Writers Anonymous

Psssst, wanna hear a secret? W.Chaser isn’t my real name.

Well, it’s probably not that much of a secret, it says in the about section that I write under that name, so it’s obvious that’s not my real one. And it’s not that exciting, at least over the internet where we’re pretty much all anonymous anyway, but why would I choose not to tell my colleagues at work or other friends that I write? Am I ashamed? Nope, it’s not something I do in secret as such, I even write in my lunch break at work where I risk being seen. Embarrassed? Nope, don’t have anything to be embarrassed about. So what then?

You know what, it’s just frankly to avoid grief. It’s not even because I think I’m going to make it big and I don’t want anyone to know. There’s someone in our office that has written a book or two, and he’s constantly being badgered to let people read it. I can’t comment on what it’s like, whether it’s any good, or anything else about it because I haven’t read it, know little about the story and he doesn’t talk about it much these days simply because of the hassle (for hassle read ridicule on occasion) he gets from people. I don’t mention it because he’s in the situation I want to avoid. I do know his book is hand-written (cripes!) but aside from that don’t even know how many pages it runs to.

In an ideal world he would probably be a good person for me to talk about writing with, and the same for him, but at the same time I really don’t want it getting round. I’m sure at some point it will, either I’ll make a mistake and let it slip (as I nearly did an hour or so ago) or I’ll be talking to the one person in the office that does know I write (and acts as one of my proof readers) and we’ll be overheard. Even then though I’ll brush it aside and just won’t talk about it, I certainly won’t reveal the name I write under. I live in a largeish village and again, no-one here knows I write. In fact outside of my immediate and extended family and the one person at work no-one else knows.

Would it be the end of the world if people found out? Not really, but it’s like my guilty pleasure, the thing I do that only me and a few people know about. Once it get’s out to the rest of the office or the village people might ask to read it, ask me how it’s going, want an update. Then you either have to refuse to give them a copy and risk upsetting them or allow it to get outside of the close circle and the potential that it’s leaked everywhere. Maybe that’s extreme, maybe it’s just paranoia.

Perhaps every town should have a support group where I can stand up and say ‘My names W.Chaser, and I’m a writer’, but anonymously you understand.


2 comments on “Writers Anonymous

  1. People know I’m a writer, but they also know I’m pretty stingy with my manuscripts. 😉 I’ve shared a couple here and there, but my inner critic is a bit too loud for anything more than that. Luckily, I’ve found most people to be very patient and understanding of the fact that I write mostly for myself. My pen name (as you know) has a deeper meaning that relates to my philosophy of writing and is also an inspiration to keep writing. 🙂 I hope yours does the same for you . . . even as you write in secret.

    • In some ways it’s quite nice having a ‘secret identity’! I don’t think I’m quite at the stage yet where I can happily self edit (first revision yes, but after that I like to get the opinions of the ‘trusted circle’), most of the time it tends to be my wife that gives me some really good feedback, most good. Occasionally she’ll just point things out and see how I react, sometimes I agree, sometimes I’ll disagree with her but any input I find quite useful.

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