Welcome to A Writer’s POV. If someone had told me that writing a novel would cause me to loose sleep, gain weight, snap at my husband, pull my hair out, (literally and figuratively) and kick the dog, if I had one, I never would have put pen to paper. But as they say, ignorance is bliss, and I plunged in and began writing my book with the na├»ve expectation that I’d be finished in a year. Needless to say, five years and seven drafts later, I’m still on my quest for the Holy Grail, a published novel. Although frustrating, I spent that time growing as a writer. Every rewrite, revision and critique taught me something. Every book I read or workshop I attended offered new insights and ways to improve my craft. My goal with this blog is to share with you what I've learned so far. To talk about issues that plague all writers, to talk about the nuts and bolts of writing. Despite the fact that it's all been said before, each of us has our own way of telling a story and hopefully you'll visit often for help, support or just for the fun of it to read the posts written from this writer's point of view.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Some of the benefits of becoming a writer are personal satisfaction, receiving the recognition of your peers and hopefully financial gain. But only just recently I've discovered another unexpected benefit of writing. I have finally overcome my life-long fear of speaking in public.

Ever since my first oral report in grade school, I've had an irrational fear of standing in front of a group of people and having to talk. It didn't matter if it was a book report, reading a few pages from a textbook or reciting the pledge of allegiance. Any situation requiring me to open my mouth, alone, elicited a rapid heartbeat, perspiration, trembling voice and shaking hands similar to a drug user in withdrawal.

I can't pinpoint this condition to a traumatic experience in childhood. In fact, I remember thinking I was a tap dancer when I was about five years old and fearlessly performing a dance routine for my audience of relatives who dutifully clapped and cheered when it was over or maybe they clapped because it was over. Either way, as an adult, I could never explain the reason for this phobia.Then I began writing and joined a writer's group. Problem was, If I wanted a critique of my work, I had to read a few pages out loud.

Flashback to fifth grade. My heart raced and my voice shook every time it was my turn to read. I tried taking deep breaths. I slowed my rate of speech. No, I never imagined everyone naked. I had enough problems holding my self together without that mental image. But no matter how hard I tried, I trembled. Then I decided to give a presentation on writing and a remarkable thing occurred when I stood at the podium with eager faces watching, waiting for me to begin.

What happened could only be compared to running over hot coals. Once you start you can't stop and I plowed through my presentation, concentrating on my topic, speaking for about an hour. And instead of hating the experience, I actually enjoyed it. I can't explain how, but somewhere between my first oral book report and my opening statements that day, my fear of public speaking had magically disappeared. Of course there was no magic involved. Just determination and a willingness to face what I feared the most in pursuit of a writing and a speaking career.