Coming out of the shadow

Me, in front of our house

For those of you are reading Heart and Mind blog for sometime will know that I believe in slow blogging, blogging part time with my 2 small kids, family life and my volunteer teaching position, also I have written anonymously so far. This is not new, many people before me have done it, in book writing and blog writings, some have been very successful and others have not;

Authors: Books and Plays:

  • Even William Shakespeare has written a few plays anonymously: See the original article by Telegraph UK here.
  • My favorite author Jane Austen had her first published book Sense and Sensibility , it was under name of “by a Lady“.
  • Mary Ann Evans, a Victorian English writer wrote many romantic is her known by her Pen name of George Elliot, man’s name instead who has written Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda
  • If you ask anyone who is Howard Allen, you may not know but ask any one who is Anne Rice, Author of Interview with the Vampire most of you will know her.
  • Author of Harry Potter J.K Rowling’s real name is Joanne Jo Murray. Rowling is her maiden name she uses the author the very famous Harry Potter Set a seven of Harry Potter Series of books.
  • Nora Roberts who has famously written romance novels, her real name is Eleanor Marie Robertson.
  • The Bronte Sisters have also written a few books under Pseudo names.

Blogging World:

In blogworld, there are many famous bloggers who have used and some are still using Pseudo Identity to blog. Some of the successful one are;

  • Johnny B. Truant from and copyblogger
  • Flexo from
  • James Chartand from men with pen is not only using pen name, but actually a woman.
  • Frugal babe from
  • Kerry Taylor used to write under Sqauwkfox, name of her blog. Now she has published a book and writes with her real name.
  • Ryan from Cash Money Life has written under pen name of Patrick until little while ago.

Me with two cutest spider kids, R and P

I am sure there are many example of honest people who wrote under pen name or pseudo name for various reasons. Now, I am not comparing myself to these well known and famous writers or bloggersΒ  but I too have written under pseudo name till now for following reasons;

  1. Internet has so much information already, I wanted to be cautious and take time.
  2. I wanted to write without being affected by loved one’s : family and friend’s support to see if I could gather readers on my own merit. Only Zenguy knew my blogging here and he was not allowed to comment here.
  3. I wanted to find my own voice and readers without influence of my name, religion, or nationality.
  4. I was not making a brand for my name or blog and still holds true.
  5. Whatever I have written here is honest truth about my self, my kids and Zenguy.

All these point still stands but I have realized that I have found my voice and a few readers who like my writing despite not knowing my name. Now, it is time for me to come out my shadow and introduce myself as I want to be transparent in this blog. This is not a sudden move, it has been in thoughts for many days and weeks and time for me to reveal myself to you all, as you deserve to know.

My name is Preeti Bhatt and I live in California. I am originally from India and came to US when I was barely a teen with my parents and siblings. I have now 2 kids, R and P, who keeps me very busy. I am married to my best friend Zenguy, who keeps me in check and supports me.

I hope all of you still join me in our journey to life improvement and slow life.Β  Thank you for reading me at Heart and Mind .

Preeti AKA Zengirl


  1. Hulbert Lee says:

    Alright Preeti! It’s good to finally have a name that I can associate Zengirl with. πŸ™‚ I think it’s great that you are showing us who you are because it definitely feels more personable. You also shouldn’t be afraid to show your unique self! Everyone is awesome in their own way. Finally, for the first like 9 months of my blogging journey, I was under the alias, Tristan Lee. It just didn’t feel right and I’m currently using my real name. I was glad I made the change. Awesome stuff! Thanks for sharing this!
    .-= Hulbert Lee´s last blog ..Interview with Justin Popovic =-.

  2. Jean Sarauer says:

    It’s nice to ‘meet’ you and your beautiful family. I bet you’ll find even greater connections with people now that you have introduced yourself. I love having a face to go with a name because at times when I’m reading a post or commenting like this it makes me feel like I am truly conversing with you, the person behind the blog. Love your smile!
    .-= Jean Sarauer´s last blog ..7 Signs That Granny Hijacked Your Blog =-.

  3. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Preeti
    Mystery solved, we know who you are now.
    I spotted that your picture had suddenly appeared on my blog so I headed on over to check out the story.
    Nice to meet you and your family.
    Did I spot two potential bloggers there? LOL
    .-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Laugh and the world… =-.

  4. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you. It too some time for me to have courage to show my face here but everything I wrote so far here, had my real true self in it. I did not know you write under alias too. Wow, I have to check out your older post.

    To tell you the truth, it feels great. Zenguy and Arvind from Make it happen, both were telling me to reveal my identity but I was not ready then. πŸ™‚ I am happy now with my real name and Zengirl’s name both.

  5. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you for kind comment. I usually feel more connection with bloggers who are transparent so I thought it was about time I shared our names and pictures. I was bit apprehensive for a few reasons now I told everyone about myself, I am so much relieved and happier.

  6. ZenGirl says:


    Yes, mystery is no more. You all know me and I am glad to be finally sharing.

    Zenguy – Parag helped me change my Gravatar from silhouette to my real picture so I imagined it changed everywhere I commented. πŸ™‚ I am glad to finally come out and share more about me and family.

    Do you mean R and P as two potential bloggers? Humm.. Could be! Rishi shows signs of interests but he is only 5 so there is time. I hope.

  7. ZenGirl says:

    Ryan, Formerly Patrick πŸ™‚

    Thanks for stopping by. You are right, it is much more freeing and liberated feeling now. I bet you must have felt similar although I thought Patrick was your real name for longest time while I used to browse through your site.

    I wanted to share some successful bloggers who have written under pen name and in my eye you are one of the successful ones! You all have given me courage to follow your foot steps.

  8. Marko -- Calm Growth says:

    Hmmm… interesting choice. πŸ™‚

    Although I am a recent reader, I noticed your anonymity.

    I know a lot of people in the “world of blogs” that are anonymous. Although most are not (anonymous). Let’s say that I am among anonymous side. πŸ™‚

    I do not “play games” like trying to impress someone by hiding mine weaknesses. I am very open about my weaknesses.

    I just do not feel the need to explain myself to others. So I decided to be anonymous. As much as I can.

    Nice decision Preeti P. Bhatt :), I respect your choice.
    .-= Marko — Calm Growth´s last blog ..What Everybody Ought to Know About Self-Confidence β€” Part 2 =-.

  9. ZenGirl says:


    Thanks for stopping by and your alternate view on it. You have to do what works for you and when it works for you. Zenguy has been telling me to write under my real name from the beginning but I had to be ready myself first.

    I can understand your sentiments, but I do not see this article as a explaining myself to my readers, I choose to be more open when I felt ready to do so. I respect your decision, there are lot of bloggers and writers I respect write under their pen name as I mentioned in the article.

  10. Farnoosh says:

    Preeti is as fine as Zen Girl and we can respect your privacy, whether many, famous and celebrated, came before you or not. From another Jane Austen fan, welcome to the light and thank you for trusting us with your true self. I for one love the story and look forward to following you here often!

  11. ZenGirl says:


    Thanks for the vote of confidence although I am no where near famous or celebrated πŸ™‚ I am happy to know another Jane Austen fan, I am crazy after Pride and Prejudice (my favorite is 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth) and I love Persuasion’s Captain Wentworth too, he write great love letter to die for, in my opinion.

    I have not written much about my bookish obsessions here, maybe I should.

    Thank you for liking our story and sticking around.

  12. Arvind Devalia says:

    Preeti aka ZenGirl!

    Great to finally meet you in the open and to know that the rest of the world now also knows yuor true identity. Wonderful that you now feel you have found your voice.

    Thanks for sharing with me your true name a few weeks and making me only the second person in the whole world to know who you really were, second only after ZenGuy:-)

    Nice to learn more about your family and see pictures of ZenGuy, Rishi and Pratik.

    Great to also see how your blog has evolved and the design is really neat and attractive.

    Keep up your inspirational work.

  13. Farnoosh says:

    Zengirl, dear,
    The 1995 version is the ONLY adaptation worth watching (several times!) I mention that same phrase in my Jane Austen book review. My faves were Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility. I have yet to read Persuasion, can you believe it/ I am stuck in the middle of Alexander Dumas’s “The Count of Monte Cristo” – a re-read that started off great but now it has slowed down. The dungeon part (gasp) was the best part I think….but I’ll see it through. Yes do write about your (classical if possible) book obsession! I write a deeply personal book review on everything I read…It actually encourages more reading (if that is possible! :))!

  14. rob white says:

    Nice to meet you Preeti,
    Thank you for sharing so honestly and openly. It is a delicate balance between having your privacy and sharing your life. I know the blogging practice will tell us to be as personal as possible so we have to determine what is best for us. The most important thing is that your authentic nature shines through. People will always be enamored with authenticity and you are doing a fine job at that!

  15. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you for your kind suggestion. Now I have told everyone who I am, it does feel lot better and hopefully have a better connection with my readers.

    It took me some time to follow yours and Parag’s advice. πŸ™‚ But I am glad finally I chose to write as myself. I feel lot freer now.

    Thank you for your suggestions and tips as always. You have been a inspiration to me.

  16. ZenGirl says:


    There is fine balance in everything in life we do, but I am still trying to find my own, slowly. I have tried to be my authentic self here but it was not complete until this article came out.

    Thank you for your kind and encouraging comment. It means a lot to me at this stage.

  17. ZenGirl says:


    I have read all 6 complete novels of Jane Austen, many times and own a few books. I love complexity of Alexander Dumas, Count of Monte Cristo is dark and engaging novel and I have read his three musketeer too which is little lighter.

    You should read Persuasion and see also 1995 movie by Ciran Hinds, it is second chances in love story. I think you will like it.

  18. Vaishali says:

    Preeti, it’s lovely to see you and your beautiful family, and to meet the woman behind Zengirl. Keep up the great blogging! I am looking forward to more of your inspiring 101 changes posts πŸ™‚

  19. Dia says:

    Hi Preeti,

    This is my first time visiting your blog and I must say nice work you are doing here πŸ™‚ It feels good not to be anonymous doesn’t?

  20. Katie says:

    Lovely to meet you Preeti. And now we will know even more about you and connect even more deeply with all of your adventures and stories. Thank you for opening yourself up to your readers. It is very brave.

  21. Angela Artemis says:

    Your children are so cute!
    I love Jane Austen also and have all her books. Sens and Sensibility was my favorite.

    It’s so nice that you came out of the shadows. It makes it even nice to connect with you.

    I can’t wait to see what you do next Preeti.

  22. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you. It feels great to be able to share finally, it took some courage on my part but now it is done.

    I hope 101 changes series will be great by the time it finishes. I never had a plan for it, it just happened. Thanks being a supportive blog friend.

  23. ZenGirl says:


    Welcome to your first visit, and hopefully many more to come. You are right, it does feel better writing as myself. πŸ™‚ Which many of you are already doing.

    I will check out your blog, 5 ways to be energetic sounds like a good idea.

  24. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you. You all who are writing under your own names, seem to brave from the beginning but I am finally getting there! πŸ™‚ I am happy to open up to my readers and blog friends finally and it is good feeling. I can hardly explain, I wonder why I did not do it sooner!

  25. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you, I also think Rishi and Pratik are cutest but I might be biased. πŸ™‚ I think actually all kids are cute because they are so innocent.

    I am happy to come out as myself. I guess I am letting go some of my fears and now I wonder why I was cautious in first place, everyone here has been so supportive of me. I guess better late than never!

    I am also energetic about what future holds. Whatever it might be, I will take it slow and plan to enjoy the process. Thanks for company in my journey!

  26. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you. I talk about my kids and family so much, I thought to introduce them here too. Zengirl is my supergirl name and Preeti is real who has fears but improving slowly.

    Thank you for continued support here.

  27. Sibyl-alternaview says:

    ZenGirl – Preeti: It is great to meet you and I can totally understand why you began anonymously in the beginning. I think it is so smart to try and find your voice and get really comfortable with your thoughts and expressing them before you introduce yourself to the world. You have shared so many pearls of wisdom as ZenGirl and it is great to finally know the name associated with all the wisdom.

  28. Abubakar Jamil says:

    Welcome to the surface Preeti. πŸ™‚ I’m sure you will get even more readers and supporters among the personal development community with time. Just keep on writing πŸ™‚

  29. ZenGirl says:


    I wish I can tell you I had a plan when I started blogging, I did not. I really wanted to see if I had writing talent like my mom and grandfather (who are published authors in India), I wanted to overcome that fear that I might not have the talent like them, in way to find readers who like my writing without any influence of knowing me.

    Wrong fear but I had to overcome it. Rejections are hard often time on us.

  30. ZenGirl says:


    Welcome to my blog and thank you for your first comment. I did this for me first as I have proven to myself that all of my readers came here for my writing and not because they know me and have to be nice to me.

    If I have a better connection with readers that is extra bonus and I will be happy about that. Because I too like blogs that shows the personal side as well, so feeling is mutual.

  31. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you and it feels great to finally reveal myself and family to everyone. Well, now my avatar is no more anonymous even though I might still write as a Zengirl.

  32. Kamal says:

    Hello Preeti,

    Nice to know you and your family. I understand and respect the reasons why you chose to be anonymous and why you choose to come out of the shadow. It is good to know the you Preeti, and your wonderful Family. Your kids look just adorable.

    In any case, what matters most is the wonderful topics you choose. And the good work you do on your blog. Keep up the good work.


  33. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you for your kind words and continued support, you with few others have been a continued reader here. My kids and Zenguy are my moral backbones, without them, I would have been positive person that I am trying to become. So, I wanted to share a little about them in here too.

    I choose what I am thinking about and what I believe in, so writing about it becomes smoother as it is my passion. I will try my best to deliver best content that I can provide.

  34. Sibyl-alternaview says:

    Preeti: So glad you overcame that fear because you by all means have that same talent … just like your mom and grandfather. I can tell you 100% for sure that readers enjoy your writing as Zengirl. I am glad that it all worked out the way it should and it is great to be here at Heart and Mind.

  35. ZenGirl says:


    Thank you. My grandfather and mom are my inspiration as they have written and published where I have a long way to go. I am happy with small progress at my heart and mind blog though.

    Slow and hopefully steady progress. Thank you for encouraging words.

  36. Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice says:

    Awww it’s wonderful to finally get to know the real you! Anonymity is a wonderful thing and it can be incredibly powerful so I don’t blame you for opting for that route. I’ve often wondered how much truer my writing would’ve been if I didn’t have to feel the fear of shielding part of myself because of people knowing who I am. But ultimately I think you’ve made the right choice! πŸ™‚

  37. ZenGirl says:


    I have not seen you here in a while, thanks for dropping by. It feels right to write under my real name, that is for sure.

    I did not wrote under pen name for choosing a powerful route, I was 100% candid and honest in my writing since the beginning of day one. Only thing I shielded was my name. Now that is 101% truth. πŸ™‚ and I am glad for it.

  38. Haider says:

    Hi Preeti (a.k.a. ZenGirl ;)),

    I enjoy connecting with bloggers on a personal level.

    And even though I’ve just discovered your site, it’s nice to get to know the person behind the blog.

    Hope to be a regular visitor here. πŸ™‚

  39. ZenGirl says:


    Welcome! I also like to connect and like to know person behind the blogs, it just took some time and courage for me but I am so glad I am writing as a Preeti although Zengirl always will be my supergirl name, the real preeti is genuine and getting over her fears.

    Hope to see you again, it is great that I got to know you through life lessons series.

  40. Raam Dev says:

    Hi ZenGirl,

    New reader here and I’m really loving your blog! It’s nice to see so many familiar faces here in your comments too!

    I fully support your decision to “come out of the shadow”! I know it can be daunting at first, especially given how public everything on the Internet is, but I think it’s really the best choice — it really adds a personal touch to the blog! Besides, nowadays it’s so easy to find any information on any person that trying to mask things on the Internet just isn’t worthwhile! (Scary, but true!)

    Looking forward to your posts! πŸ™‚

  41. ZenGirl says:


    Welcome! Thank you for liking my blog! I do part time blogging and slow blogging πŸ™‚

    You are right, there are no secrecy on internet. But that was not the intent in first place. Some times we are more honest and open when we are under mask but I have tried to be candid as I am in real life too. I wanted to really know if I can find readers without friend’s support and I did, slow but I have met some wonderful new friends here. Thanks. It is great knowing you and your blog too.

  42. Sven Vath says:

    Great website you have here but i seem to be having a problem subscribing to your RSS feed. Everytime i click it it comes up with error 734. It might be my own Laptop. I have Linux with AVG firewall. Im not sure if its enabled. Let me know if anyone else has mentioned any issues or its just me. Im not too good with Laptops. I cant see my post after submitting so im not sure if you will see this. Ill bookmark your site and check by in a couple of days for a response. Please let me know if you know of a solution

  43. ZenGirl says:


    Looks like you are using a mobile to connect internet via your laptop. Seems like your mobile is not configured correctly to be use as a modem. Once you fix that, it should be working.

  44. inspired female says:

    Hey Preeti, its good to come across your website for the first time and your website has got some really useful information which i like to read about. i’m also into personal development and would like to start something up and believe it or not but this is the first time ive heard of blogging in my life! so i may consider this as a way forward!

  45. ZenGirl says:

    Inspired Female,

    Welcome, I am glad you liked the site! Sure, start blogging, you can check out, free section to see how to get started on blog without spending any money. Good luck, let me know your blog when you start okay?

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