My bio says that I’ve been sharing my stories with the world since 2003 but it began way before then. Maybe it was with the first AOL trial CD and the first time I found myself in a chatroom. It could’ve been the first Tripod page (think Geocities) I built, trying to figure out how to code a page. I think 2003 refers to my first LiveJournal, but I can’t be too sure. Then came Myspace blogs and finally, my own website. BeingBerrak.com is the 3rd or 4th domain name I’ve used since leaving Myspace behind and ventured out to the internet.
All I know for sure is that I’ve processed everything life has thrown my way by writing it down, and throwing those words out to the world via the internet during my loneliest days.
I’ve received a lot of criticism about how much I share about my life. A lot of people have had opinions about how I should process my pain and how it’s improper that I share so much of my life with strangers.
If only those people know how much I haven’t shared.
Back when I was still writing under a pen name, I used to occasionally post password-protected blogs. They would be on my public blog but only accessible if you knew the password.
Even those were the tip of the iceberg.
I’m 32 years old and every year of my life as long as I could remember has felt like its own lifetime.
In the past few years, as I’ve found my footing as an individual, the urge to share has been fighting its way to the surface. My blog never really went anyway – it’s just been hard to find the words as I fought to keep my head above water.
What was I to do?
A book of essays? I mean, sure. That makes sense. After all, it’s the personal blogger way.
But that didn’t feel right.
One of the biggest rewards of sharing my life online has been the community I’ve been able to build. Even more importantly, it’s the stranger who’s stumbled upon my blog at the time they needed in his or her life and messaged me to say “Thank you for sharing. I needed to hear that.”
I write about the uncomfortable so the people who may stumble upon my words today or months from now can have that reminder when they need it – you’re not alone. There’s someone else who gets it. You will be OK.
But the thing is, the blogging landscape has changed. I didn’t want to worry about the SEO of my personal blog – I have to do that enough in my professional life.
I didn’t want sharing my stories to become a chore. It’s hard enough finding the strength to share. It feels cheap to pimp out personal blog posts.
Then came Patreon.
I’ve been playing around with the idea to start a Patreon for the good part of a year, but I felt like it was only for creatives. Why would anyone want to become a Patron to read my essays?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I could tap into what I’ve loved the most about sharing my stories online: No filter, a community, and providing a safe space for others who are not ready to share their own stories.
That’s how Password Protected came to life.
My goals for the space as it evolves are:
- Write & share my stories regularly with your feedback on the next steps
- Create a safe space where you (the patrons) can engage
- Give a behind-the-scenes look on how anxiety and depression impact my day-to-day creativity
- Share your stories, anonymously if you choose, to get you feedback and support from our community.
This is where I invite you to join me in this journey. For just $1/month, you can show me the support you’ve shown me for as long as you’ve been part of my life. If you’ve known me for longer than a day, you know how much I struggle with asking for anything.
This isn’t me asking for a handout.
This is me inviting you to the next chapter of my writing career as I finally dive deep into my past.