PostSecret secrets published in book
PostSecret, a project that collects anonymous secrets mailed on postcards from around the world, is now a book.
The following is a partial transcript; for full story, listen to audio.
Forbes has called Frank Warren "the most trusted stranger in America." He started collecting secrets in 2004. Since then, he has received over 400,000 postcards, each inscribed with a secret. He has a website, and now a new book titled, "PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God."
The book contains some lighter secrets, but there are also some very dark things.
"Secrets hit every note of human emotion," says Warren. "They can be funny, joyful, sexual, hopeful, or heavy,"
These secrets have an impact on the way Warren now sees the world: "It makes me aware of everyday stories that we never get a chance to see."
Almost all of the postcards submitted to PostSecret arrive anonymously. As some of these secrets are quite serious, Warren has taken the opportunity to provide some direction.
"When I get those, what I try to do is channel those feelings towards promoting 1-800-SUICIDE, the national suicide prevention hotline on the website. In fact, in five years, the PostSecret website/community has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hopeline."
One person wrote to Warren to say that they were no longer going to send him secrets on postcards for fear of them ending up in a book. For those that have sent in secrets, the reactions of having them published are mixed.
"Some people are thrilled, some people are terrified. In fact, I have had some people say that when they wrote down their secret on the card, they felt like they were making something up. But, when they took it to the mailbox, physically let it go, and then later saw it on the website, they realized there was a kernal of truth there.
"The whole process was a way for them to share a secret with themselves that they had been hiding from."
There was an adjustment period for Warren at the start of the project. "I was stunned that people would trust me with such deep secrets," he said.
"I felt that if I could create a safe, non-judgemental place where people could share those feelings, it could really be something special. But, I wasn't prepared for 7 million visitors around the world coming and reading the secrets every month."
After several years and a mountain of mail later, fatigue might plague others. Warren, however, hasn't tired of them yet.
"After you see 400,000 of them you think they would be the same, or similar; but every day they are full of surprises. It is almost like poems or songs. I don't think we ever run out of them. They are inexhaustibile."
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