Inspiration from other people’s secrets.

Posted on November 4, 2012

I’ve known about this site for a long time, but over the weekend I’ve become newly fascinated by PostSecret. For those of you who’ve never heard of it, PostSecret is run by a man named Frank Warren who collects secrets. People anonymously send him letters or postcards in the mail with their deepest, darkest secrets, fears, or regrets. They send him their moments of joy that, for some reason or another, they feel like they can’t share with the people in their life. They send him things they would never logically tell someone they don’t know. Or even someone they do. And he posts it all online. And prints them in books.

Seems insane, right? But it’s not. It’s brilliant. It’s cathartic. It’s therapeutic. It’s saved lives. And it’s inspiring, both personally and creatively.

This weekend I started gathering online PostSecret pictures onto a Pinterest board. I also own two of the books, but one of the good and bad things about the books is they’re static. No new postcards appear within those pages. And I love looking through new secrets because it’s a strong, physical reminder that EVERYONE has secrets. And so many of those people feel as though they have no one to share those secrets with.

As a writer there are story ideas and character quirks by the boatload within Frank Warren’s postcard vault. As a person it’s something to make us feel connected to people we’ve never met. One of these days, I hope I can combine the two and use someone’s PostSecret submission in a story that reaches out and touches someone else the same way this project touched me. I’m also hoping other writers will find this and try to do the same.

2 thoughts on “Inspiration from other people’s secrets.

  1. Erica Cameron

    Inspiration is why I originally bought the books a couple years ago. The whole idea is fascinating and some of the things people send in are amazing. Both in good and horrible ways.

  2. Ailsa

    I had heard of the site, but never really thought of it as a writing resource before. That is such a great idea! I've always thought it was interesting reading people's secrets like that, seeing the kind of things that get shared. To take some and use them in stories is also interesting.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.