Useful Obscurity

About a year before I started Author, before I began interviewing writers and, most importantly, before I began writing this column, I started my own blog. I had just left the restaurant where I had worked for seventeen years, and I hadn’t yet found any meaningful work to replace it. And so, about three times a week, I would take my laptop to a nearby coffee shop, order a non-fat latte, and write a blog. It is the only time in my life I’ve written in a café. I wrote there so I could get out of the house. I enjoyed my time with my latte and my blog. The blog was about creativity and spirituality. I had never written about the intersection of these two subjects, and I discovered I quite liked doing so. Perhaps my favorite part about that first blog, however, was the fact no one was reading it.

This was immeasurably helpful. I could technically publish it – that is, put it out there where anyone who wanted to could find it – without worrying about what anyone thought about it because, as far as I could tell, the blog remained an undiscovered treasure. I’m sure someone was reading it, but I didn’t concern myself with these phantoms. Real readers would have only gummed up the works.

Just about the time I was ready to let someone read what I was writing, I founded Author and wrote my first of many essays for the magazine. I prefer having my work read, but I remain ever grateful for that year of Internet obscurity. In many ways, I am still writing the first blog, still pretending I am alone so that I might hear what it is I actually want to share with others.


Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion.

"A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.

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