The scenario that Jon Acuff uses to introduce Chapter 5, "Wait on the Main Stage", is something I am really familiar with. He writes about speaking at the Catalyst conference where there are lab sessions and main stage sessions. The lab sessions usually hold about 4,000 each whereas the main stage sessions that are later on in the conference hold about 13,000 people. I worked for a music festival so I have seen something very similar. During the day there are a bunch of concerts and things happening simultaneously in front of various attendees but towards the end of the day everyone gathers in front of the main stage to see the festival headliners. I have seen once obscure bands go from playing earlier in the day to becoming main stage artists once they sold more records and became more popular This transition in a band's career can be a big deal. Acuff writes about how he has had friends tell him numerous times "We've got to get you on the main stage". While that is a compliment saying that he is of main stage caliber, compliments like that can be a bit frustrating. I mean like "You are such a good catch. We got to get you a husband soon." frustrating. Yes it's a compliment but I think that sometimes people who want the best for us don't understand that there is a process, preparation and patience it takes to be successful. I am a better catch at 36 than I would have been at 25, trust me.
Chapter 5 talks about the process of going from passion to practice to plan. Often we go from passion to plan without the benefit of putting some practice in place. We want to go from 0-80 mph once we figure out what it is that we want to do.
"We make the most important plans and decisions with the least of amount of information."
That couldn't be more true. That's not just true regarding your dream job. That's true about life in general. For instance, I remember in third grade saying that in the year 2000 I was going to be married with kids. Remember when we thought back then that the future, the year 2000, was going to be like The Jetsons? Where's my jetpack man?! Anyway, I definitely didn't have enough information because as I found out who I really am, getting married before 30 would have been a huge mistake. Getting married before knowing the things I've learned about myself just within the past month would've been a huge mistake! I am open to adopting a child, but I really don't have a huge desire to have kids. I changed and so did my plans based on the information that I now have about myself. Oh and one more thing that changed is that I went from wanting to work at a record label to being a writer.
Yup, a writer. That's not just what I want to be. That's what I am. It's taken me eight years since we began this blog to admit that. And now that I have admitted to this, there is a part of me that is freaked out over all of the discipline it takes to be one. I want to make plans that I fear that I will chicken out on. That's why I really appreciated Jon Acuff including this quote from the founder of Google: "We knew that Google was going to get better every single day as we worked on it..." By the same token, if you don't work on something every day, you won't get better. And that's all I have resolved to do at this point. Steadily work on becoming a better writer. I could write out all these goals about who I'd like to write for and the books I want to write but as for now I am just going to write consistently. Currently that is my only goal and it is enough.
Writing for BGLU has been great. I can be transparent here. It's comfortable. With that in mind, I am scared like crazy to write for anything else outside of the other two blogs I write for (one is about natural hair and the other one is about cupcakes). I know my audience here and they know me. I'm worried that another audience won't get me. Basically, I'm scared of the main stage! There's comfort in the "lab session" part of life. Acuff writes about the gift of invisibility in Chapter 5 and I agree that it is a gift. I used to say that if we could do BGLU all over again I would want Tia and I to use pseudonyms. There are mistakes that I can make here that I can't make anywhere else. I can change my mind here, and I have, as much as I please. Bottom line: I just need to stop being such a scaredy cat, grow in confidence and walk in patience as I steadily prepare to reach main stage status. If I don't, what's the point of reading Quitter anyway?