Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thump THUMP thump THUMP thump THUMP

From April 21, 2008...

The telltale sign of nerves: the pounding heart.

What causes the heavy thumps, you ask? Well, my friend, I'll tell you...

You know, I hate even saying this because it's such a cliche. People don't even take you seriously. They respond with that obligatory look of interest and thinly veiled disdain. The "I can't possible take you seriously" vibe erases all words proclaiming the opposite. So here I go, ready for your arched eyebrow...

I'm writing a book.

Yup, it's true. I've been writing for about six months now and have made fairly significant progress. So much so, that now it is time to start looking at agents. Not that I'm ready to actually hire one yet, but I do want to have a list prepared for when I finally gain the confidence to send out query letters.

I bought a tome the other day at Borders, advising me on particular agents and their preferred genres, ideal client and their advice in actually hooking an agent's interest. Many of them said what I've been afraid of and thus, the heart thumping began.

Developing credibility takes more than just writing a book. I've known this all along, but somehow hoped that it needn't be true in my case. (Gee, ya think I should be held to the standard of rules just like everyone else? Hmmm, go figure.) So now it's time to teach a class, start a website, consult. And therein lies the nerves. Capability doesn't factor in, but more the simple fact that I am reserved and don't feel the burning need to speak. Never have. I prefer to listen, to write, to read, to observe.

Let others do the talking. There are only three people with whom I speak completely freely, without fear of censure or condemnation or condescension. And when I speak to this person, the conversation is 50% mine. An oddity, considering that throughout conversations with everyone else, I let the other person dominate. Sure, I'll chip in when needed, give the basics of interesting info in my week, ask questions, be a friend. And I'm happy to do so; indeed, I love phone calls. Simply, though, the reserving properties of my personality prefer the ease of listening rather than speaking.

Occasionally it happens that I call a friend to say hello and she's sick or out of sorts; i.e. she's not in the mood to talk. Then the burden of carrying the conversation shifts to me and I am always at a loss of how to fill the chasm of silence. Those calls never last long.

But back to the issue of nerves. I must perform, demonstrating my expertise, and I'm nervous! Aside from the difficulties of working through my reservations, I can't help but question myself. Am I ready? Am I really the expert I think I am? How do I handle questions for which I don't have an answer? How to I work through the inevitable anxiety? And, the biggest question of all, how do I garner the wherewith all to coordinate speaking engagements?

Confidence lies in security -- security in my capabilities, in my writing, in my expertise. It will develop as I work through the apprehension and just believe in myself. I just need to hurry it along lest someone else publishes a similar book first! Eek!
Posted by CA girls at 7:51 PM

No comments: