Create like no one knows your name

Image: Nicole Harrington

Sometimes, I wish I’d started blogging anonymously. Because then I wouldn’t have to worry about disappointing any of my friends or offending my mother-in-law with my profanity. Maybe then I wouldn’t worry about what my daughter will think of me in 10 years when she starts reading Daddy’s stuff online. Maybe then, I wouldn’t worry about it when I make huge jumps in my subject matter…

But now, there’s a mug of me at the top and bottom of this post which shows you — this is me. As great as this is, it’s also a bit of an inhibiting factor, is it not?

If you read my writing much, you feel like you know me. And just like anyone who knows anyone, you don’t really want me to be any different tomorrow than I am now. Because that would be uncomfortable. I’d be changing the landscape on you and things start to get shifty when that happens.

If you’ve ever written online for very long, you’ve probably felt like this feeling of creative constriction. Maybe people have seen you as the gal who writes about interior design — like, you ARE the interior design gal — but, for whatever reason, you want to start writing smut.

That’s a hard shift. It may ruin the reputation you’ve painstakingly built with your audience. Maybe they’d hate you for it. Maybe they’d all unfollow you, unsubscribe from your mailing list, stop hiring you, and leave you to starve on the street.

Or, maybe you should do it. Maybe you should ignore that byline under your post and go in the creative direction you’re being pulled. Maybe your readers would actually enjoy it. Maybe they’re getting bored reading about interior design… Again.

Maybe you should create like no one knew your name.

I know it sounds a lot safer waiting for everyone to give you the go-ahead to make the change, but maybe you should just follow your gut and make it regardless.

Is it a safe, certain choice? No. But what choices worth making are?

To get Jonasshort daily vignettes delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.

If you enjoyed this piece, proclaim your love to the world by recommending it below. Thanks!