Writing Anonymously Doesn’t Have To Be Limiting

How to do it strategically to develop your writing career

Jae L


Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Like many writers on Medium, I don’t publish under my actual name. It’s not a pseudonym exactly, more of a variation of my name that has evolved over time.

I chose to write under a different name not because I had anything in particularl to hide, but for the freedom it gave me to write with unflinching honesty. It’s a less dramatic variation on the “write until you’re dead” approach.

I understand that it’s not watertight — if someone is determined enough to find me, there are enough crumbs to lead them there. I know from my status that many writers come across my writing through Google and Facebook shares.

But there’s enough of a buffer to keep me separated from the rest of the world. Although Medium has global reach, it is very US-centric which has been quite liberating as an Australian. In this part of the world, Medium is surprisingly little-known outside writer circles.

Anonymity has allowed me to develop as a writer

Writing under a different name safely cushioned my first tentative steps into the world of online publishing. I’ve always journaled as a way of processing my thoughts, but there was something thrilling about seeing them reflected back at me in a professional looking format.

When an idea, concern or conundrum plants itself in my mind, writing is the way I explore, wrangle and make sense of it. A user-friendly interface and full editorial control make Medium the ideal place to do it.

Writing anonymously has given me space to develop my writing chops without having to answer to anyone I know or worry about who my innermost thoughts might land with.

But I also want to be known for my writing

Three years on and a bit more writing in experience under my belt, the reasons I write for Medium have shifted. It’s no longer the repository for every thought that I want to express in written form.

It took a long time, but eventually I built the confidence and summoned the organisational skills to pitch to publications outside Medium. I’ve published mainly in the disability and neurodiversity…



Jae L

Queer, neurodivergent and in the business of defying expectations. Doing my best to answer the questions I keep asking myself. diverge999@gmail.com