As a musician, I regularly face the somewhat strange situation of being on stage in public. For many people, this is a nightmare situation which gives one the nervous feeling of butterflies in the stomach... or a triggering of the flight-or-fight response. It is a natural reaction, and for performers it is something that never really goes away.
We all deal with it in different ways... for some, it is medication (beta blockers)... for others it is alcohol or drugs... for others it is strength of will or conviction... and for others it is a solace in preparation. Every performer has to deal and harness this extra nervous energy in a constructive way... or risk fearing the thing that they truly love doing, performing in public.
In my particular case, I find my strength in the enjoyment of communicating a musical vision. A focus on play and excitement means that I am less negatively focused upon technical mistakes or slips that occur because... well, because we are human! I really truly believe that an interesting performance with mistakes is better remembered by an audience than a boring performance that is technically perfect... plus, it is more fun to play that way rather than feeling like you are walking a technical tight-rope. Plus, worrying about a future technical slip (or regretting a past one) is a guaranteed way to screw it up royally! What is about to come will come... what is past is done... there is no way to change it!
... and that is what works best for me... as I think my greatest fear is to be judged by others. However, I have long come to the conclusion in music... that it is impossible to please everyone in the room, and so I will just observe and pursue my own musical vision and everyone else can either like it or not! Of course, it is my "job" to convince the audience (and colleagues) that it is the current best interpretation!
So, that brings me to the present situation! I've been writing on this platform for quite some time now... and I've found that I've been quite happy writing about games, music and crypto and all of that sort of thing... basically, anything that crosses my mind on a day to day basis. I've found it quite enjoyable and relaxing, a sort of escape that I also find when I'm on stage performing.
So, for the last year, I've been writing little pieces here and there for various bounties and small rewards... and at times even found the courage to apply for writer jobs in fields that I find interesting and that pique my curiosity for knowledge. Mostly, these long shot attempts have turned up empty as I have very little in the way of a portfolio and my formal writing/journalistic qualifications are non-existent. Still... it can't hurt to try... despite the fact that I know that I'm a dark horse run in the most generous interpretation.
That said, I've always been pleasantly surprised when some of my freelance submissions have been accepted. I always expect rejection in this arena. So, imagine my surprise when I received a message from a fairly well known platform to produce educational content on a regular basis. Not as an employee but as an ongoing freelance commission! Wow... this is a dream! The chance to learn and explore more about topics that interest me... write and share the knowledge... and get a little bit of compensation in return!
... well... I know that I start on a bit of a probation... which is why I'm not really keen to share any more details about the new opportunity. I am wary of getting my hopes up too high... but I've had submissions published before on this platform, and the chance to have a continuing relationship with them is something that is giving me a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness!
I guess this is what you would call the imposter butterflies... the feeling that you are not the right person for the job. I feel like this, because I feel like I don't have the right background or training for this... but I know deep down that I want to succeed at this, that I have proven myself with past submissions and that this platform believes that there is something of worth in this capacity.
Could it lead to more? Who knows... I live in hope, and more than a little bit of trepidation. I have had the sick feeling of nervousness for the whole day, something that is quite unsettling for someone who normally has a quiet core of confidence on the musical stage. I will need to learn to harness this new source of unsettling excitement and energy... I am curious, I love to learn and I love to teach. These are the qualities that I hope will get me past this initial new hurdle of feeling out of my depth!
I can do this!
... but first... a celebratory drink! (and no... this isn't going to be my coping mechanism... I hope!).
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