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Amanda, There Is No Audience


The writer Amanda Fortini tweeted something a couple weeks ago that I haven’t stopped thinking about:

Years ago, when I was in my 20s, a bold and artistically daring older friend who has since passed on gave me what I often think was the best advice I have ever gotten. I was worrying what ‘people would think’ of a decision I had made, and she said, “Amanda, There is no audience.”

The tweet went viral, so this probably isn’t news to a lot of readers. But I’ve been saying it to myself ever since: Amanda, there is no audience. Somehow, for a few seconds at a time, it makes sense to me on a very deep level. The “Amanda” part seems essential, too, for whatever reason.

Discussion  8 comments


I love this. (And it's far more charitable than my Amanda-less go-to which is usually some version of 'why the f*** do you care what they think?!' whenever someone is in a similar doubt-filled spell.)

Edith ZimmermanMOD

Exactly! Same here. And I always have an answer to that one, but it’s muddy and unhelpful, like “well, I don’t want to skdmdkkfbfndjff” etc etc etc……

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Todd Laufenberg

First there is an audience. Then there is no audience. Then there is.

Edith ZimmermanMOD


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Scott Welty

A maybe similar thing happened for me. I play drums in a community big band. I hadn't played in years when I first joined and reading a drum music chart was like dark magic. I was so nervous that I'd miss an accent or crash. It was stressful and not so fun. Then I realized that being the only drummer, that I was the only one who was looking at my chart! If I kept good time and didn't drop my sticks the 'following to the chart precisely' was MY problem and no one else's. So don't one is following YOUR chart!

Edith ZimmermanMOD

Yes! I love it.

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Louise Hornor

I am 60 years old and can confirm: no audience. No one is looking, thinking, or caring about you. Until and unless you ask them to, and then they will, briefly. So if you want me to admire your new sweater, or help you pick something up, or hear your lamentation, I'd be happy to do so and so will most normal humans. Then we'll go back to our own little worlds. We are not alone, but we are mostly kinda sorta invisible in a good way.


the amanda IS essential i’ve been saying it to myself too!!!!!!!!!

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