She was afraid of exposing too much of herself
Many people might have forgotten (or might never have known) that Bridget Jones’s Diary actually started in 1995 as a "real" column in the UK’s Independent newspaper, written by Helen Fielding under the pseudonym Bridget Jones. When readers discovered that it was written by Ms. Jones, they then assumed that she was Bridget Jones. The truth was she’d made up a fictional character and presented her as real.
Her character of course went on to star in successful books and movies.
Bridget’s first diary entry:
Saturday 4 March
12, alcohol units 2, cigarettes 0, calories 998 (excellent, v.g.,
perfect saint-style person).
week of ups and downs – on the Daniel Cleaver front in a depressingly
metaphorical sense. On Wednesday I slunk into the office, crippled with
embarrassment about inadvertently leaving a message on his answerphone
suggesting a drink. (Not my fault. He drove me to it by suggesting it
first, then not calling me.) I had resolved totally to detach myself
from him, but then he appeared looking unshaven, tall, lean, dark and
unnervingly sexy, and started making all the secretaries laugh so that I
went all to pieces…
Helen Fielding remembers:
Back in the winter of 1995 I was
trying to write an earnest and frankly unreadable novel about cultural
divides in the Caribbean, and was rather short of cash. The Independent
asked me to write a column, as myself, about single life in London.
Much as I needed the money, the idea of writing about myself in that way
seemed hopelessly embarrassing and revealing. I offered to write an
anonymous column instead, using an exaggerated, comic, fictional
character. I assumed no one would read it, and it would be dropped after
six weeks for being too silly…
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