yackety-yak!

I describe myself as a ‘writer’.  I’ll often add ‘and editor’ as it’s a different, but regular role in my life.  Sometimes, if it’s appropriate, I’ll also say I’m a speaker.

Most of the time, I think of the speaking as an extension of my writing (rather than the other way round).  I will write what I’m going to say (or at least, parts of it – I ad-lib a lot more than I used to!).

Speaking on a subject is a great way to focus my mind and explore those hidden treasures in the same way as writing an article, but it’s a different way of presenting words and ideas.

To be honest, I don’t get to speak as much as I would like. The more I get to do it, the more relaxed I become and the better it goes.  But often speaking engagements are sparse and very spread out – or they come in clumps! I am, however, quite involved at my church and am often doing up front things – leading a service, occasionally preaching, playing guitar/singing etc. These are all different things but increase my confidence when facing a group of people – big or small.

I’m happy to say I’m a writer – I’ve ‘owned’ that part of me now. The editor part of me is a very functional element of what I do.  But I still hesitate as to whether I can justify calling myself a ‘speaker’.  Getting on what they call ‘the speaking circuit’ can be tough.  Writers are often encouraged to do this in order to sell books – but they need to sell books to be well-known enough to be asked to speak at things!

It takes a lot of energy and I don’t do it enough to feel confident every time – especially when I’ve had a break.  But once I’ve started yackety-yakking I begin to enjoy it, to feel again the passion behind the words, to connect with those who are listening.

I don’t get the same nerves I used to – when I was in my teens I suffered from crippling anxiety which made me feel physically ill.  At some point, in the last few years, something clicked into place and this no longer happens – mild butterflies are normal and fine, and I can rise above them. Q and As can give me the jitters – but I always end up encouraged by the contributions others make to what I’ve said.

When someone sidles up to me after I’ve given a talk and whispers ‘thank you’ or ‘I’m so glad I came’ –  it feels worth all the effort.


Funnily enough, yesterday’s post made me very positive today.  Obviously a good exercise!


A to Z posts – reflecting on my writing journey

A to Z theme reveal
A is for … acorns
B is for … bricks
C is for … change
D is for … dreams
E is for … empathy
F is for … forgetfulness
G is for … gifts
H is for … hiatus
I is for … imagination
J is for … jewels
K is for … knowledge
L is for … living
M is for … meaning
N is for … novels
O is for … observe
P is for … persist
Q is for … quiet
R is for … reading
S is for … secrecy
T is for … timing
U is for … understanding
V is for … variations
W is for … weakness
X …. marks the spot

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