Dear Friend,

Have you ever felt like a duck in a dry pond? A vegetarian at a hamburger and steak tailgate party? Ever been uncomfortable in a new situation?

I remember my first writers’ conference. Green. Shy. Scared. All those people, all those successful writers, all those editors and agents. And I remember my firsts of a lot of other things: first date, first kiss, first born, first story published.

Recently, I’ve been thrust into new situations that have me shaking in my used-to-be-white sneakers: a brand new book for sale, contacting people to ask them to read it and review it, and doors opening for promotion.

I got a call. A videographer was coming over. Huh? What the heck is that? I’d done a photo shoot for a Guideposts story. Hours of standing there putting expressions on my face while a photographer snapped hundreds of photos, all for the use of just ONE for the magazine. Whew, I got through that years ago. What could be worse?

Well, video, that could be worse. It’s a photographer, but he also asks questions and shoots video. So there he stood in my family room, a big light on a tripod set up behind him, a camera on a stand, and a microphone on both of us. He asked me questions, I answered, wondering if I looked okay, and trying not to sound like a moron. I knew the questions ahead of time, but I forgot most of what I wanted to say.

That was a first. Then came the request to do a thirty-minute radio show. Live. On the Air. OMG! I received a guest prep sheet with a few questions. I wrote some notes and spread them around my desk to prompt my thoughts. I didn’t have to be on camera, hooray!, but I still had to sound coherent. What if I messed up? I was so nervous. http://bit.ly/LaWVTn

That was a first. Then came another radio show, this time for an entire hour. I felt a little bit better. Hey, I’d done this before! But guess what? They asked all sorts of different questions and I felt totally off guard.

Can I ask: what are YOU doing for the first time? Are you stepping out by submitting your written work? Are you signing up to attend a writers’ conference? Are you writing a book?

After all of these things happened, I thought back to my first writers’ conference. Green. Shy. Scared. Now, I’m a speaker. The first time I stood in front of a group in a classroom my voice wobbled, my knees wiggled, and my heart beat a drum roll in my chest. But the next time it was easier, and now I’m not nervous at all.

We can’t “get on down the road” unless we begin the journey. And if you wait for all the traffic lights to be green, you’ll never leave your driveway. Yes, it’s scary. Susan Jeffers wrote a book that I read years ago. It sits on my shelf with highlights in it, underlining, and dog-eared pages. The title? “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”

Happy writing and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…

Here’s that book I’m promoting. You know what? You never realize how much it takes to get buzz going about a new book until you have one out. If any of you have read the book, and you feel like you have a minute or two, would you write a review on Amazon about it? That would mean a great deal to me. Send me an email afterwards, so I can thank you personally!

Charlie Bear offers a loving tribute to a rescue dog that eventually sheds his headstrong ways, becomes a loving member of a family, and ultimately changes three lives forever.

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/IrI4U1
Available on Publisher’s site, Inspiring Voices: http://bit.ly/HHI8zs
Available on Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/JTorap

Here’s a link to my Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/bjtaylor

What’s Happening…

I’ve taught at four conferences in the last three months so it’s time to take a break and go on vacation soon. Hubby and I will head out on a road trip to see some sights and shortly after that we’ll fly to Wisconsin for a family reunion. 

 This was the family gang in 2011.

Hooray! Here comes summer!

Blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com 
Website: www.bjtayloronline.com
E-mail: bj.taylor@verizon.net

The First Timers Club
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6 thoughts on “The First Timers Club

  • July 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Carla, A wonderful poem and it says a lot of things that should be enacted for the good of America and mankind.
    Charlie Bear’s picture with the flag should make a good fit for the poem; but that is B.J’s choice, not mine.

    Woofs and wiggles,

  • July 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I hope I’m sending this to the right place . . .

    BJ – I wrote this poem and when looking for the right picture to use (to read at our writing group) I found Charlie Bear . . . Is it okay to use the picture? Please email me as I do not want to use Charlie Bear’s picture if you wish for me not to–and, would you mind if it was published with the poem? and, if so, what would you like me to say for credits? thank you, Carla Phelps Wert

    (picture of “Charlie Bear” didn’t paste on here, it is one with a flag)

    If I were the President
    I know just what I’d do
    I’d tell all my loyal voters
    Only things I KNOW

    I don’t know much of taxes
    Or things on which to swear
    But I’d soon enact a law
    Where ALL are treated fair

    If anyone should ask if I’m a Democrat
    Or think I prefer Republican
    I’d tell them very quickly
    I vote “AMERICAN”

    I’d fly our flag with honor
    And try not to enter fear
    In other people’s problems
    Whether far or whether near

    In school our students would stand proud
    And salute our liberty
    Their pride would show the world
    That America stands free

    I’d always do what’s fair and best
    For rich, for poor, for YOU
    To be proud and patriotic
    Our country must stay TRUE

    So if I were the President
    I’d ask for your support
    And I’d see that my opponents
    Were of the proper sort

    © July 10, 2012 by Carla Phelps Wert

  • June 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    B.J. I’ve been having some,computer, password or e-mail problems, i don’t know which and i just got it (i hope) straightened out. Your talks, blogs, speeches(which i’ve never heard one unless you want to call the Radio time one) books are simply awesome so you will succeed in anything you do, so get all the jitters out of your system, go on that vacation and have a fabulous time; but what are you doing with Charlie Bear while gone? You could bring him to stay with me and Beaugie and we would have the best time ever!!

    • June 23, 2012 at 5:57 am

      Hi Alice,

      Nice to hear from you, and I hope your computer problems are resolved.

      Thank you for the kind words. I am reaching out and stepping forward to all challenges and I’m finding enjoyment in them!

      When we go on vacation we have a woman named Emily who comes to our home to care for Charlie Bear. He loves her to pieces! And we have extra visits planned from the kids and friends, too. Charlie Bear would LOVE to come and stay and play with Beaugie, but he’ll do well in his own bed. We won’t be gone that long. Before he knows it, we’ll be back!

      Wiggles and woofs to you and Beaugie from Charlie Bear
      and Hugs from Me, B.J.

  • June 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Love this, BJ, and your photos are great! Thanks for the encouragement and the honesty…luv, Jean


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