On our journey, whether traveling around the world or around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

wRite, publish ... AND speak??

Preparing to speak at
The Golden Hills Garden Club 2014
*deep breaths*

Surveys show that men's (and women's) two top fears are:
death and public speaking.  
Not me.  Mine are needles and public speaking.

Since the publication of my debut novel, Lady and the Sea, I have attended several writers conferences. I was doing great until a New York Times bestselling author announced, "Now that you are an author, you must also be a speaker."

Huh?

Since then, I have been invited to speak at various groups--a Jewish Culture Class, Oakleaf Village--to name a few.  Excitement is my first emotion.  Then fear hits.  My Aunt Eunice didn't help matters at all.  When I told her, "Auntie, I'll be speaking at various venues, and possibly appearing on The Katie Couric Show," she grabbed my shoulders and said, "Shaa-ren, you have got to start Botox-ing immediately!  Until then, stick to the radio."  Great.  Public speaking.  Now needles

my Aunt Eunice

I went home and sat myself down in my office.  Sipping my third cup of coffee, I tried to analyze the whole speaking situation.  Why are we so afraid to stand and speak in front of an audience, no matter what size?  Lots of reasons.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of being judged, or made fun of.  Fear of forgetting, or ... and ... ugh ... saying those empty words.  And what if people begin to nod off?  Fear of being boring.  The list goes on.  Oh, yeah, almost forgot.  After I finished giving my speech in my 11th grade Speech Class, I fainted.  The 'A' I received never made up for the embarrassment I experienced waking up underneath a table, with a cute football player holding my hand, asking, "Are you okay?"  

You have your own fears.  Those are a few of mine.

Then I got hold of myself.  Hey, girl, its not all about you.  Speak about the journey that God has you on.  It's all about Who you are speaking about.  It's about encouraging the woman who needs to lose sight of her safe shore and jump into a new ocean ... art lessons to create what is in her heart, singing lessons to share the melodies in her soul.  The lists are endless.  Inspiring that person in the back row who has lost faith for her forgotten dreams.  Dreams to help the helpless, both near and far away.  That's what it's all about, girlfriend.

Every time I prepare to speak about my journeys, I take a deep breath and tell myself, It's not about me, Lord, it's all about You.  Then I know that I will be a success, no matter what happens when I take center stage.  And I wish the same for you, my friends.

P.S.  No botox-ing for this girl.


Hear, for I will speak of excellent things; 
and the opening of my lips shall be right things.  
For my mouth shall speak truth...
Proverbs 8:6-7a

www.sharonleaf.com