I’m giving myself a gift. I don’t generally, during the holidays, but this year, yes, this year…? Yes.

The internet has changed the world for writers. It’s a good thing, in many ways, but I have, truthfully, felt a bit smothered by it—the necessity for promotion, the struggle to be everywhere, to be heard.

I don’t have a big persona. Nor do I have a big voice. Even as a singer. Early on, one of my teachers, a former diva at the Met, told me that I would never make it in opera. It was disappointing, but because she was a good teacher who recognized what I could do well, she helped and encouraged me to do it better. As I moved on, other teachers did the same, steering me toward my strengths, showing me where to display them.

The choice of venue, as I discovered, was key. For me, small, was best.

After my novel was published, I did what writers these days are supposed to do—blog, tweet, pin, hold giveaways, link in, and more. I enjoyed the blogging, enjoyed reading and following others’ blogs (and still do), connected with some wonderful people, but began to realize that the rest, the sense of obligation to be visible, to make myself heard, had taken something valuable from me.

And so, this holiday season, I’m reclaiming it, giving myself the freedom to be less visible, to stop tweeting, pinning, and linking in.

I’m giving myself the right to sing where I choose, where I’ll feel comfortable—

—a gift I can’t wait to unwrap.