It’s Time to Shrug Off the Cloak of Invisibility

No one better put this forty-something-year-old in a corner.

Helen Redfern


a woman in a red dress walking through wheat fields holding out a red cloak
Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

“The one thing that success brings you is greater visibility and at a time in your forties when you might not really be used to being very visible — because in traditional terms that’s the age in which you start to become invisible or so society would have it.”

- Jojo Moyes being interviewed on The Shift podcast by Sam Baker

Jojo Moyes is an incredibly successful author. I was listening to her being interviewed by Sam Baker and her views on visibility struck a chord with me. In Jojo’s case, she was referring to when her novel, Me Before You, was turned into a film and her career took off in a stratospheric way. At the time she was in her forties.

Now my career is nothing like hers and I haven’t had anything like the success that she has. But I was driving along in the car after recently launching my Substack and promoting it on Instagram and Twitter and being visible was how I felt. Exposed, you might also say.

It was terrifying but also rather exhilarating.

Throughout my late twenties and the entirety of my thirties, I did not want to be visible. I shrank away from it, deliberately so. Both in real life and on the internet with my writing, I kept myself small.

Living out in the countryside with animals and children to care for gave me the excuse I needed not to be too social. At the same time creating a platform on Instagram gave me a reason not to finish my novel and start sending it out into the world.

You’d think being visible on social media would mean I was ‘putting myself out there’ but it was, in fact, the opposite — because I was steering clear of the one thing I wanted: to write a book. To be published.

My fear of success encouraged me to sabotage my creative dreams by messing around on Instagram.

Over the last four years, I have, however, been fighting against this invisibility. I’ve…



Helen Redfern

Notebook addict, writer and mentor. Helping creatives struggling with confidence around their writing and creativity.