Last January, my friend Beth Vogt (aka The Evil Editor) asked me to speak to a group of writers. Beth is the kind of friend who makes you see yourself as you always dreamed you could be, which for me means covered in green paint and belting out Defying Gravity on a Broadway stage.
Naturally I agreed.
After the exhilaration faded, and I realized I would not be singing in green body paint, I got nervous.
As the February date of my workshop drew nearer, my nerves turned into a clump of cold spaghetti. I practiced and practiced my talk on Moving Beyond Clichés. The day arrived and with it a snowstorm. The event was cancelled, and my spaghetti knot unwound.
Beth and Scoti at Springs Writers rescheduled me for October, which was far enough away for my spaghetti to be lulled into warm, buttery sense of security.
But, as you know, time tends to pass. Autumn arrived, and I started having internal pasta trouble around October 1st.
Last night, at 6:30, time was up. I finally gave my first workshop. Beth Vogt and Mild-Mannered Missionary Mary came along to heckle, I mean, cheer me on. During my talk I had a little moment when a realization hit me. It went something like this:
No, I wasn’t tied to the podium, and there was no deranged psychologist waiting in the wings, but I did experience a tingle of exhilaration when I realized that I can do this. I speak now. I’m a speaker. Isn’t this some kind of breakthrough? I’m a speaker!