Writing Anonymously

I tried writing anonymously once upon a time. It didn’t last very long. I’m just not that good at keeping anything a secret. But, it was fun, liberating and let me try some things or say some things I would not have done or said with my name and reputation attached to them. Yet, when it all changed and I became known as the writer there wasn’t anything I really regretted. For me, there is a line I don’t cross whether I am anonymous or not. Ethics, values, standards of some sort are important to me. It’s true I create my own but I stand by them.

Sugar writes an advice column where she (he?) posts anonymously. At one point she writes about being an anonymous writer. It makes an interesting post about something not everyone gets to experience (but should!).

Q:  I’ve been curious: how does it feel different to publish anonymously? Do readers react differently when you’re anonymous?

A: Writing anonymously has been liberating. I write openly and honestly in the work I do under my own name, but there’s something about anonymity that allows me to take it up another notch. Readers respond with incredible openness and love—literally after each column goes live I get messages from people saying “I love you, Sugar.” It’s interesting how the impersonal in this case allows many to feel more personal.

So that’s the positive aspect of being anonymous. The negative aspect is how maddening it is to have a secret identity. I find it especially difficult when friends who don’t know I’m Sugar are Sugar fans or when people write to me saying they’d love to read my other work if they only knew what my name was and I can’t tell them. I sometimes give in and tell, but I’ve become much more careful with my secret over time.

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