Essays, Thoughts, Writing

On Difficult Topics, Anonymity and Releasing Your Work To The World


(Ok so I was looking for pictures of pugs at computer keyboards, but this came up and it was too good not to share. Google knows me too well.)

Hey everyone!

So, if you read my last post you’ll know that recently I’ve been doing a lot of freelance work, which has been absolutely amazing. The fact that my work is being exposed to more people through these platforms is honestly a dream come true and I feel so grateful! However this wider reach comes with a different set of responsibilities which, honestly, I’m still getting used to.

I mean, what I’m doing right now is very different to what I was doing here on this blog about a year ago. Last year I was writing to a much smaller group of people, a lot of whom I knew by name and followed through their own blogs. This time last year I was anonymous, and with that came a certain shield to the outside world. If I ever was to get a mean comment (which, thankfully, I never did because you’re all so lovely!), I could just brush that off as not being aimed at me personally. I could tell myself it was about my work, no more no less. The whole idea of hate and backlash didn’t feel real to me.

However, now that mask is off I’m a little nervous.

OK, maybe nervous is the wrong word. It’s not like I’m cowering in the corner at the thought of posting again! It’s just now it seems like the repercussions of what I create are a lot more real to me. It’s so funny because I never really posted anything ‘controversial’ in my short time as an online writer, but the one thing I always did was speak my mind. If I was mad about the underlying message of a Britney Spears song, I expressed it. If someone was discrediting makeup as being ‘sexist’, I debated it. I was always one to fight for what I believed in, regardless of the consequences.

But, because I’m writing to more people on different websites, now I’m feeling a little bit more cautious.

Not to say that this is bad! If anything, it’s a positive thing to be aware of what you are putting out there. It’s good to make a conscious effort to post work of a high standard, especially when you are covering difficult topics. However, the real problem lies when these filters become so scrupulous they start to cripple your productivity. I was inspired to write about this because, for the first time the other day, I wrote a completed article that I did not pitch.I had tried so hard to cover a pretty difficult topic (street harassment and safety, in case you were curious), but still after hours of edits it just felt off. I was so nervous I was going to come off as being insensitive even though I was putting as much effort as I could into being understanding and fair.

But then again, maybe I’m overthinking. Maybe I didn’t write a good article and simply needed to work on it more before I pitched it. However, it did make me want to open up a question to all of you, freelancers and bloggers alike. How do you tackle difficult topics? Is it all about developing a thick skin? Do you vet your pieces through friends and family first? Is it better sometimes to stay anonymous? I’d love to know your thoughts!

So yeah, that’s what’s been on my mind as of late. Honestly, I’m so glad I kept the blog because It’s allowed me to keep sharing my work in this lovely setting! It constantly amazes me how supportive and positive the blogging community really is. 🙂

I hope you are all having an amazing day!

Lots of love

-Ashlee 🙂

gif from here

P.S. I found the full video of keyboard pug and it has honestly exceeded all my expectations. Hooo lawdy I really need to start ending my posts with pugs again ;p


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