Stepping Out

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I’m a shy person.   I don’t like to stand out. I’d rather watch than be watched.  But next month, April 24th, I’ll be reading my work-in-progress, Mayne Island Ghosts in a restaurant/bookstore.

This will not be the first time I’ve read in public.  I read to children all the time, my own and  other people’s work.  I love it.  And I’ve even read my own books to groups of adults on Mayne  Island.  No problem.

So what is different?  Victoria is my home town, a place I lived for nearly 40 years.  I was a professional in a different field, and that’s how people know me.  I’ll be stepping out of my professional role and into the roll of an “artist,” a “writer.” For me this is a very big step.

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2 responses »

  1. I think I understand your situation, Amber.
    Last October, I travelled back “home” to Eriksdale, Manitoba. I was born and spent the first twenty-years of my life in Eriksdale. Population 500 and about half of the population are my relatives. Everyone knew everyone. Everyone lived in each others’ pockets.
    As I child, I would describe myself as more than shy. I would say that I was scared. This fear steamed from my lack of social involvement as well my feeling of ineptitude. Due to the fact that I was dyslexic, I viewed myself as other.
    Those around me put me in a nice safe box. I was told in words and in actions what I could do and what I couldn’t.
    Years past, I grew up, I moved away, I married. I discovered a beautiful island home. I learnt that dyslexia was a gift. Inspired and encouraged by others I stepped out more and more. I gained strength from these challenges. I felt so strong that — after publishing a novel — I travelled back to Eriksdale. While there I attend my nephew’s wedding reception and I gave a book reading.
    Before the reading I was very nervous. My mind wheeled with questions: Would anyone come? What would they think? Could I do this? What if I did? What if I didn’t?
    I don’t know what I was more scared of failing or succeeding.
    Well, people came. The room was packed.
    I did very well. I was so proud of myself. And to my surprise, so was everyone else. I never felt as supported as a writer as I did during that reading.
    Now, memory of that event, fuels my fire. Now, when I hit an obstacle, I think, Hey, I did that — I can do this.
    Do I still get nervous?
    Yes.
    Do I still feel shy?
    Yes.
    Do I let this shyness and these nerves stop me?
    I do everything I can not to have that happen.

  2. Dear Amber and Leanne, I never remember I’m shy until I go to a new venue or I take on a new role… then my tongue gets very large and refuses to nimbly pronounce the words before it on the page. My mind becomes blank. I gasp inside… I promise myself I will never do this again. However, when it is all over, I laugh and say “ah, it wasn’t so bad! Fun actually, we should do this again.”

    So we three shall read, we shall engage with our audience and we shall have fun… butterflies are welcome – they will give us an edge. Besides, together we can do anything! :))))))

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