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This is an experiment, a challenge: one year without social media.

A long time ago, in what seems like another lifetime, I lived in another city. At the time, internet availability was very limited; I had access to a dial-up account that never hit 56k. As a result, for the first time since I was 15, I spent very little time on the internet. My days were spent reading, writing, listening to music, and taking photos. And I was happy.

I'm not happy anymore. (Who is?) I'm a perpetual ball of stress, anxiety, and depression. A lot of it comes from the internal pressure to create content and the fear of the reactions of strangers to that content. I don't write anymore; I've published four pieces in 2021, three of which are on my blog. Writing used to be my salve for the abrasions of life and I miss its application.

My former mentor encouraged me to create and publish (or not publish) in the ways that feel best, be it social media, a website, paid gigs, a zine, a newsletter, or whatever. She emphasized that by doing what works for me I'll feel better about what I'm doing. This is what I need: a very big change with far better priorities and firm boundaries.

Therefore, my 2022 is going to be different from the past ten years or so. I'm leaving social media. I'm shutting down most of my website and will no longer be taking bookings for services. I'll no longer be teaching, speaking, or "creating content" to maintain my "brand." Instead of all of this, I'll be returning to my heart: unfiltered and unfettered writing. Maybe sometimes with a photo, maybe not.

This is action on a desire I've had for two years, not a spur of the moment decision. This is what I need.