Books Social anxiety

Hiding your Identity

I read an interesting blog post today. It was written by Gila Green, a published writer of English living in Israel. She poses the question of whether it’s wise for Israeli writers to reveal their address, because doing so would give them even less of a chance of being accepted for publication.

I live in... erm...
I live in… erm…

The question reminds me of an argument that arose in the group therapy course I took a few years ago. Some people insisted that social anxiety should be hidden while others preferred to reveal it. I noticed that those who advocated hiding it were better able to; they were the ones who appeared more “normal.”

So there’s no single answer to the question of whether to hide social anxiety. It depends on the individual and what suits them best.

Just as I’m not able to successfully hide my social anxiety, I don’t think I could hide my address. It’s part of who I am. I might not bring it up straight away in a correspondence, but I wouldn’t pretend to live elsewhere.

And, as Gila says, place is an important aspect of a story. Sometimes it’s described as another character. I wouldn’t want to lose that part of my writing, because it would be like losing a part of me.

However, other writers will disagree with this and that’s their prerogative. They must do what suits them best.

By Miriam Drori

Author, editor, attempter of this thing called life. Social anxiety warrior. Cultivating a Fuji, edition 3, a poignant, humorous and uplifting tale, published with Ocelot Press, January 2023.

6 replies on “Hiding your Identity”

I can empathise with this anxiety about both place and person. I have been torn about revealing much of my past and my homeland.
There are many readers with fixed ideas and an aversion to having those ideas challenged.
Then again, there are those who welcome insights – into place or person -social anxiety or troubles – Ireland or Israel.
I guess we must choose what works best for us. I think taking a few risks and telling truths is the better way.

It’s a sad world when people feel they have to hide their identity, be it health or location. After the Second World War a lot of Jews kept their faith secret but this was understandable in view of the holocaust. It would be good to think that we’d moved on but sadly we haven’t.

Yes. It may be understandable, but I suffered from that policy as a child and never want to go back there even though, as you say, we haven’t moved on.

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