I received a copy of Edgy Conversations by Dan Waldschmidt last year at the
2014 BEA (Book Expo America) in NYC. It was one of many (many!) books that I brought home from the convention, but there was something about it that made me put it on a prominent place in the bookcase in my living room — the shelf where I put the books that I’m most likely to read next.
The title kept calling out to me.
Wow, if there ever was an adjective to describe the exact opposite of me it was edgy.*
WANTING TO BE MORE EDGY
Certainly, there are some aspects and associations of “edginess” that aren’t always desired, like being nervous or tense or being harsh or unkind. But there’s more to being edgy than that. There’s also being unconventional, on the cutting edge, bold, and daringly innovative — those are the aspects of being edgy that I felt aligned with my personality, the ones that I wanted to embrace.
I’ve always been a behind the scenes, sit on the sidelines kind of person. I’m a quiet, shy, introvert. I’m the cheerleader of others’ ideas, the promoter of others’ work. I’ve spent a lot of time learning to accept and appreciate things as they are, taking everyone’s qualities, even my own, to be a special ingredient in the recipe of what makes us all different, of what makes the world go round.
Here’s the thing.
I have ideas.
I have lots of ideas. Original ideas. Some of them are even pretty good.
This book was a really important wake up call that if I want my ideas to come to fruition, if I want my ideas and my work to have the impact that I know they can, I have to change some of the things that have been standing in my way.
There’s no way that reading one book can make me (or anyone) suddenly less quiet, shy, or introverted. What it can do (and did), however, is help me gain some perspective.
It’s not about changing who I am, but about changing some of the things I do.
BREAKING IT DOWN
Waldschmidt explains that being EDGY is really about:
Thankfully, because of the many different examples Waldschmidt recounts throughout the book — examples of different ways people have been edgy and what being edgy has helped them accomplish — I could see glimpses of those things in myself already.
These examples along with Waldschmidt’s “ugly truth” about how to make it actually happen helped me better understand what I need to do to turn up the volume on those things in my own life.
A LESSON LEARNED
I’m not getting anything from writing this post. I already own the book, I’ve already read it, I’ve already begun to make many changes that are going to help me be more EDGY from now on.
And that’s exactly the point.
Sharing this book and its lessons with others is an act of giving. It’s just me, appreciating this book, its author, and his message and wanting to pass it on to others. It’s part of being EDGY.
*To drive home exactly how un-edgy I was, note that it took me over a year to work up the nerve just to read this book.