Jan 092013

Because I used to write anonymously as “funkybrownchick,” I’m interested in fellow sex writers who initially penned pieces under pseudonyms then later revealed their identity (or, in some cases, were outed). If you haven’t yet read or listened to their History of Anon series with Brooke Magnanti, you should. She was an American pursuing a Ph.D. in forensic science in England when, to supplement her income, she worked as a call girl. She later published her diary, Belle de Jour: Diary of a London Call Girl, and eventually revealed her identity.

Whether speaking about prostitution or politics — as many of you commenting on FUNKY BROWN CHICK® already know — a private name often provides the comfort to speak more freely. Indeed, the BBC claims, “it turns out Anonymous is one of our greatest writers.” While I agree, I also think there’s something to be gained when writers link our personal experiences and names with our craft the way Oscar Wilde, Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, and so many others have done. In the end, you not only learn what the work is, you learn more about the person who created it.

Naked is the state of being bare. Figuratively speaking (and sometimes literally), I write in the nude. Whether as funkybrownchick or Twanna A. Hines, my driving force has been to create emotionally bare stories about how people relate to each other. Dumping anonymity increased pride in my work because I feel challenged to produce even more authentic pieces that dig deeper and reflect the full richest of human experience.

Portrait, fine art and lifestyle photographer Gabriella Herman photographed me as part of her series Bloggers. Her work will  be on exhibition from January 29 to May 19, 2013 at the The Light Factory, a contemporary museum for photography and film in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you live in the area, go see it. Otherwise, view the full project online.

  12 Responses to “I Always Write in the Nude”

  1. It has always fascinated me how creative people create, where they draw their inspiration, the environment they are most creative in. The picture of you is beautiful. The insight into how you write is also fantastic. You are a must read for me. So this post is a 2fer! a wonderful picture of you and a window on Twanna the writer and the environment in which the information, thoughts and ideas you have go from your mind to the written.

  2. Wow, I’m new to your blog, and I want to first of all, applaud your boldness. As an inspirational speaker, I love when others are REAL, or naked. It’s the best way to really connect. Anyway, glad to have found your blog. I will definitely keep coming back.

  3. It’s not easy to be as honest as FBC is in her writing. And I think that’s one of the reasons we admire her voice.

  4. Or maybe I should say “Twanna” instead of FBC, now that she’s no longer anonymous. :)

  5. This was just what I needed to read! I just started a blog and I considered using an alias. I was worried about being exposed. But I decided to go with my real name. After all that makes the writing more authentic. I have already gotten some comments, “I hope you don’t tell everything…” But at the end of the day, I am doing this for me. Thanks for re-enforcing the importance of writing in the “nude.”

    • Glad you’re writing & I’m all for creative people representing themselves in their work whichever way best suits them. In the end, only each person has to decide that for themselves. It’s like that great man Jimi Hendrix once said: I’m the one who has to die when its my time to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.

  6. My best thoughts always come when I’m not trying to write. They come when I’m cutting the grass, or working in the garage. The problem is the thoughts gets lost if I don’t make a note of it right away. I use to keep a pen and pad close by, my spouse laughed at me one day when I came flying from under my car I was working on, and wrote down my thought. Now I have a palm size recorder I carry to speak into. But when I do sit down and write, I have music playing in the back ground. If the write song comes on, ideas just seem to pore through my mind. Nude is a good one, but it wouldn’t work around me. But I would give you some inspiration :) Personally I don’t use my real name because my writings set me free from being the person people think they know.

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