The legend is that Hemingway once won a bet by crafting a six-word short story: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”
This came to mind when I (FINALLY) succumbed to the Twitter-pressure and signed up for an account.
Like most arbitrary things to which I attach more meaning than necessary, the profile I was required to create had me STRESSED. OUT. Of course I googled “writing a twitter bio” to increase the pressure. Apparently, there are right and wrong ways to “be yourself.” An example: “Every element of your profile…should reflect your brand identity and personality.”
My brand identity? My personality? Do I have to have ONE? Should it be the one that’s most prominent when I’m on my meds? Probably.
It was a good exercise. After all, I’m a gen-Xer who doesn’t want to be pinned down. Don’t label me. Don’t fence me in.
I narrowed my approach to two options. First, the anecdotal. I needed to tell a story, Hemingway-style, that captured my essence in 160 characters or less. (A tweet is 140 characters, but you generously get 20 more when nailing down a purpose for your existence.) Here is what I came up with:
@MariaPolonchek. Once left a placenta in the freezer next to a bottle of vodka for 17 months until finally burying it in the backyard under a willow tree.
I’m proud of that one. It captures me well and I’m saving it in case I need a change. Ultimately, however, I went with mostly nouns:
@MariaPolonchek. Writer, mother, overthinker. Into books, wellness, beauty, despair. A little flighty, a little meta, and always without a filter.
The fun thing about this (if you like a writing challenge) is that the two descriptions say similar things in two different ways. So, Twitter or not, how do you capture your essence in 160 characters or less? Try it; it’s fun! And remember, should you change your mind of go off your meds, you can always edit.
Oh, yeah…and find me on Twitter!