How I Got Over My Fear of Public Speaking

I have an admitted fear of public speaking. Apparently, I’m not alone as I’ve heard that people fear public speaking more than death. That’s right, people would actually rather head off into the ‘unknown’ rather than talk in front of a room full of people. Go figure.

I started vlogging in an attempt to help me get over my fears and I’m proud to say that it’s actually working! The more I film myself talking, the better I get at articulating my thoughts in a concise manner out loud, instead of relying heavily on my writing skills. I still have a few bad habits (like saying, “But um” or “But anyway” when I’m switching subjects), however I’m fully aware of those crutches and I’m working on them.

Still, video could only take me so far. I had to face my issues head on and actually do it. I was offered the opportunity to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for one of my all time favorite book club’s annual conference. The Renaissance Men’s Book Club here in Memphis have been huge supporters of my book and I was honored when they asked me to facilitate the program with them. I was  also scared out of my mind, but how could I say no to the men who gave me the title for my next book? I owed them! It also helped that I knew it would be an intimate setting: 15 to 20 people tops

The day of the event, I took a deep breath, prayed and decided to just be myself and let things flow. I’m proud to say that I did a pretty good job! At least that’s the feedback I got from the book club, and I’ve been told that I’ll be invited back. All in all, it was a total win.

Conference

I know that public speaking is something I need to continue to get comfortable with as I grow as an author. It’s one of those things that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. For me, 2016 is all about conquering fears, and I’m well on my way to defeating the public speaking monster!

How do you prepare for public speaking situations?What are you most afraid of doing that you know would benefit you if you got over it? 

 

 

 

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Why I’m Writing Fearlessly in 2016

Hey y’all, it’s been two weeks since I last checked in. I had my gallbladder removed and the recovery was bruTAL. Had me looking for a Dr. Kevorkian copycat up in here. But, thankfully, I’m well on the road to recovery now.

Anyway, lately I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what writing fearlessly means. When I wrote my first novel, I wrote fearlessly but published terrified. When the Real Thing Comes Along was never meant to see the light of day. I wrote it for me, without any intent for anyone to read it other than my sister and a few close friends.

fearlessly

When I decided to publish I was anxious, to say the least. I figured that everyone would think WTRTCA was about me. So I painstakingly edited it, hoping that I could avoid the inevitable. When it dropped, of course everyone who knows me saw characteristics of me in Jacelynn, the main character, no matter how much I tried to disguise or deny it. That experience taught me some things.

First of all, writing from a place of fear stifles creativity. Anticipating that others will think that everything you write is about you, and allowing that to hinder you, is no way to live. I’ve finally accepted that everything I write is about me, to a certain extent.

When I pour myself into my writing, it touches others. Readers are discerning, and authenticity has a farther reach than any marketing plan. As I continue to write and build my brand, I want to be known for emotional, heart tugging literature. I can’t do that if I’m writing from a place of fear.

My next novel tackles some hard-hitting issues. One of those issues is emotional eating. Do I necessarily want people to know that when I’m stressed out, anything chocolate makes my world okay? Um, no. But I do want anyone who’s struggling with some sort of eating disorder to know that they are not alone; and that there is hope for them.

AnaisStanding in the light of my truth is the only way I can have a hope of guiding someone else into their’s. For me, that’s what it’s all about. My mantra for the last few years has been “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” That’s what I strive to do every time I sit down to write.

How do you find the courage to write fearlessly? 

Are You Ready?

 You ever come across someone with a sweet spirit? You know, those people who seem naturally and effortlessly warm and kind? That’s the impression I get from today’s guest blogger Corine Marie! First, she’s going to share some inspiration geared towards helping you pursue your passion with abandon. Then, she’s going to share a little about her debut novel A Small Piece of Her Heart.


ARE YOU READY?

 
Are you ready? I wasn’t! Sweat filled my palms and coated my forehead. Butterflies danced in my stomach, leaving me to feel weak. That’s how I felt at my first keynote speaking engagement. But I did it despite my nervousness and succeeded.
 
When I knew I wanted to write my first book, the fear of failure was so strong that I didn’t tell anyone for months that I was writing. I didn’t feel intelligent enough to call myself an author. Eventually I gave myself a pep talk and now I proclaim it from the roof tops and can’t wait for people to read my book. 
 
So, are YOU ready? You have aspirations. It may be something you’ve dreamed of your entire life or suddenly, it came to you in a dream. Are you ready to pursue those aspirations? You may not feel ready but that’s perfect because no one is ever really “ready” to do anything. Being “ready” almost doesn’t exist. Pushing through those moments of uncertainty is when one discovers their power within and their strengths. So don’t be paralyzed by fear. Don’t allow yourself to focus on what might go wrong, instead, focus on what could go right and take some risks. One of my favorite quotes is, “Success never happens from comfort zones.” Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free. If you don’t ever take the risk, you’ll never find out how great it could have been. 
 
Ask yourself these questions:
  • 1. What will my life look like in a year if I continue to do nothing?
  • 2. How can my life potentially change for the better if I do take the risk?
  • 3. Will I be happy with my life in the next five years if I continue on this same path?

If you wait until you’re “ready” you’ll be waiting a very long time, possibly the rest of your life. Be bold, take risks and fear nothing except regret.


a small piece

 

Aubrey Blake does not live her life all-in with anything. She learned from her unfortunate upbringing that everyone has a monstrous side lurking behind a well-polished facade. As a result, she armors her heart with a Teflon shell.

 

Aubrey’s only focus is becoming a thriving individual. She is progressing just fine until former college football superstar, Daniel Sane transfers to her college.  Their connection is immediate but when Aubrey discovers that Daniel has a concealed reason as to why he no longer plays football, her skepticism of people resurfaces and she is reluctant to move forward. Though they become flirtatious friends, Daniel’s secret and Aubrey’s vaulted heart has them on a constant roller coaster ride of emotion.​

Click HERE to Check out A Small Piece of Her Heart!


Author photo1Bio: Corine Marie Tindell was born in Canton, Ohio. She attended the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio where she earned a Bachelors degree in Interpersonal Communications.
Shortly after graduating from college, she started her first business, CorineMarie.com, an online store where she sold handmade fashion designs. The business evolved when she began blogging alongside her husband, Lucas, about getting dressed up and enjoying a weekly date night. That’s when she discovered her passion for writing about love and relationships.
Today, Corine and Lucas – having only been married six years – are blessed and privileged to share their relationship with others through facilitating marriage counseling, teaching healthy relationship courses, and monthly blogging.


Faith Simone says: That last line, though? “Be bold, take risks and fear nothing except regret.” Chile’, somebody needs to put that on a Hallmark card because that sentence is everything! I think I found one of my new mantras for 2016. 🙂
When’s the last time you did something you were afraid to do? How did you feel afterwards? What advice would you give someone who’s striving to live life without regrets? Do you have any questions about A Small Piece of Her Heart? How did you/do you keep past hurt from interfering with your relationships?

When You’re Afraid, Do It Anyway

afraid

I’ve been putting something off for months. Well, technically you could say that I’ve been putting it off for over a decade. There’s a huge picture of me next to the word procrastination in the dictionary. The same is true of the word delusional, but we’ll save that story for another day. I need to find a literary agent. The thing is, I already found the one I want….ten years ago. And I still haven’t taken the next step and reached out to her by way of a query letter.

Thank you for re-directing your eyes back to this post after closing them to shake your head in disbelief and/or pity.

Let me give you a little background. At the tender age of twenty-one I completed my first novel. I sent it off to a publishing house known for producing the same genre of books as my novel. I did this cold, without the benefit of representation by an agent or any previous publishing experience. The brashness of youth was definitely on my side. Instead of going directly to the slush pile, as the astronomical odds dictated it should, the founder of the publishing company called me. CALLED ME! If you know anything about the publishing business, you know that these people don’t pick up the phone unless they are really interested. Being the young idiot that I was, I failed to follow-up and let that golden opportunity slip through my hands.

Fast forward a little over a decade and I’m finally taking my writing seriously. So I start looking for an agent. Lo and behold, the publisher from The Call is now a literary agent. Still, I don’t do anything with this information. A few months ago, while at a random writer’s group meeting in Michigan, I mention that I’m looking for an agent. The meeting organizer said that she’d email me the contact information for an agent she knows that represents my genre. You guessed it. The same agent from The Call.

God is hitting me over the head with signs that I need to connect with this person. Yet still I hesitate. I had to ask myself what my freakin’Be not Afraid problem is! The answer is that I’m afraid. This is shocking to me because I am not generally a fearful person. It’s not an emotion I’m all that familiar with. I’m afraid of animals, roller coasters and horror movies. I avoid those things, so fear is not something I feel often. I move from state to state as the whim strikes me. I’ve worked with convicted felons for years. I lived in Compton, CA during one of the most notoriously bloody summers on record. I don’t scare easily. But the act of sending a simple inquiry has had me paralyzed with fear for far too long.

I’m doing it anyway. My point here is not to simply share my own embarrassing story, but to encourage you. When you’re afraid, do it anyway. Especially when it is in your own best interests. No more living with regret. No more putting it off for another day.

I’m going to send a query letter to the agent from The Call and many more to other agents as well. In my mind I’ll be running towards the mailbox (or computer if email is preferred) in slow motion while the song ‘I Hope You Dance’ swells in the background. The song’s really old, but considering it was hugely popular at the time I should have completed this business, it seems entirely appropriate. Oh, what the heck. Cue the music! I’m dancing people…join me?