Write Fearlessly

Let's admit, shall we, that freedom has to have its own space.

I've spent the last decade of my life developing tools for note taking, the most important of which is this encrypted note-taking app. And when I talk to users about how their lives changed once their thoughts and words became private, the response is always the same: "I feel free," is what I hear. They talk about the subtle but powerful difference privacy brings you. You become accustomed to the luxury of knowing what you say will never be repeated.

Those who haven't tried the private online life ask me what it's like.

Imagine you are in a room with fifty people. It's crowded. The air is muddled and warm. Your thoughts and very mode of being are altered by the environment. You are distracted. You are influenced by what you hear. You don't have the same thoughts you'd have if you were alone.

Now imagine that every thought you had in that room had a chance of being heard or recorded by someone else. Life changes. Suddenly you worry what you said. What you might say. You are a whole different person. You become a subdued version of yourself, limited in your creativity and oomph.

Internet living is about being in a room with hundreds of millions of people. We are not ourselves here. We have to be cautious and adapt to where we are. We find ourselves multiplying. We are a hundred different people, depending where on the web we are that day. I know that when I speak with friends on Slack, or write a note on Evernote or Google Docs, there is an ever-present chance that what I am typing will one day be seen by someone else beyond the intended audience. And with this thought lingering, I do not write like I would in a private journal. I write as if an audience were present. I pause between sentences to look both ways.

I write as if to say, "If this got out, how would it make me look? What would others think of me?" And in that way, my writing loses its most important part: Me.

That's why I spend the time on encryption and privacy. I don't want the worry and influence of others watching me. I don't want to have to check my doors every night. I want to know I am safe to be me. To have my best thoughts. To write without worry of perfection.

I just want to write like it's nobody's business.