My late dad used to say: “The best gift you can be given is the ability to see yourself as others see you.” I’m not so sure.
A writers’ organization asked me to speak at their annual conference on penning the personal essay. For ten years, I’ve composed non-fiction narratives with inspirational messages, usually intended for magazines – secular and religious – and for anthologies, especially the well-known Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Although gingerly hesitant at first, I eventually consented to give my dog & pony show, which would include a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, something I’d never created. Before this moment, I’d spoken to a few book clubs, small writers’ groups, a Rotary gathering (with polite applause), and a sorority meeting for teachers, where many didn’t seem overly interested. I’d been a high school teacher, an instructor for OLLI’s continuing education, and a lecturer at a Rescue Mission, but I’d not performed on stage in front of a crowd of more than 100 real writers, who had paid money to hear me pontificate on the scribbler’s art.
I was nervous. When asked if I’d mind being filmed for YouTube, I declared, “Yes, I do mind.”Read More