If I had a thought that no one else knew about, can I even say it was real?

On Publishing Anonymously

Creating, publishing, sharing valuable content anonymously is a sort of emptying of the ego. This is because the work you share cannot be credited back to your real identity. If say you write something that turned out to be really useful content, and the masses loved it, you can't really say, “Hey, it was me, <insert name here > who wrote it.” Therefore, you can't use it to boost your ego. It is a way to draw attention to the work you created, as opposed to drawing attention to yourself.

Why would you even want to create content that you can't credit back to yourself? To avoid using it as a way to boost your ego. To avoid using it as a crutch to make you feel better.

This is not to say that there's no reason to publish content under your real identity anymore. I'm not talking about that here. I'm talking about the difference between creating content to make yourself feel better, to boost your ego, versus creating content or doing work for the sheer joy of it. The former can mess with your head. While the latter, well that can be liberating.