Since returning from my 15 minutes of fame on Medium to relative obscurity, I’ve written over 600 posts on this blog. That’s almost as many as I’ve published on the platform, and boy, it’s been funonymous!
With only a few hundred people reading, perhaps as little as a few dozen a day, I don’t need to think about positioning. I don’t need to consider how this article will fit into my overall portfolio. And I definitely don’t need to worry about how much money it will make, how many claps it will get, or whether it will go viral. I just write what comes to mind, choose a headline that feels fun, and send my thoughts into the ether. Sometimes, a kind email comes back. Mostly, nothing happens — and it’s absolutely wonderful.
The twist with creating anonymously is that, like most things, we’ll only value it when we can no longer do it. We all start out as nobodies on the web. Naturally, we all want to get famous. It is only once relative fame has arrived that we realize how unburdened and joyful fiddling in private was. Perhaps, funonymity is worth revisiting. It doesn’t feel like it, but that’s a choice we get to make. Few do it, but for all I know, some of the best writers who’ve disappeared from Medium over the years are having a blast filling their journals.
But maybe the greatest irony of all is that from this state of dabbling in private, you’ll also have more fun when returning to your past arenas of glory and fortune. I might not have as much time to write whatever essay I want on Medium as I used to, but I have an archive full of posts no one on the platform has ever seen before. In fact, it’s almost as big as my existing body of work on the platform — and that’s exactly the kind of liberty that makes it fun to play again.
Every few months, I pick a handful of posts from the blog. I think about them. I change the headline. I add a picture, change a word, delete a line, and then I let them float out into the Medium sea from my profile — just to see what happens. Sometimes, a few kind responses come back. Mostly, nothing happens — and it’s exactly the same as on my blog. I’m not surprised. I’m not disappointed. I’m just having fun.
It’s good to get used to performing at a high level, but it’s another thing to do so under constant stress and expectations, if only your own. Would I have chosen funonymity if I hadn’t ended up in it by design? I don’t know — but I know it would have been the right choice to make regardless.
If you’re participating in the world of makers, you’re already doing us a great service. But if you’re in a hurry to succeed with it, stop for a moment, look around your empty comment section, and remember: One day, all of this might be a lot busier — and that will make it both easier and harder at the same time. Enjoy being funonymous, and know you can always return to the comfort of a quiet digital home.