Tomorrow my writer’s group is having a small conference. It was intended to be a bigger affair with over 20 workshops for the day, but registrations were not what we anticipated so we’ve had to scale it down. It kind of breaks my heart that it didn’t work out the way we had intended, but, at the same time, I’m beginning to think this was the way God intended all along.
You see, we held this conference last year. It went well. Attendees were encouraged and they learned a lot, but there was tension between the organizers. We have a small group of individuals who all have their own lives, children and social schedules. So while we wanted to do the conference, most of it went a little out of control and the stress level prevented many of us from having an enjoyable time. This year was gearing up to be similar to last year so, in a way, I’m glad we were forced to scale it back.
I’ll still be teaching for the first time ever (although probably to a much smaller group) and I’m a bit nervous about it. I haven’t spoken in front of a group of people since college (if you don’t count being worship leader at church.) I never envisioned myself as a teacher and yet I’ve been told by a few people that I should teach. While putting together my presentations this week, I found that I was enjoying the process quite a bit. And when I had my husband look over the work, I was pleased with myself for the fluidity of the presentation.
Now if I can just do that whilst standing in front of a bunch of people.
It doesn’t help my anxiety levels that I’m still overcoming a severe cold/bronchial issue and sometimes it’s hard for me to talk longer than a few minutes at a time without coughing. I’m hoping that it’ll be clearer by tomorrow, but I’ll also be armed with a boatload of Ricola cough drops as backup.
Along with this new adventure, I also sent out my first query letter on Tuesday. A query letter is sent to prospective magazines when you want to pitch a story idea to them. I plan on sending out more in the near future, but this first one was certainly nerve wracking to compose. When it actually came time to hit the “send” button, my heart did a little back flip and I sent a few prayers up to God. I know this is the path He wants me to pursue so I’m praying that I can come up with additional story ideas to send out more query letters in the coming weeks.
It’s a daunting task to put yourself out there. So often, due to my low self-esteem, I’ve sequestered myself to the back row or kept to myself quietly in the corner. Now, in order to achieve the dream of full-time writer, editor and speaker, I have to actually push myself to the front row, toot my own horn and be willing to go after what I want, instead of waiting for it to come to me.
It’s challenging, scary and intimidating all at the same time. But the joy I’ve felt recently and the peace that has been within my heart is unlike any I’ve ever experienced in my life so I think I’m on the right track.