Recently I had one of those experiences. I conducted a writer’s night at my local library based on the recent success of a short story published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul – Christmas in Canada” book. I was asked to lead a session for library patrons and residents who might want to not only learn about and hear my story but also to talk about writing in general and explore the road to publishing, etc.
This was a great opportunity and, as you can imagine, I worked hard at preparing my notes and presentation. Not sure of how many or who might show up I made certain I was ready to discuss a wide variety of subjects; everything from citing authors who have already covered the topic of writing advice to current publishing opportunities to topical issues like e-books, self-publishing and the changing role of author-as-marketer in the modern publishing cycle. I was prepared for almost anything.
Anything that is, except for the question “What if no one shows up?” That’s pretty much what happened. How many attended, you ask? Well, if you are generous and count my wife, God bless her, the entire audience could’ve fit in a full-size car – with me driving!
It was a humbling experience, to say the least. We eventually had a very nice session. Instead of leading the class from the front of the room I pulled my chair right up to the audience so it was a very intimate and congenial setting. I read my story and we discussed it, questions were asked and we shared some very useful information. The night was somewhat salvaged and at least I wasn’t run out of town nor did I stumble and fumble my way through like a blubbering idiot. I’m thankful for that.
I won’t deny the event was a blow to my ego and I have been moping around a bit the past couple of days so that has to stop. I’ll re-evaluate what could’ve been done better. Maybe such a story isn’t enough of a draw for a dedicated session, maybe the library could’ve advertised it better, maybe there isn’t enough local interest in such offerings. I’ll figure it out and move on.
I'll dust off, rub some dirt on it and soon will be calling, "Put me in Coach." Make sure you do the same when such things happen to you.