“Play Like You Belong” (from New York Minute Magazine)

I recall looking at an upcoming project in an on-line catalogue and thinking about how surreal it was to see my name there. My book was surrounded by pages of talented and seasoned authors: best-selling writers that I imagined didn’t plunk through words on an old laptop like me… no, their fingers effortlessly surfed fruit-branded keyboards like concert pianists in exclusive corners of Greenwich Village coffee shops, filling their pages with nothing less than crafted explosions of poetry.

When I think about writing, it is occasionally discouraging to consider all the compelling books being written and the flood great writers out there working today. It makes me wonder if I have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation. But sometimes in these moments I can hear the words of reassurance from an old basketball coach as he sent me into the crucial moments of a big game…

Whatever our craft, our work, our passion, I think most of us come face to face with similar questions of whether or not we supposed to be doing what we are doing. Maybe sales are down this year, maybe your presentation bombed or your thesis was rejected, maybe you are grinding it out and wondering if you even belong in the “game.”

A couple years back my wife and I went to an area of Chicago called Lakeview to see an alt-country songwriter. We were sure we had the right address, and paused in confusion at the marquee as we read the name of the headline band “Monk 9”. We could tell from the adornment of folks loitering on the sidewalks (tattoos, piercings, white make-up and black leather) that we were out of place. I asked the guy at the door, “Is Gabriel Kelley playing here tonight?” He paused, and frowned, and furrowed his eyebrows irritably, “Who?” I had to ask again and with a huff he shouted my query across to the bartender who yelled back, “Yeah, up here at ten.” We stepped in and looked at the small room (more of a foyer with a bar) leading to a busy doorway of the main stage area in an expansive basement venue. The noise of a death metal band at sound check spit Les Paul groans through the heavy basement door as anxious concert goers descended.

Read the full article at New York Minute Magazine here: Play Like You Belong




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