My workshop on Shameless Self Promotion was a hit. I had an enthusiastic crowd and the day went off without a hitch. Good signs: everyone writing things down at the same time when I gave a tip, participants nodding in agreement, and laughing at my jokes. Even a mid-workshop question that challenged what I was saying went surprisingly well. There are always highs and lows though, so I thought I’d share mine with my blog readers.
I have two highs for the day actually. The first was a surprize guest. A student came into the room and I instantly knew her.
I won’t give her full name here, but for blog readers who are old childhood friends, it was ”Mrs. L”, our grade 6 French teacher. Her husband taught us in grade 7 and 8, and the two of them were young hip Italians who looked like they walked out of a fashion magazine. You know who I’m talking about!
It was indeed my grade 6 French teacher. It wasn’t hard to spot her – she looks exactly the same – still exotic and hip, so beautiful. The best part was though; she listened attentively, participated fully and smiled when I looked her way – the best kind of student. At the end of the day it was a weirdly delightful experience to have taught my teacher from 30 years ago. Yikes, where does the time go?
The other high of the day was the feedback. I highly recommend evaluations after any workshop. Oh sure, the 10 scores and wonderful comments are great for the ego, that I can’t deny. But beyond that, the students gave great feedback about what they wanted more of, making it so much easier for me to make the workshop stellar for the next group I teach. Constructive feedback. Bring it on, and thank you!
The low, coincidentally, also came from the evaluations. One of the participants gave me high scores across the board, and wrote “You are great!” So good so far, but under comments the participant wrote “I have come to the conclusion that publishing is out of my reach.”
And this is where I fell to the ground sobbing. Okay, not really. But I did say “noooooooo!” and my heart deflated momentarily. I don’t know if there is a worse thing someone could say to a Pollyanna like me, that somehow I squashed a dream. I shudder at the thought.
So I want to do something I advise bloggers not to do, and that is send a personal message via your blog. I don’t know who you are, but I do hope you decided to check out my blog and get this. Either way, I want to say it.
I’m not sure what made you feel overwhelmed or discouraged, but I hope your dreams of writing remain undaunted. Being a writer is much like being an athlete. You have to practice and train, and try to be the best you can be. If you’re lucky, you’ll find encouragement via great coaches and other team mates. But at the end of the day, it is really hard work that just looks easy.
I swear, after watching so you think you can dance I prance around my home feeling like I could do it too. They make it look so easy, like they just let the music take them there. But have you ever seen the auditions on that show? Where some people get on there and you think – what are they doing?
As much as I’m sure they put it on the show to give everyone a laugh, it’s painful for me to see it. They have the same dream as the person who wins it all in the end. Maybe if someone had told them that it takes a lot of hard work, practice, dedication, patience and commitment, and encouraged them to go for their dreams with that reality in mind, that person would stand a better chance of making it. At the very least, that person could walk away with their head held high for doing their best.
A dream without a goal is just a wish. I hope if you dream of being a writer, you write. I hope if you dream to become a published writer, you write, you work hard, you stretch yourself, you put yourself out there and you acknowledge that it isn’t as easy as it looks. But it is so worth the effort if you dream about it.
Soapbox is sufficiently stomped on, but I do hope you hear me cheering you on. Dream it, and do it.