Sometimes, you have to go with it. I mean, literally, just jump in. Leave your negative thoughts and self-talk, watching, gawking, and dead wrong as you power through your fears. That’s what I did last week, and that’s what I’m learning works best for me. Thinking and planning leads to over-thinking and talking myself out of things. If I just go with it, and abandon my insecurities, instead of letting them lead me, I make the right choices. This is what I did to put myself out there, and prepare on short notice … in short.
1. I reached out to a local television show, The Brett and Sierra Show, and shared with them my books, my passion, and why I felt as if I had something to share with their viewers.
2. I got no response, and so, I reached out, again.
3. And again.
4. And guess what? I got a response – the producer of the show kindly requested 1 chapter of my book, to see if it was something that they would be willing to interview me about.
5. Once I picked myself up off of the floor, I shared with a few loved ones what had happened. That I was considering keeping the chapter to myself, as they probably wouldn’t be interested after reading my writing. I told my loved ones that even if they liked the excerpt, it would be pointless for me to send it in the first place, as I’d only make a fool of myself on television. My publisher/friends and loved ones got me out of my head, and reminded me that the worse thing they could say was, no. They reminded me that, it was irrational to knock on doors and run away when someone answered them …
6. I sent the chapter, and the show producer promptly responded, saying that they had an opening in less than five days. Sure, it was only a 3-minute segment. But to me, it was huge. And in LESS THAN FIVE DAYS!!!
7. Once I picked myself up off of the floor a second time, I told my husband what had happened. I told him I was too shy to do this. I told him that I never thought they’d respond, let alone invite me – IN LESS THAN FIVE DAYS!!! After an embrace and congratulations, he told me to cut it out, and to let them know I’d be there on Friday. And that was that …
8. That wasn’t that. After I let them know I’d be there, I continued to panic. I told my mother and friends that I had no idea what to do. That I was too awkward to sit in front of a camera. That I’d stammer and ramble and repeat myself. I’d look at the ceiling and forget what I’d planned to say. How could I let people see me fidget and ramble and .. there I go. One friend reminded me to breathe, reminded me to think of the reason why I do this, to think of the love of writing, to let the joy and love of art shine through – and it helped IMMENSELY. I asked my friend of twenty-two years, who has lots of experience behind a camera, what I should say, how I should say it, where to put my hands, and she set me straight: “You’re focusing on the wrong things. Think about what you want them to walk away knowing about you. Think less about where you’ll put your hands and how many times you’ll say ‘uhm”. Concentrate on speaking clearly the things that you want the audience to know about you and your books.”
9. I began rehearsing in my mind what I should say. I tried to come up with long thorough answers, and I always forgot them. As I sat with my mother and husband, who pretended to interview me, I practiced short-to-the-point answers … but I always got the words all scrambled. I considered writing down what I wanted to say, but for some reason, it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. I wanted it to be authentic, for the conversation (albeit a brief one) to be organic – ‘uhms,’ and all.
10. Once my mother and husband helped me sift through my thoughts and nerves, and verbalize the very thing I’d been saying in written interviews for the past two years, I had the basis of what I wanted viewers to know. And it clicked: I’m not the rehearsing type. I’m not the planner. In order for me to connect, it has to flow. I have to disconnect, stop thinking, visualize the best outcome, the awareness aspect, which is what I feel is my purpose. Oddly, once the morning came, I felt calm. Too calm. Calm enough to know what I wanted to say, and to feel comfortable with the unexpected – not know what they’d ask. I shared with the interviewers that through writing, I wanted to give a voice to the silenced, lonely, and brokenhearted, and to silence those with a lack of understanding. I can only hope I reached someone. (And that no one could see how out of place I felt!!!)
And that … that is the quiet frenzy of my first time on a local television show. Now that it’s all said and done, I’ve learned that I have to dive in, before my self loathe and negative self-talk kick into play. And I’m reminded that I’ve got an amazing husband, beautiful friends and family.