Insecure Writers Support Group

It's the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and as I told fellow IWSGer, Jennifer Lane, this month's topic is easy for me. For you see, this weekend I am to speak.  In public.

The whole reason I write is because I communicate far better that way than verbally, so it's a cruel irony that a byproduct of writing is being asked to speak.  And yet silly me gets excited every time it happens. I jump at the chance. And this particular opportunity is pretty cool and low key---it's to do a reading at a the annual Art in Your Eye fine art festival in my current home town.

It's not until I hit about this point, days away from the gig, that I ask, "What the hell was I thinking?" So please join me in my anti-pscyche-out exercises.  What I do is look at my fears and then find some way to allay them.

Fear #1: What if nobody comes? 
Well, if nobody's there, then it isn't public anymore, is it? And therefore not scary at all.

Fear #2: What am I going to talk about?
They asked because they think I have something interesting to say, so I'll just keep pretending to be who they think I am.  When all else fails, read from my written works---and in this case that's what I'm supposed to do, so bonus.

Fear #3: What if I flub up?
Marketers keep saying the best way to connect with readers is to do so on a personal level, let them know you're human---what better way than by making a mistake or ten?

There, I feel better.  How about you?


Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Public speaking is like running, the more you do it, the more conditioned you become. It's natural to be nervous, but once you get up there to speak, it will go by quickly. Wishing you all the best. Let me know how it goes.

Karen Walker said...

Do you know that public speaking is the #1 fear people have - more than death and cancer? It does get easier the more you do it. The only way I can do it is to have my speech written out on cards, so if I forget or get lost, I can find myself. Good luck!

Jamie Burch said...

Good luck at your event! Thanks for sharing your list. I'm going to borrow it if I ever have to do any public speaking. Yikes!

Johanna Garth said...

Good luck!! I'm so afraid of public speaking that I got nervous just reading your post!!

Jennifer Lane said...

Cruel irony indeed that favored writing leads to dreaded public speaking! But I've seen your TV interview and met you in person, so I think you'll do wonderfully. Great challenges to the fears in your head. The best way to decrease anxiety is to face it again and again, so hopefully this is the first of many public speaking ventures. By your 100th book reading, you'll be a cool cucumber!

KarenG said...

I bet you will do fantastic! Wish I could be there to see you, and I would promise not to heckle. I would smile and nod and nudge the people next to me and say, "Isn't she great?"

Lauren said...

I communicate far better in print than I do in person, and I shake in my figurative boots right up until the moment I open my mouth.

I shake afterward too, with relief that it's over.

Lauren Ritz

Donna Shields said...

You go for it! I'd be scared silly.

Cherie Colyer said...

I love how you get over your fear. I'll have to remember that one. I just checked the dates and I'm out of town, or I would have come. You'll do great!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not my favorite thing to do!
Hey, if you make a mistake, unless they are reading along with you, no one will know.

Heather Murphy said...

I'm sure you will do great! I'm not a good public speaker either but I've had lots of practice. It does get easier.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Nice pep talk! You can do it!
One of the most memorable lay sermons I ever gave at my church came on a Vacation Bible School Sunday - when another lady and I enacted a skit from VBS week . . . and I tripped backwards and fell onto my back with my legs up in the air. Everyone laughed, I laughed, and most people even remembered the point.

Lexa Cain said...

With your great attitude and sense of humor, you'll do excellent I'm sure. Remember to have fun.:-)

Donna Hole said...

You'll do fine Nicki :) And what a great way of looking at things. Being optimistic is the best way to overcome your fears.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder what if no one cares. I can deal with the rest. I flub all the tub. But if they don't care? That's rough. Fortunately, the good folks in Blogdom care even if my posts are lame.

Janie Junebug said...

Read the part in "Three Daves" where he teaches Jen how to have sex. That's how far I've gotten (I can't get past that part because I read it over and over). They'll flock in to listen.


Michael Di Gesu said...

Oh, please, Ms. 80's funky girl... You have PERSONALITY PLUS! TOSS your hair like a Breck girl, FLASH that Pepsodent smile, and get on with it!

(Note the 70's/80's products... do they still make them?LOL Man I'm aging myself.... LOL.

LOOKING forward to tomorrow!

Suze said...

Babe, I'm jealous of the people who can actually attend. Ah, I would so love to go to a reading of yours and then go out for grub after ...

Suze said...


Re: the human element. Yesterday I went to my 6:30 morning hot yoga class and the instructor/owner ran from upstairs (where she lives) as she had just woken up. Her hair was a rat's nest and the three other women waiting for the class with me were a bit stunned. The instructor was all apologetic and said she'd had a rough night -- she was in her plaid pajama pants! Well she ran upstairs, got suited up and came down to give us a KICK-ASS class.

I love her for being human. I think it's part of what makes her such a fantastic instructor.

Arlee Bird said...

Totally normal fears I'd say. It would probably be worse if you didn't have the fears. The adrenaline will make your presentation better. Have fun with it!

Tossing It Out

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

The entire day before and up until I step to the stage, I'm physically sick. The anxiety is often overwhelming even though I keep telling myself I've done this before, everything will be fine.

My favourite part is the Q & A segment. I love get the audience fired up for reading.

Great meeting you, Niki. Happy IWSG.

Ink in the Book said...

It looks like I'm too late to say "you can do it!" but maybe I can say, "Way to go! you DID it!"
There are too many people on the list to make it around to everyone in one day. So I just take the whole month to stop by everyone's blog and say hi.
*waves crazily*