Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Mantra

Somewhere (I think it might have been on this blog) I read that one of the ways to get past writer's block is to think:

"I have something to say."

I am not a writer, per se, so the writer's block issue is not so pertinent to me, but I have found this mantra incredibly useful anyway. I have some trouble with public speaking. I do better if I have a prepared statement--make me speak extemporaneously and good luck to the audience, it's usually an unmitigated disaster. This is why I am great on paper but tend to fail at interviews--come up with answers on the spot and express them coherently? That's asking a lot.

But it helps me a lot to think to myself, hey, you have something to say. This person needs to hear why you would be good for this job, or this group needs to hear your opinion or position on this issue. Somehow, thinking that I have something to say turns the idea of speaking from something to dread into something that is simply necessary. The disaster won't be speaking, it will be failing to speak. My focus shifts to the idea, not the expression of that idea.

So that's a little mantra for you. Maybe it will help you too.

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