Highway to the Danger Zone

Song by Kenny Loggins/Top Gun movie soundtrack.

Okay, now that you have that earworm firmly stuck in your head. LOL

fantasy creatureLike me, most writers are introverts. We live inside our heads in an imaginary land peopled with imaginary creatures. We live in a comfort zone we are quite content to never leave. But sometimes in life you have to step out of that comfort zone and into the Danger Zone. Whatever that Danger Zone means to you.

Years ago I was even more introverted than I am now, I know, hard to believe. 🙂 If I were posed the question: Firing Squad or Public Speaking (taking into account that public speaking was any number bigger than 3) I would have chosen the guns. Then, my son joined the Cub Scouts and wanted me to be a leader. Gulp! By the end of his time in the Scouts I was Troop Leader, Cub Master, and any other position that no one wanted. I stepped out of my shell for my son. I spoke to over 50 people for the Bridging Ceremony. Standing in front of an auditorium with all eyes on me.

Now, I need to step out of the comfy, toasty place I’ve made for myself in self-publishing and up my game. I have to put myself out there. Invisibility is a death knell for a writer. So, this month I’ll be interviewed on talk radio which is terrifying me. What if I can’t speak? What if I say something stupid? Then, I’m talking on a panel at the Silicon Valley chapter of RWA for Girl Gone Indie. Again, terrified. The only saving grace is that I am one of three speakers and I already know one of them.

Do you stay in your comfort zone? Do you step into the Danger Zone? Got any tips?!!

Thanks, Jill

Jan. 12th, 4pm PST http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hummingbirdplace
Jan. 24th, 9am-noon PST Silicon Valley RWA chapter meeting http://www.svrwa.com

My newest release, Love in the Time of Zombies is available everywhere as a pre-order.


About Jill James

Jill is a self-published author with The Lake Willowbee Series and numerous other books in paranormal romance and zompoc romance. She enjoys reading just as much as writing. You can follow her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Jill.James.author and Twitter @jill_james
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12 Responses to Highway to the Danger Zone

  1. Carol says:

    Because of issues at home, I don’t normally put myself out there for, say speaking engagements. However, when called upon, I have and would. Good luck with the panel talk!


  2. susanrhughes says:

    I’m exactly the same! Very much introverted. I’ll take the firing squad, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Joan Reeves says:

    I once did workshops, spoke everywhere I was invited, etc. but not so much any more. It’s very time consuming albeit rewarding. I’ve never had a problem speaking in public. Read on, and you’ll see why. When I was 18, I was in a pre-lim beauty pageant for Miss Louisiana and had to sing on stage. I was petrified with fear! Literally petrified. My mind went blank, and I couldn’t remember the lyrics that I had practiced endlessly. Worst experience of my life. After that, speaking in public was nothing! I’ve never felt a moment’s anxiety!


  4. E. Ayers says:

    It’s one thing to talk to a crowd where you know most everyone and another to talk to strangers. Total strangers… I maxed at about 20. Like you, I’d done all the school stuff, scouts, etc. But most of the time, I knew just about everyone present. So years later…I was used to speaking at garden clubs, etc. on Victorian gardens, but one night I was asked to speak a community garden group. I knew two of the gals in the community. If they said if they were lucky they might have 15 people in attendance. No sweat! I set up and these people kept coming through the door. I counted 30…40. I grabbed a bottle of water and walked outside. My heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. There was no way I could do this. Walk on stage where spotlights block the people in the audience – I could do, but not this informal sort of evening lecture. My friend came and got me. I said, ” I can’t do this, There’s too many people.” She laughed and dragged me in. They had packed the room. There was barely any room for me to even reach the projector. They sat in front of me and on each side of me. They were standing in the back and on the sides of the room because they couldn’t fit anymore chairs in the room. I know my voice shook as I introduced myself and began. But within a minute of two, I was fine. They counted 127 people, or something like that, who had turned out for this lecture. It was the largest community gathering they had had to date. OMG! Why me?

    Maybe facing our fears is the best cure.
    Tips: Try not to think about how many people are out there. Keep a bottle of water handy. Use the restroom before you start. 🙂 Make sure you look as perfect as you can manage and don’t wear heavy makeup but make sure you are wearing some! Wear something pretty and wear pretty jewelry! (It helps to give you a polished look. – Bold sparkling jewelry looks better if you are in front of a crowd. That tiny gold chain will vanish!) Take a few deep breaths and smile. People want to like you. They want to say that they’ve meet you and know you.

    Wishing you the very best. You’ll be fine. I promise!


    • Jill James says:

      E., thanks for the kind words. It should be about 25-30 so I think I’ll be okay. I will remember water and shiny jewelry. I already have a festive outfit picked out, because Jill James dresses way better than I do. LOL 🙂


  5. leighmorgan1 says:

    I have no doubt that you rocked it, Jill and will continue to rock every speaking engagement you have. As my 21 year old daughter keeps telling me, fake it till you make it!


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