In a moment of epiphany, I realised that an audience often prevents me from doing my best work. An epiphany because adrenalin and pressure often informs my best work. A contradiction, for sure, but one I think I have recently reconciled. Being able to perform well under pressure doesn’t necessarily mean one would do less well whilst not under strain or public scrutiny.
When I write in my unknown and unpublicised blog, I don’t hesitate. I just write. I don’t critique how my words may be construed or whether they translate to more people than just me. I merely set down my words, my truth, outside the funnel of public opinion. And it is still exciting hitting that publish button and sending that truth into the world – even though it is not then promoted onto the usual social media platforms. Who knew? Perhaps a ‘publish’ button helps keep the thing honest.
But even without that scrutiny, the writing on my unknown blog curiously also never reads as undisciplined rant. This can be a fear when writing with impunity. No, I really like the me that writes with no other agenda than just to write. But be clear, I’m also not talking about the creative exercise of just writing without thought as to the words being sent to paper or screen. That useful mind-mapping exercise.
Take yesterday. I wrote a piece about keeping a diary when younger. In that writing, I was transported back to being a delusional teenager with a flair for the ridiculous. (I was going to marry my English teacher, Starsky – or Hutch – or Peter in Form 4b.)
Reading over the piece, which flowed and amused me, I found myself quite liking that teenager. Self-liking is not something I remember feeling when I was that young person. It was a poignant discovery and not one I would have made if the piece had started out for public consumption. The creative process of trying to recreate the person I once was would have killed the thing. Ironic.
That unknown space now also informs the work I produce publicly. When I’m stuck on a paragraph or idea, I go to my unknown blog and write it there, because there the writing is always easy.
It’s not that I don’t write authentically in my public spaces, I do. But I think I know the magical ingredient that makes my unpublicised writing space such a pleasure to be in.
It’s because I write without fear or apology for being me.