Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thanks For Your Support and Advice

I’m using today’s post to say a grateful thank you to all the wonderful people who commented on, and sent me emails, about my blog article posted yesterday about performing a reading at the National Queer Arts Festival.

This really goes back to what I said in my recent series about why I love writing, that is, the writers I’ve meet through this process of publishing and marketing my book have been the most supportive people I’ve ever known. It is such a brilliant feeling to know that so many people, really talented people, are pulling for me. There is no competitiveness among writers. When one wins, we all win, and I love that attitude. I received more than a dozen comments and emails with very helpful advice, and I’m planning on using much of it.

For those of you who have a fear of speaking in public, as I do, I’ll share some of the helpful comments:

1. Many people mentioned practicing reading the passage every day, and while reading to ignore everything else and become absorbed in the story. And if possible, read into a digital recorder so I can view my progress.

2. Several people mentioned gathering a group of friends, even some very critical friends, and read the chosen passage to them at least once, perhaps multiple times to different groups. (wish I had that many friends living close by)

3. Two different people offered to listen as I read the passage and to critique my ‘showmanship’. One is quite a distance away but still offered to pick up the phone charges. (Bryl, you are so, so sweet.)

4. Another, who has read Island Song, told me to simply stay focused on what a wonderful story it is. Focus on the story, not me, not the audience, but the story. It is a great story and I should feel proud to present it to people, like introducing your child to guests.

5. Enid mentioned putting a contest together to select the best scene to read. Nice idea, but the committee has already determined which scene they want me to read. It apparently is very structured.

6. I think the advice that rang truest for me was to stay in the moment and read from the heart, letting the passion of the story come through.

There were several more comments, and everyone who contacted me was both gracious and kind. Thank you all for your advice and support.


Patricia Stoltey said...

I used to think it was just the mystery writer community that was this supportive, but not true. Isn't it incredible that even those competing directly with us still choose to encourage, sympathize/empathize, and advise us when we need those things? I love being a writer.


AlanChinWriter said...

I couldn't agree more. The support is wonderful. I think it takes a writer to understand another writer, and if you understand you have to be supportive.

Karen Walker said...

I am also blown away by the support of writers for each other. I'm actually finding the same phenomena in my singing group. We simply cheer each other on and give advice when it's needed.

I don't think we can ever go wrong if we stay centered inside ourselves and speak from our heart. Even if you stumble over a word or two, if you are centered, it doesn't matter. I've sung off pitch a few notes and it made no difference - because the audience responded to me, not my mistakes.

Your spirit will shine through, Alan. Trust it.


C. Margery Kempe said...

On the whole, most writers I have found to be really supportive -- horror writers are amazingly sweet!

I adore reading my stories, but it does take practice to get there. I was once the quiet student who sat at the back of the class, but now I'm the professor at the front who won't shut up. The more you do it, the easier it gets. You've already got lots of great advice. All I'll add is do it and share your wonderful story!

Enid Wilson said...

Great that you receive so much support. I hope you have a great day in June. But in the meantime, enjoy a bit and don't think too much about it yet.

In Quest of Theta Magic

Jina Bacarr said...

You did a wonderful job of putting together excellent advice we can all use. Thank you.

I esp. liked when you said, "When one wins, we all win."

That is so true.


Alexis Grant said...

Glad you got something out of it! It really is nice to have a community for advice/feedback.

KK Brees said...

You are the story. Your words speak from your heart, so just let them out. Speaking in public is something you get used to. You either love it or you hate it or you learn to live with it. Don't sweat the small stuff (It's all small stuff!)