As many of you know, I’ve begun to push myself in new directions. My personal finance blog has been wildly successful, and because of this I’ve been presented with new opportunities.
For one, I’ve been offered some speaking engagements. I spoke to graduating students at Western Oregon University last spring, and last weekend I gave a talk at the Multnomah County Library. Though I was one course shy of a speech communication minor, making presentations to groups right now scares the hell out of me. It’s tough.
I console myself with the knowledge that I will get better with practice. It used to be that I was very nervous when I met “imaginary friends” for coffee or lunch or dinner. (”Imaginary friends” being Paul J.’s term for internet-only friends, a term that has found common usage in our house.) But now I’m very comfortable meeting these folks, and even look forward to it.
Might it be possible that I’ll eventually feel the same way about speaking to groups?
Even more intimidating than public speaking are the occasional media appearances I make. Since my disastrous first live radio interview, I’ve had a couple of other television and radio appearances. These have been of mixed quality. In all cases, I was tense tense tense tense tense. And in one case — the series of interviews being broadcast this week on KPTV-12 — I really think I did a poor job. (It makes me sick to watch these.) But, in general, I think I’m improving.
The real test will come tonight. I’m scheduled to appear on KGW-8’s “Live at 7″ program to speak about frugal Christmas gifts. Once again, I am tense tense tense tense tense. After speaking with friends and family, though, I have some goals. Paul H. suggested that I try to speak more slowly, and so I will. I’m also going to try to take a moment to compose my thoughts before answering questions.
Again, I’m hoping that by continuing to do these things that I hate, I’ll actually get better at them.
Okay, so that subheading is premature. I don’t have a book deal. I haven’t even completed a proposal. However, I have agreed to work with an agent from Waxman Literary Agency. Next up: a book proposal, which we hope to have done in a couple of months. Then, assuming it gets picked up, an actual book. Who woulda thunk it?
This, too, is scary, but in a better way than the previous two things I listed. I know how to write. I feel confident in my abilities. I’m not worried about my ability to create a quality book.
However, each of those first two things I listed — public speaking and media appearances — will be critical to the success of my book. I’ll need to be able to present myself in a variety of situations if I want to promote the book and encourage its success.
Building confidence, destroying fear
It seems strange to me that little foldedspace has led me to so much more. I know that many of you long for the days when I wrote about comic books and cats and computers. I miss those days, too. But I’m not sure that they’ll ever return.
In the meantime, the seeds I planted here have grown into something amazing, something that has let me climb higher than I thought possible. I’m well on the way to achieving my dreams.