My first appearance as an author reading at a bookstore a few months ago was terrifying. I was afraid nobody would show up. I was afraid too many people would show up. I was afraid people would ask brilliant, insighful questions and my responses all be the same -- "Um, I'm not sure..."
But people did show up. They asked thoughtful questions, and they were supportive. I was able to speak - not comfortably, but I got the words out.
My second appearance was a little easier. The third appearance, at my neighborhood bookstore, attended mainly by friends and neighbors, was even easier. Then my fourth appearance tonight, despite having the largest audience of all, was almost fun.
Public speaking is supposed to be the most common fear adults have, and I'm no exception. Yet just about anyone who wants to be an author spends some time daydreaming about appearing for readings and signings -- and public speaking about their book.
When the day actually arrived, it wasn't so easy.
But it did get better. The best part is feeling immense gratitude for the people who have genuine interest in the subject matter of critical thinking, and who took the trouble to come to the events, and who shared their own thoughts. Sitting at a keyboard, it's far too easy to think writing is about the words on the screen. It's nice to be reminded that writing is really about the people the words are written for.
G. Randy Kasten
Just Trust Me: Finding the Truth in a World of Spin