First off, thank you, Susan Hanniford Crowley for hosting me today. It’s been a few years since I’ve visited the Nights of Passion and I hope everyone is living large and doing well.
Speaking of living large, I’d like to share a bit of wisdom I’ve learned since publication. And, I might add, this doesn’t apply only to writers. It’s for everyone.
What is this wisdom? It’s simple.
Take chances. Do something you’ve never done before.
Even if it scares you. Even if you think you can’t do it.
Case in Point:
I decided to apply for two panels at a local convention – ConnectiCon. I’ve attended for a few years with my family. It’s a mid-sized convention with average attendance around 11,00 – 15,00. Each year, I’d sit in panels and workshops and think – I could do that.
First thing I did was approach Corrina Lawson (fellow geek, romance writer, and conference attendee). We brainstormed a few ideas then agreed to do it.
That meant from January – March 2016, I stalked the convention’s website. I created the proposals, ran them by my co-presenter and we decided to add another person. Invitations were extended and Jamie K. Schmidt joined our duo making us a trio.
A trio of kick butt women presenters. Yay us!!
Long story, short. I applied for one panel, one workshop and nail-biting ensued as I waited. In mid-June, we received the good news – both panels were accepted. I then scrambled to complete two presentations.
Woohoo! (That’s us, 9:30 am, Saturday and Sunday)
Oh wait, that meant we had to lead a discussion in, what we hoped, was a room that contained more than just our family members. Corrina, Jamie, and I are friends and colleagues but this was the first time we’d done anything like this together.
We hadn’t even done a dry run. How would we do that anyway? The Saturday panel: Kick Butt and Ask Questions Later: The Take No Prisoners Women of Television, Comics and Film, didn’t exactly lend itself to practice.
Here’s the thing about taking chances – it can be a bit frightening. Okay, maybe even terrifying especially if you don’t like speaking in front of crowds.
I told myself, “You’ve got this.”
This wasn’t my first or even tenth time speaking in front of people. I’d done stage plays from ages 12-19. I’d addressed an auditorium full of co-workers at my day job. I was a public speaking Merit Badge counselor for Pete’s sake. I’d even done presentations for my romance writer chapter.
Yeah, I could totally handle it.
I wanted to do it. I asked to do it.
By golly, we were going to rock even if it was only in front of five people.
Well, the appointed day arrived. Our panel was at 9:30 in the morning. There was a huge line outside waiting to get into the conference, and we figured no one would be there in time. My co-presenters arrived and finally the doors opened and we raced inside.
Or at least I did. My younger son set up our PowerPoint presentation on the big screen. He also informed us that the conference organizers had a camera in place to record the whole thing – disaster or otherwise.
No pressure, right?
I’m happy to report. We did awesome. The room was packed, the attendees vocal and enthusiastic. They had to turn people away!! Later, when it was over, my husband informed us that the conference organizers were impressed and wanted us to return for 2017.
The second day, our writing workshop was well attended and included familiar faces from the day before.
I’d call that a win.
And it was all because I decided to take a chance (and Corrina and Jamie decided to join me). I chose not listen to that voice that said, “Why bother, they won’t want you.”
Yes. That could have happened (rejection is a reality). But, I’ll leave you with this old chestnut: Nothing, ventured, nothing gained.
Now, go forth and take chances. (And, yes, the Kick Butt Women will be returning in 2017!)
What chances have you taking recently? Nothing is too big or too small. Dish in the comments below.
Casey Wyatt is a multi-published paranormal romance and urban fantasy author. From August 22 – September 19th, she’ll be on tour for her latest book: Dead Girls Don’t Cry. Stop by her website: caseywyatt.com for the schedule. She loves talking to fellow readers and writers, so do stop by and say hello!
Thank you so much, Casey, for coming on Nights of Passion. That’s a definite WOW!
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
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