I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane if I Don’t Totally Freak Myself Out
It’s been a crazy few weeks, what with all my drowning in What a Woman is Worth submissions and off-and-on panic attacks about giving my first-ever talk at the Killer Tribes Conference this weekend. Don’t get me wrong– I am so excited about what I can see this book shaping up to be, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity at the conference to share my thoughts on being a niche writer.
It’s just that I’m pretty much dying of a combination of anxiety and my own ridiculousness, fueled in equal parts by procrastination and perfectionism.
My friend Sarah says I have nothing to worry about, that I’ll be even better in real life than I am on the blog, that, ironically, Tamara Out Loud is like the movie version and the real me is like the book version of the same story. I know what she means by it, and it’s exceptionally kind, but I can’t help feeling that could only be true if the book were about seven pounds heavier and noticeably less articulate than the movie. Plus the movie always has popcorn and candy. So the book is kind of freaking the hell out right now.
It’s not that I’m afraid of speaking in front of people; it’s that I’m afraid I’ll entirely lose track of what I want to say, or mess it up extravagantly, or leave out some giant gem of truth that is essential for their well being and assured salvation, or not do well enough, or not be good enough.
And I suppose that’s the fear behind all my procrastination and all my perfectionism: I’m afraid that I am not good enough.
And I love you dearly for it, my friends and readers, but all your messages the past few days telling me I’m awesome and I’ll rock just can’t quite knock over a fear built on so deep a foundation. So I laugh at my own neuroses because the alternative’s too hard. And the beauty of self-deprecation is that you get to laugh at yourself before anyone else can.
So my impulse is to do some last-minute managing of expectations, to demonstrate my less-ness so that people won’t hope for more than I can safely bank on delivering. But the people who so have so zealously supported me all along the way, rallying around me with notes of encouragement and laughter, with prayers, and with swift kicks in the ass, they– you— don’t need me to be some contrived “less” or “more.” You deserve the book version of the story, even if it’s not quite as cute or witty as the movie with all its special effects.
This place is about being real; my talk is about being real. At the least, I can do that.
And I may just have to get used to it. Because your tremendously generous donations have not only entirely covered my travel expenses, they were enough to also have some smart little business cards made so that I can network my slightly-bigger-than-you-might-expect ass off, and they were even enough to start saving for my next speaking gig. So thank you, humbly and deeply, for putting your money where my mouth is and trusting me to speak.
I leave first thing tomorrow morning for Nashville, and I give my talk on Saturday afternoon. I can’t promise I won’t freak out a few more times before then, but I’ll try my damnedest to bring the book version.
Or at least the CliffsNotes.
If you’re coming to Killer Tribes: Planning to attend my session? Leave your Twitter handle in the comments so people can follow all the inspiring and/or ridiculous things I say! (Don’t forget the #KillerTribes hashtag.)
If you can’t make it to Killer Tribes: Your wish is Tyler Tarver’s command. He’s agreed to video record my session for you, which I will possibly share if I don’t think I sound like a total freaking idiot/look fat.
Got any last-minute advice for me?
(Thank you for all your support! I heart you guys big time.)