I have a dickens of a time working up my nerve to speak publicly. Horrible thoughts run through my mind. Here are a few of them....
What are you doing, you fool? What makes you think you have anything worth saying? Can you even remember what you're supposed to be speaking about? How does your hair look? Are your hands noticeably trembling? OMG! Did your Spanx just roll up around your waist?
In my saner moments I do know I've learned a lot about writing over the years, and am willing to try to pass some of it on for others' benefit. Can I remember what I meant to say? Well, I have notes. Reading notes is better than staring blankly, totally mute, into a sea of faces, isn't it? My hands may certainly be trembling--I'll just tell everyone my Parkinson's has gotten worse. That's the ticket. (Yes, my doctor says I may be in the beginning stages, but I've had no tests. Don't want to know.) My hair? Oh, to perdition with it. I've had crappy hair all my life. And my Spanx? It'll force me to watch my posture and stand up straight. Then it'll be fine.
I'm speaking to a fairly large group this coming Thursday on the subject of taglines, hooks, and queries. My nerves are already getting to me and yet, I'm looking forward to it. What a person of contradictions I am.
This isn't my first venture into public speaking. I've done smaller women's groups and libraries, but, aside from making a pitch to the Western Writers of America folk and persuading the group to come to Spokane for the 2005 convention, it is the biggest.
Please, wish me luck. I'll try not to make an ass out of myself.