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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Julie's Advice for "I Booked My First Gig!!" Speakers

1. The audience is for you. Unless it's a crowd of 7th graders, then? well, it can get kinda ugly.

2. Only YOU know what you did or did not say, did or did not prepare. This is no time for confession. Leave that to your Priest or time with a girlfriend afterwards.

3. It's 45-60 minutes, not 72 hours. You don't have to say everything, even if everything is stupendous.

4. Do what you need to do to prepare. Me? I have to be alone prior to speaking; I can sit at a meal or table but much prefer not doing such when at all possible. I'm an extrovert par excellence but to nail it speaking wise I have to quiet my thoughts. I don't even like The Husband or my kids (good lord, NOT the kids) being around me. No talking is my preference and then.....*BOOM* I unleash it on the audience. 

5. Wear NORMAL clothes. Don't go get all JLo, or Sister Mary Katherine, or The Woman Who Knocked Off CATO. Unless you're normally JLo, Sister Mary Katherine, or a CATO knock-off.

6. Wear comfortable shoes. If they're not, take them off prior to speaking. Or during, as has been the case a time or two in my life. If your feet hurt, well, your face is probably going to show it.

7. DO NOT use vocabulary words with which you're unfamiliar. Stick to your usual street talk.

8. DO NOT listen to recordings of "The Speaker Who Most Intimidates Me In The Entire Freakin' World!!!!!!!" It's hard to be authentically you when you're mentally judging yourself mid-point, "Geesh! Ann Voskamp would have NEVER settled for a 2 syllable word there!"

9. Don't do Power Point unless you're really, really, good with PP.

10. On second thought: don't do PP.

10. Just say, "Thank you," when a woman approaches you and say, "I enjoyed what you had to so much." Don't apologize for not being "The Speaker Who Most Intimidates Me In The Entire Freakin' World!" Don't feel like you have to say, "To God be the Glory." I mean you can, because it's true but sometimes it's just a passive-aggressive Bible-ly way to say the aforementioned apology.

11. DO NOT listen to a recording of yourself. Other speakers will disagree but seriously, it's your first gig. I say presume you did well unless the entire audience gets up and walks out. And even then, well, it could be "The Speaker Who Most Intimidates Me In The Entire Freakin' World" has set up a table selling his/her books across the street and just sent a tweet inviting everyone over for a signed *FREE* copy. 

* If the final tip doesn't make sense private msg and I'll help you out.
#Advice4Speakers #AnnVoskamp #MarkDriscoll #TriedAndTrueWisdom

Monday, January 6, 2014

On A Not So Minor Midlife Crisis

I think I had a not-so-minor midlife crisis. (Had, past tense). 

My agent says it's been seven-years of me figuring out who I am including the five since I had a book published. (And she's still my agent, can you believe that? I do love my Esther.) 

My husband would hazard a guess of 4.5 years of my being in a funk. (Of which, about this time last year, he advised, "Get out of it." The man tries, he truly tries.)  :)

And me? Well, all I know for sure is there's been some pretty "meh" months and years as (cliche alert!) dreams were shattered over and over again. Decidedly "in a funk" mentality of heart, mind, and spirit, as I grieved over said shattering and wrestled a mother of a parenting bear with The Teenager. Hard days, weeks, and months. Even more difficult nights wondering if any of it would turn out not awful.

I resettled into our current home; took time to decorate--to be a Homemaker and did my best to create a safe haven for all of us to land in-between those COPS-cringe worthy scenes between parent/child; child/child.

I had time to not write; time to not be "on deadline"; time to not chase airport concourses & gates; time to veg...oh, let me be not-so-minor crisis honest...time to be inert. Lazy. A toad.

And it's been what I needed whether I knew I needed it or not.

But I'm ready for something other.
No, something familiar, yet new.
I'm ready to re-embrace the living proof details of My Former Professional Life; details which make it cackle with life and purpose.

I'm ready to be (again) who I've always been in the totality of life: An Entertainer.

So here's to writing funny.
Here's to speaking funny.
Here's to developing "sets" and venturing into straight-up comedy.
Here's to making women laugh so hard they snort.

Here's to being me, again. #MidLifeCrisis #FunnyAgain