I started writing a book 2 years ago.
It was a memoir written real time like the film “Boyhood”.
I took all of my writing from the day I detoxed off of heroin and arranged it chronologically. Then, I removed a shitload of stuff and narrated the story between each passage.
A year and a half in, I realized:
I had just written one long ass journal entry.
I ended the “book” earlier this year. I wrote the last passage and closed the document.
It was the best/worst day of my life.
I realized that I had completed something important, but its only purpose was to teach me something.
It helped me through a rough romantic rejection.
It allowed me to express myself while I felt intrinsically alone; isolated from the world around me.
The book gave me a challenge. It led me to knowledge as I figured out way to live between the pages.
It taught me how to show up at a keyboard and write everyday.
Working on the book gave me purpose as I slogged through months of heartache.
Finishing it allowed me to finally disconnect from an “idea” of who I was and what I was meant to do.
The act of writing was the point. The only way I could learn how to be a “writer” was to write.
So I wrote one long ass journal entry in an attempt to capture something real.
And now, I confront each page like it will be the last.
Writing isn’t about making “excuses” or explaining “why”.
It’s about understanding fear and publishing anyways.
Earlier this week, I stood in front of 300 entrepreneurs, software engineers, and designers at a tech conference to pitch myself for 30 seconds.
I planned to talk about the app I’ve been developing, humanistic psychology, and the vision for U.I. Minds Eye.
I didn’t share about any of that.
They called me to the stage, handed me a microphone, and allowed me to speak.
I smiled at the audience.
“Hey guys, I’m really glad to be here…this is my first time participating in an event like this and I’m really excited…
I scanned the audience and my voice froze. Everyone stared. I didn’t know what to do, so I continued smiling.
My eyes caught the clock and I saw that 8 seconds had passed.
“Wow…I’m really wasting a lot of time standing here smiling at you guys…”
No response from the audience.
“I feel like I should be moving…”
I walked across the stage and went into my pitch:
I spoke about working at a mental health hospital. I shared about the things I’m interested in: psychology, philosophy, and human growth/development.
I went on a quick riff about being frustrated with social media.
I told the crowd that I would be happy to chat about what I was working on and then…
I dropped the mic.
A heavy echo crackled throughout the auditorium and I bent over to pick it up.
As soon as I managed to grip the microphone, a loud air horn punched the airwaves.
My 30 seconds were up.
I handed the microphone to the master of ceremonies and donkey trotted off of the stage.
To be honest, I don’t know what a donkey trot is, but that’s what I did.
I galloped offstage into a sea of people bobbing my head like an ass. (“Ass” as in “Donkey”).
And, I can’t wait to do it again.
I was nervous right before I spoke.
Moments before I got on stage, I realized that whatever I’m supposed to say, will get said.
I calmed myself by recognizing the fact that nobody gives a shit.
Everybody is just doing the best they can and people are only paying attention to stuff that might interest them.
I decided, in that moment, to just be myself.
To give the group a chance to get to know “me”.
I may not have pitched the perfect product, or expressed myself like a master of public speaking, but I did it.
I embraced fear and stepped into the unknown.
I feel alive, I feel challenged, and I can’t wait to do it again.
Cause nobody really gives a shit.
And Tony Robbins would be proud.