The Beauty of Anonymity

Jeff Goins wrote an interesting piece on about anonymity and the price of fame, especially in an era when people have become obsessed with it, called “Nobody’s Heard of You and That’s Okay.”

Before launching into all the reasons why it’s alright to be anonymous as a writer in this day and age, he details the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a heartbreaking story in and of itself. Inevitably, one of the fundamental questions he raises is this: If fame more often than not directly or indirectly crushes us professionally/emotionally/spiritually, why do so many of us constantly pursue it?

Four quotes he highlights concerning this subject that I thought were right on the money are the following:

We all love the idea of getting what we want now without realizing the negative implications of success.

Fast fame is the quickest to fade.

Successful people fail just as much as unsuccessful people. The difference is in how they interpret failure.

There are special privileges reserved for the unlikely and overlooked.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more success with my literary career, but Goins is right to point out that there are certain advantages to being Joe Nobody. For example, there’s definitely something to be said about the fearlessness in experimentation because you’re not afraid of the blowback from society. That being said, it’s always tempting to consider whether it’s possible to reap all the positive rewards from fame (wealth and status) without taking on the negative (greed and insecurity). I don’t have the answer to that one, but I’ll certainly come back to it later in life if I ever hit the big time!




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