Friday, September 13, 2013

Why I'm Anonymous

First, I'd like you to read my favorite poem by one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson. It really is important to read the poem to understand the rest of my post, so please do read it. (And read it slowly, don't rush through it :D I think many writers will be able to relate to it).

"Have you got a brook in your little heart," Emily Dickinson

Have you got a brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so?

And nobody knows, so still it flows,
That any brook is there;
And yet your little draught of life
Is daily drunken there.

Then look out for the little brook in March,
When the rivers overflow,
And the snows come hurrying from the hills,
And the bridges often go.

And later, in August it may be,
When the meadows parching lie,
Beware, lest this little brook of life
Some burning noon go dry!

I have a brook in my heart, and my brook is this.

Writing. Blogging. Interacting with writers and living the writerly life.

I love it. I love this so much it is hard to convey to any non-writer other than the fact that without writing, I would... I shake even to think of it. Writing saved me, it really did.

But this place, this heaven, is for me and for you and for us. It's my refuge and my delight and I don't want 'real' eyes to cast their gaze on its sunlit land, its quiet delights.

Almost no one in my 'real' life knows I do this, including all of my closest friends. No one knows in my 'real' life that I have this blog (unless they found out without my realization). I'm free in this world, open to say and speak and be whoever I want without explaining and hearing laughs from people who wouldn't understand. "O-oh, well, I-I really love writing." I mean what can you say? What can you explain?

I love my family and friends so, so much, but they're not writers. They'd try their best to understand, but... you know? It's not the same. And if I tell them, I'd have to think about what I write, knowing they'd be reading.

I'm trying not to brag but I'll do it anyway; I sort of feel I'm almost luckier than many writers who are open to the 'real' world. I'm able to write without having to confront someone in real life, someone who didn't know I write, someone who would share comments like, "Oh, well what's your real job?" or look at me so tragically and say, "So you really, really love writing, huh?"

 I can write what I want to without having to say to people who thought they knew me, "Yes, this is who I am, I do have these thoughts, I do enjoy writing about desperate people, and I'm not just being pretentious or anything."

And I don't want to have to censor myself about my writing because I'm afraid of what my 'real life' will think. I am so wonderfully free here, so happy and me. (Surprisingly, in 'real' life, I'm slightly more unreserved and outgoing, personality-wise, than I am here. Irony.)

Sure, I have a more concrete reason I'm anonymous but my little brook reason is more important than that logical one. By staying anonymous, people can't find me here, can't trace me, and I'm free free free free free. I feel at home here.

(Don't get me wrong, I love my 'real' life as well. They're just two different lives. Yes, I'd probably pick my 'real' life over my writing life if I had to in some life-and-death scenario, just because my family and friends and loved ones are there. But I'd be broken, severely shattered.)

Emily Dickinson's poem is my favorite because she understands so wonderfully why I love being anonymous, why I feel so fantastic to be here, where I can shout and scream and gloat for my love of writing and my love for this community.

"And nobody knows, so still it flows," Yes yes yes yes yes. "And yet your little draught of life/Is daily drunken there." I LOVE IT. And I bet it applies to so many writers too!

I didn't think this post would be deep or in depth; I was literally very tired and trying to think of a blog post, and while brushing my teeth, I remembered this poem. I meant to only share it with you but soon it turned into what this poem means to me.

I hope you did enjoy this post, and I hope you now know a little more about me. I want to be as open as possible with you guys without having my 'real' life chase me down. I feel so, so happy after this post because writing it has made me realize just how free I am here, how wonderful this anonymous experience is (which I've been taking for granted). I'm throwing in some smileys because I'm so happy XD

Thank you guys for being here!!!! Can you relate to Emily Dickinson's poem?


  1. That's beautiful!

    Are we crossing the bridge when we get there in regards to what happens when you're published?

  2. I hid my writing for a long time. Many people in my real life scorn and scoff at writing, specifically fiction, saying things like "but it's not even real. The people in it aren't even real. Why would I care?"

    It was a long time before I told anyone of my writing. And now, the more people I tell, the more wonderful they are. No one laughs at me (at least not where I've heard), though they often tell me publishing is nearly impossible (a fact I don't deny). You might be surprised at people's response.

  3. I totally relate. It's freeing to have some anonymity.

  4. Blogging and my real life do cross over, but I limit it. I'm a naturally private person anyway. And I promised my wife my author career would never turn our world into a circus.

  5. I love the poem! Thank you for sharing!

  6. *Waves* I think it is totally understandable to want to keep writing separate. But Deb is right. At some point it will start crossing over.

  7. It's a beautiful poem, and I'm glad you told me to read it slowly - it was well worth the small amount of extra time.

    I agree with Deb and Michelle; at some point, cross-over will happen. When it does, just protect that brook. It's hard, but it's possible. I do believe that.