2 min read

Nerves about "organizing" "events"

(these specific words "organizing" and "events" feel wrong, but close enough)

Today I thought of trying to get together a short public speaking practice session. I'm in a Discord of people that I could attempt this with. I even have met a person or two in the Discord that I could tag explicitly. So I have a perfect context in which to try and get together such a session.

I didn't try. I started thinking about it (overthinking it?). Like: What if there are a lot of people, what if there is nobody? Do I do it straight in Discord, do I stream/screenshare the speaking game there, but while I could my computer doesn't like it, so maybe it should be Zoom because it's happy with screenshare there... ? What settings do we use for the game? What speaking game are we even playing (of the ones easily accessible from the Discord's context)? ... If there are a lot of people maybe we would need to run breakout rooms or separate voice channels and I don't know how to do that... ? ... Does the Discord even handle breakout rooms? ... What if those people I'm tagging can't make it because of time differences? What if I'm bothering them by tagging them at this hour?

(Incidentally, I think some answers are: Try Discord, switch to Zoom if you have to, if you have enough people for breakout rooms or then odds are there will be someone who can help you set up breakout rooms. And if there are that many people interested in practicing that there are more than say four people total, in the worst case we could switch to Zoom. And tagging – well, so what, they probably have their notifications off right now if it would be bothersome right now but also it's one message and if it's significantly bothersome then they'll say so you can just remember not to do that next time.)

None of these are insurmountable problems in themselves. When they bubble up they together feel impossible.

I could schedule a session in advance to address some of these problems; when I think about this I find a note of anxiety. Like, if you schedule in advance, people have time to find out about it and plan around it, and can say whether the timing does or doesn't work, the schedule can be reworked if needed, and so on. That feels a little anxious. Now if nobody shows up you no longer can say: Oh well, spur of the moment, couldn't expect much. Spontaneously or without warning saying "I'm going to practice now" serves as an ego shield.

On the other hand, why care? If people show up – you practice. If nobody shows up – you practice. On another level: If nobody cared enough to show up, they also probably don't care enough to pay attention to whether anyone showed up. That would be a level of interest in the event which they do not have.

So should I schedule in advance? It would be convenient, in a sense. It could also be less nervous. So maybe it is better to be spontaneous. Maybe it is better to lean into that nervousness.

After all, never do today what you can put off to tomorrow. Isn't that what they say?

Maybe scheduling in advance, in this context – where I am thinking about how I will create a context for practicing on Monday – is spontaneity, because it means I have to send a message now rather than later.

That makes more sense, but I don't like it.