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02/22/2010

Nobody Told Me I had to Talk

I wrote a book. Okay I wrote several, but finally one of them was good enough to see publication. Yay for me. Whoo Hoo. Oh, wait, but now I have to promote the book. No promotion, no readers. No readers, no money. Okay, there's not much money to begin with, but there won't be any without book buyers, so I have to promote. Which means, I have to speak. In front of people. While they all stare at me and wait for pearls of wisdom to flow from my lips. Oh My God. I'm going to die.

 Look, put me in a room full of mystery readers and I can happily chat all night long. Stand me up in front of those same people and I can barely remain upright much less speak coherently. I'm not joking. I'd rather face down a cobra. People are scary. I know, I know, I'm a people too, but that doesn't help. Picture them in their underwear? No good. I'd just imagine that I was naked. Remember that everyone in the room is either a reader or writer. They're friendly, they're nice. Nope, no good. Still terrified. It's an unreasonable fear, but real nonetheless. Why, when I sat down to write seriously for the first time that many many years ago did not someone mention to me that the punishment for getting published was public speaking? It's just not fair.

So, my advice to young and not so young writers embarking on their career...Take Speach in high school. Take a public speaking course at the junior college, join Toastmasters. Do Something to familiarize yourself with public speaking. That knowledge will be worth it's weight in gold when you finally hold that completed book in your hands.

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