Feeling Fine

Hey guys!  I’m back from my week long camping adventures in the land of the flesh eating flies, sore and dirty, but mostly intact. Sadly, I missed the IWSG posting day for July. I had planned to share a post before I left last Tuesday morning, but in the rush of packing the car, making sure we didn’t forget too many things, it slipped my mind. I will do better next month, I promise.

On with the show.

Last evening, I was able to participate in a TEDx event held at the Marmalade Branch of the Salt Lake City Public Library. A few months ago, the librarian hosting the event, who also happens to be a good friend of mine, asked if I’d be willing to offer my perspective on the topic- The Power of the Written Word.  I really did not feel I was the right person for the task, but it is difficult to say no to Azra.

The event included two prerecorded TED talks about the subject, followed by a short presentation by a guest speaker, me. Yep, just me.

In the weeks leading up to the presentation, I experienced a strange range of emotions from complete confidence to outright fear. I am passionate about writing, reading, and I sincerely believe that words have the power to alter the world, create meaning. Still, it was hard for me to feel qualified to stand in front of any crowd and offer my insights. I’m just a guy with a blog and some unpublished novels on his computer hard drive. Certainly someone, anyone else would be a better choice.

Working through what I wanted to say, there were many times I thought to contact Azra and tell her I was out, that I couldn’t do it. In fact, sitting in the library last night, watching the final seconds of the prerecorded talks, I had the same desire. Surely I could just lean over and whisper “Hey, Azra. Sorry, but I just can’t do this.” She’d understand, right?

I kept that thought to myself.

Azra stood and introduced me, saying very kind things. People offered some nice applause, and the moment had come.

Feeling like an absolute poser, I made my way to the front of the room, looked out over the faces in front of me, and as confidently as I could, gave my speech.

It went well enough, better than I expected, and in the end, I survived. Most of those in attendance even seemed to be interested. A few asked me some questions about writing and I gave some honest, even useful answers. I had fun and though I probably shouldn’t admit this, I’d do it again. Next time, I might even tell people in advance.

I’m still a poser, but a poser with passion for writing and a little more confidence under his belt.

 

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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

6 responses to “Feeling Fine”

  1. jmh says :

    Good for you, Ryan! TedEX…wow, do you know how many would kill to have that opportunity? That’s amazing! I’m glad you went through with it, and I’m sure you were great.

    Impostor syndrome is normal in all but the most arrogant among us.

    Glad you survived your camping trip! Missed you.

    • fenster says :

      Thanks! It was pretty fun, though the weeks leading up to the event were not so grand. I told almost no one I was invited to speak (out of fear, certainly). I’ll get over that lack of confidence some day, right?

      Also, it is nice to be missed.

  2. artistpath says :

    You sound like a truly authentic person to me. Congrats on the TED talk!

  3. Liesbet says :

    That’s awesome, Ryan. What an accomplishment. Congratulations on the talk. When will we be able to see it? Camping is fun (once in a while)! 🙂

    • fenster says :

      I don’t think it was a recorded event. It was a small gathering of less than 50 people at a branch library. If it was recorded, I will certainly consider maybe eventually possibly letting someone else see it. 😉

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