For years, Frank Warren figured he’d started PostSecret to help other people. Back in 2004, while working a “boring job” that motivated him to pursue art projects in his free time, he began leaving blank postcards in public places. Alongside them was his address and an invitation to strangers to anonymously send him their secrets — things they’d never told anyone. He figured he’d get a few hundred; a decade later, he’s received more than a half-million, logged 600 million hits on his PostSecret blog, and compiled six books, the latest of which, The World of PostSecret, was released earlier this week.
Like its predecessors, The World of PostSecret includes one of Warren’s own secrets. And, reflecting on his willingness to share and make himself vulnerable to his audience, he has a new theory on where the idea came from.
“Looking back now, I would say maybe a deeper reason I started the project, and maybe why PostSecret found me, was because I needed it,” he tells Refinery29. “Through this project, I’ve uncovered secrets I was keeping from myself.”
Read on to see some of the artfully rendered secrets included in the new book, and to get more of Warren’s thoughts on the PostSecret phenomenon. The confessions range from mundane to mind-blowing, and taken together, Warren says, they’re the currency that ties us all together.