It’s all been coming back to me recently – all those self-help books I read in my late twenties, and clearly not much of it went in! My response to any problem has always been to find a book on the topic and then read as much about it as possible. Which means I have a great understanding of things, but nothing much happens without ACTION.

Which brings me to today’s post, and why I’ve been feeling a little unconfident lately. Recently, you might remember, I decided to try and tackle my fear of public speaking – specifically reading my work aloud. I want to be able to engage with people by giving readings and talks, and this chronic fear, stemming from my former stammer, has been getting in the way for too long. You’d think that since making the decision to do something about it I’d start to feel better. One small step in the right direction, right?

Wrong. In fact, the opposite has happened. I’ve started to become hyper-aware of my speech even in every day life! I feel anxious to a level I never did before, and just thinking about the Festival of Romance in November (my goal for the reading) brings me out in a sweat. Of course, it’s that old principle at work, I should have known. Whatever you focus on expands. At its simplest level it’s the noisy neighbour – once you’ve noticed the noise and decided it bothers you, you start to notice every single sound from their side of the fence, every slammed car door, every shouted word, every bark of their dog. It takes on intolerable proportions, until you’re ready to swing for them.

In self-help books they tell you to focus on positive aspects, and then these will be the thoughts and experiences that expand. Easier said, of course. But I’ve made a decision not to clutter the writing blog here with any more naval gazing about me and my public speaking quest. Instead I’ll be starting up a new blog, and if you’d like to join me over there you’d be most welcome. I’m going to catalogue my journey, just like I did with my journey to become a published writer, and the blog will include videos (gulp) and audio clips, links and resources, and will be an online diary of everything I do to overcome my fear. Right up to the reading in November which I will, of course, video and post on the blog. The link to the new blog is here:

See you on the other side!