Do I Know What I’m Doing?

Ol Donyo L'Engai 1966

The sequel is finished. A burden has lifted from my shoulders. Only some editing remains after feedback from friendly readers, and then I can submit GRASS SHOOTS to my publishers.

I am tired. I don’t want to write another novel – for a long time, anyway.

Why don’t I just sit back and relax?

I did – for a week or so.

But nearly two years ago I embarked on a public speaking course with Toastmasters International, because I had started giving talks related to my writings, and I wanted to learn how to do it properly. By the time I’d completed the first hurdle I had a varied selection of entertaining and inspiring talks under my belt, and was ready for more. But I also needed a break from the Club.

So I start thinking forwards. Clubs and Societies are always looking for speakers, I’m told. But I’ve learned that they plan their schedules a year ahead. If I’ve gone through all the stress and agony of exposing myself to critical professionals in the interests of improvement, I need to do something to show for it. And I’ve discovered the intoxicating buzz of power when I hold an audience captive.

I speak to a local contact, and she puts me on her list for next year. I commit to an audition with the Women’s Institute. I find myself searching the internet for opportunities. And before I know it, I have registered with a website, Contact an Author.

What on earth have I done? I’m in my mid seventies, and health isn’t what it used to be. Take a look HERE and tell me what you think. And wish me luck when I face a hundred members of the East Sussex WI on 19th April, who will decide whether or not to approve me for their next year’s speakers list.

I’m nervous as a kitten, feeling like a schoolgirl facing her first exam. Have I entered my second childhood – do I know what I’m doing?

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5 Responses to Do I Know What I’m Doing?

  1. I haven’t ventured into public speaking as an author, so I follow your progress with great interest and admiration Jane.

  2. Angela Wren says:

    Yay! Go Jane. I understand totally what you mean about holding an audience – I’ve done it all my life and it’s overwhelmingly intoxicating. But having the responsibility to hold an audience can be really scary too! I was on stage in Hugh Whtimore’s ‘Pack of Lies’ when a hefty coil of cable began to slip from the gantry above me. I knew the audience were watching it slip lower and lower just above my head, but I just kept delivering my lines from where I was because I hadn’t got a line that gave me a reason to move until the very end of the scene. Luckily, I left the stage seconds before the cable hit the floor and the SM stopped the play. If you’re coming to Yorkshire let me know.

    • jbwye says:

      What a story, Angela! Brave you. Don’t know when I might be thinking of comeing to Yorkshire – but will try and remember to contact you if I Do. Have a great weekend.

  3. Reblogged this on Claire Stibbe, Author and commented:
    News from Author, Jane Bwye. A sequel to Breath of Africa is in the making. GRASS SHOOTS is being finalized and submitted to publishers very soon. We are all excited over here in New Mexico to see this new book. Congratulations, Jane! High Fives in abundance!

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