I don't gig yet.But maybe a couple years when I'm 18,and have done more song writing.
I certainly do not want to sound like a "know-it-all" judgemental tool, so hopefully this reply doesn't sound over the top or that it is coming from a "superior" standpoint but,
#1 - Don't wait until you're 18 to gig.
Start playing with other people, now. Then immediately thereafter, start playing live. Your chops will improve dramatically when forced to play with others, and even more so when you know that you have to do it in front of other people.
#2 - Don't wait until you have enough of your own material to play live.
I simply cannot think of a single musician I have ever heard that was not in a cover band at some point in their life. Playing others music, and playing it well enough to deliver it in a live setting will also dramatically enhance your own writing and overall playing.
I was lucky enough to have played in some truely terrible cover bands, and some wonderfully magical ones as well.
I am blessed enough now that I can play live between 1 to 4 times a month, when it works for my schedule, and with a tremendous amount of creative freedom. And, as I stated in that other
post (props to deadtunes), I get a chance to play a different guitar at almost every performance, so it is like having my own weird NGD every couple of weeks, as I practice on the guitar that I will be using for each new performance in the weeks leading up to the show, then switch soon thereafter for the next show.
#3 - Macka, your stuff really does rock.
I remember your original post of this some time ago, and was truely impressed then. Even more so now.