JXL, also known by my pen name Alyse.  Since I've started a new blog, I've been feeling that this is a necessary post.  During my early 20s, I ran a lifestyle/fashion blog under the pen name Alyse until its eventual hiatus which has persisted for the last several years.  I kept everything on that blog completely honest with the exception of my name.  I had nothing to hide, but beauty/fashion blogging was (and still is) fairly orthogonal to my professional endeavors.  If potential employers or colleagues searched me, I wanted my academic work to be the primary things that surfaced.  That aspect hasn't changed (though my life drastically has since I last had a blog), but I've decided to use both names.

There was another factor to Alyse: blogging was completely my own thing and I didn't necessarily share it with people in real life.  None of my friends were really into the "girly" stuff, but here was a whole community who was equally interested in documenting their daily lives, outfits, and chatting at length about makeup.  To be honest, I felt a little self conscious about it at times, too, because it really didn't fit the mold of my academics.  I was going to school for physical science and my days were spent in either a lab or in front of a computer.  Lifestyle/beauty/fashion blogging just did not seem to fit.  (I think Marianna's recent post on blogging encapsulates this feeling fairly well.)

I decided to do it differently when I built A Little Runner and use my real initials, JXL, in addition to Alyse.  I know people use pen names all the time, but personally, it makes things feel "invented" and I'd just rather not do that anymore.  It might make things awkward if I ever get connected to the people on my former blogging network, but I'll deal when the time comes.  I've actually shared this URL with a few friends now so, in the spirit of "keeping it real," it only feels natural to connect a real name to the face that's going to be on this space.  A Little Runner is a new blog, a fresh start, tabula rasa, and I'd like to keep it as true to myself as possible.


  1. I think this is a subject that a lot of us bloggers run into. I also was worried about potential employers or friends finding my blog and judging me for it, but what I decided to do with my space was to create a blog that I could be proud of and not embarrassed of and that truly expressed me. I am totally with you that sometimes people wrongly judge fashion blogs and assume if you are into "girly stuff" you can't also be intelligent which is totally unjustified and unfair. But we also have a lot of other loves that extend beyond just beauty and fashion and I think there is a way to incorporate more "intellectual" endeavors and fashion in a blog to create a well-rounded space that could even work to your advantage in landing a job. It may be a bit different for me, as I am in the creative field, but all my professional work has either been found through or helped by having a blog.

    Rae of Love from Berlin
    Bloglovin' // instagram

    1. "I also was worried about potential employers or friends finding my blog and judging me for it." EXACTLY. I'm trying to remember that putting myself out there on any platform will welcome judging (because us human beings are judgmental by nature) and to take it all in stride.

  2. This is actually a very interesting and pertinent post for me.
    I'm in a complete opposite place as I work in fashion and it's actually an advantage to have a blog.
    But I've never been very comfortable sharing it with people in my life.

    Anyway. You have a lovely blog!

    Joana x

    1. Yep, can understand that bit of self-consciousness. Sometimes, I think it's easier to share things with strangers because they don't come with preconceived notions of you! X