This next week is a big one for me. I’m attending the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association Conference this weekend. Last year, I met my editor and agent there and within a little over a month I had a book contract.
At the conference last year, a group of us started talking about fear. We asked ourselves collectively, “What activity or experience would be most frightening to you?” One answered rock climbing, another said sky diving. One even looked at me, shrugged, and said the thought of strapping on skis and schussing down the slopes scared her more than anything else.
“What about you?” My new friend, Lorraine, asked. “Is there anything that scares you?”
I thought about it. I’d tried most of the activities the group had discussed, and quite frankly I didn’t find them too over-the-top scary.
“Improv.” I said. The thought of standing in front of an audience and trying to make them laugh makes my palms sweat.
So when Lorraine told me that she does Improv, and that I should join her, I smiled nervously. I’m a writer. I communicate best through the written word. I don’t, to be honest, even like talking on the telephone. I’d much rather have time to contemplate my words, to massage them into just the right meaning and phrasing, in order to evoke the proper response. And, of course, in order to avoid sticking my foot in my mouth.
So when Lorraine asked if I wanted to co-present a workshop for this conference on using Improv skills in boosting one’s writing career, I’m not sure why I wholeheartedly agreed. But here it is. This weekend I will teach others how to promote themselves and their writing through Improv skills. The workshop is aptly titled, “Self-promotion for the Introvert”.
You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with the weekly high-five report? I’m getting to that. You see, I’m crossing two things off my “scary-list” this week and that’s pretty high-fiveable, in my book. I’m confronting my fears of Improv and I’m talking about self-promotion. It’s almost a dirty word around our house, so just invoking the idea of promoting one’s self is pretty scary. But it’s a necessary evil in modern publishing.
I have a blog and a Facebook fanpage, an Amazon author page as well as a twitter feed and LinkedIn account. Oh, and I just got on Google+ just in case that becomes the next big thing. But what I thought at first was just murky self-promotion–a necessary evil in a world with low-budget book marketing campaigns–has turned into something else entirely. I’ve stepped into the Community (with a capital C) that bloggers always talk about. And funny thing is, I’m liking it. I’ve met people here and felt the support of friends and cohorts. It feels like one big high-five.
So with that in mind, this weekly high-five report is about conquering fear. High-five to me for crossing a few things off my “scary-list”.
Below, is a time-lapse video of some beautiful Patagonia scenery. For whatever reason, time-lapse videos are the new black. Everyone’s doing them. But this one is especially lovely. And the music isn’t bad either. So here’s some visual high-fiveability:
What about you? Have you crossed anything off your “scary-list” lately?