Tag Archives: Fear of failure

On being a #writer and #publicSpeaking

So this past Saturday I gave my first ever PowerPoint presentation to my local chapter of RWA.

To say I was nervous would be to do a disservice to the knocking in my knees and the way my heart was shooting extra beats.

I’ve spoken publically before, — hell, I use to teach Nursing to undergrads! – but I haven’t spoken publically in a very long time. In fact, I haven’t done anything publically in a very long time, not since I retired and started writing full time.

I think I was nervous because  I didn’t want to screw up, be boring, or deliver a topic that didn’t appeal to the audience. I didn’t eat anything all day because I was terrified I’d hurl!

I’m sitting here to report (1) I did not hurl, (2) I was absolutely starving the minute the presentation ended! (3) my audience laughed, repeatedly and freely in all the appropriate spots (4) there was discussion about the topic – a lot of discussion, so YAY!, and (5) my audience seemed to genuinely like the presentation.

So, again, YAY!!!

Now I just have to get my nerve up again, because I’m giving this presentation again next month to another group.

But I’ll think about that…tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

When I’m not being overly dramatic, you can find me here:

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, NHRWA, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women

Public speaking isn’t for sissies…

So, this weekend I’ll be here:

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I’m part of the Vendor’s event on Friday night,  hawking my books and pressing the flesh ( why that always sounds so dirty to me, I can’t tell ya, but it does! )

Saturday I’m giving two “talks” or classes, as the camp is calling them. One is titled DREAM BIG the other, WRITING A BOOK, two concepts I know a great deal about.

Anyone who knows me knows I love to talk. I’ll talk to practically anyone, anywhere any time. My grandmother used to say I’d talk to a rock if it would listen. She’s wasn’t wrong.

But speaking to another person one-on-one or in a small group of your friends is totally different from getting up in front of a bunch of strangers and commanding a topic.

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I tend to babble when I’m nervous. I tend to go off on tangents if something strikes me as funny. I tend to avoid eye contact because I’m so nervous. None of these little idiosyncrasies warms a listener’s heart when they have paid cash-money to hear you speak about a topic you are supposed to be proficient in and an expert on.

There are a million tactics to dealing with this nervous anxiety. Picturing your audience naked is one of the oldest and most quoted pieces of advice. But folks, seriously? I’m a romance writer. I write about naked people all the time! If I started envisioning my audience naked I’d most likely start to think up stories to put couples in the crowd together! Not a good tactic at all.

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Someone else offered me the advice of speaking to the crowd as if they were all a bunch of my friends and we were just chatting. Again- do you know me??? I have more “friends” on facebook than I do in real life. I’m never around more than 4 people at a time. EVAH!!!

One thing I did do for these two talks was write out all the bullet points I wanted to speak about and then transferred them to index cards. At least this way I can stick to topic and not go off on one of my numerous side trips and a non-sensical conversations.

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Arghghgh, as Charlie Brown so correctly says.

What have I gotten myself into? It’s so hard being a 50-ish, chubby, nervous, introvert in today’s youth obsessed, anorexic, let-everything-hang-out-there world.

I think I’ll go back to writing now to calm myself.

When I’m not having anxiety attacks about public speaking you can find me here:

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Filed under Author, community advocacy, Contemporary Romance, female friends, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Literary characters, Lyrical Author, Pet Peeves, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, Uncategorized, WIld Rose Press AUthor

Release-Eve thoughts….

Tomorrow, Skater’s Waltz is released into the world. Last week I admitted how fretful – well, terrified really – I am about this for a  number of reasons. I’ve had a few days to sit back and, while biting my nails, reflect on this. So here goes.

I am a truly private person. I know that sounds ridiculous since I have this blog, Facebook account, Twitter handle, am a Pinterest follower am LinkedIn, and Google plus-ed, but it’s true. As much as is “out there” in the cyber-verse about me, I keep a great deal of my emotions, thoughts ( yes, believe it!), and musings locked in my head. So when I tell you I’m terrified of this book failing, it is a huge admission for me to give a voice to.

I fail all the time. It’s true. I fail at weight loss, I fail to keep up with my exercise regimen, I fail people…enough about that one. So, you can see, failure is familiar to me and I usually don’t dwell on it, just get back on my proverbial horse and push on.

But this… this is soooooo different in every aspect. This book represents everything about me. My hopes, my dreams, my thoughts, my words, my loves. To have it fail – and by fail I mean, no one likes it, derides it, and makes fun of it – would, quite simply, be devastating.

I know I shouldn’t dwell on failure, because it can be a self fulfilling prophecy. Obviously, someone liked it because it’s being published. So there’s that. People will say “don’t worry about it. Everything will be fine.” And that’s nice to hear. But it’s so easy for someone else to say. Unless you have been in this position, as any writer has, it is impossible to empathize with what this feels like in your heart, soul and mind. As a writer, you put yourself out there on a ledge by asking people to read what you have to say. You love what you’ve written. It represents something that came from deep inside you, something that you gave your all to in order to bring forth. Discovering that people don’t like it, or worse – think it’s silly or stupid, or (the ultimate worst) badly written, is heartstoppingly traumatizing. I can hear how dramatic this sounds but believe me, from a writer’s viewpoint, it’s true.

As for the rest, I guess tomorrow will tell. I’ve done everything I could to promote it, market it, spread the word, and try to drum up some excitement from the people I know. I guess, as always, time will tell.

For now though, I’m going to go have a cookie…or several. And then try to exercise.

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Skater's Waltz, Strong Women