I don’t know exactly when it happened.
Maybe it was when the option to update my Facebook status changed from “Anika is…” to a completely blank box. Maybe it was when every career advisor I spoke with asked whether I had a personal website, blog and Twitter account. Maybe it was when I read about journalists getting reprimanded or fired because of a tweet.
I don’t know exactly when it happened, but somewhere in the last five or six years I lost interest in digitally putting myself out there.
Initially it was because I was terrified I’d say something stupid or accidentally insult someone. Then as I read more of what people were sharing, I worried I wasn’t being pithy or witty enough. More recently I’ve begun feeling like what’s the point? Why does the Internet need one more voice to add to the noise?
But I miss writing. And Facebook status updates, 140-character tweets, captions on Instagram, and e-mails and texts to friends and family isn’t cutting it.
So I’m going to spend one hour a week writing here while doing my best to keep in mind rule number six from The Art of Possibility, one of my favorite books:
There’s a story about two prime ministers who are sitting in a room, discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts through the door, screaming and shouting. The prime minister who’s hosting the meeting says to the man, “Peter, please remember Rule Number Six.” Peter is immediately restored to calm. He apologizes, bows, and walks out. About 20 minutes later, a woman comes flying in. She’s beside herself. The prime minister says, “Maria, please remember Rule Number Six.” Maria apologizes and walks out.
The visiting prime minister can’t contain his curiosity: “My dear colleague, what is this Rule Number Six?” The other prime minister says, “Very simple: Don’t take yourself so goddamn seriously.” The visitor replies, “That’s a nice rule. What, may I ask, are the other rules?” The prime minister answers, “There aren’t any.”