Sticking a toe in the water
Well, today I've signed up for a tournament for the first time - "Hammerschlag: You Must Be Joking".
Basically, up to now I've been terrified to play people that I don't know. So other than one game which I resigned eight moves into (accidentally selecting "Live chess" rather than "Online chess" when you expected to have time to think of your moves is a bit of an eye-opener) I've only been playing against friends. Many years ago I was happy to play all-comers in the pub (usually for pints) so it'd be nice to return to that.
So, now I'm forcing myself to play against strangers, since if I want to improve, and gain a bit of confidence in playing new people, that's how to do it. And a tournament will throw dozens of them at me, all at once.
Wish me luck out there.