I’ve been blessed the past few months to have opportunities to speak in public about what I do for a living. To be asked to speak about my work or expertise in writing is a huge honor; It seems to validate all the hours, days, months, years I have put into my craft. It’s a gift to be able to share any scraps of knowledge I have gleaned from my work as a writer, and I always look upon those opportunities as blessings and my duty as a writer.
Before I realized my love for the written word was too strong to ignore, I wanted to be a teacher. Preferably English as my adoration of the alphabet has been a lifelong affair. I wanted to surround myself with books and knowledge and ideas and communicate that passion to new generations, to get them as excited about literature as I was. It’s a feeling ingrained in my DNA as I still wish to impart my passion to whoever is interested whether it be an audience or a room full of new writers. If it’s mysteries, the art of wordsmithing, or putting on a show, I’ve always wished to share my admiration and respect for my art, my craft, and my genre with the world.
Why tell you all this? Once again, I’m hoping to impart even just a smidge of my passion for this field and the opportunities it can provide. Every writer I speak to has a different strategy, a different voice, a different ambition. We are all built of unique stories. And our duty, as storytellers, is to share them. If you ever are given an opportunity to speak at a conference, a book club, or a writers’ club meeting, I say go for it. Because passing on your knowledge to the next generation of storytellers is a gift. That’s how our craft survives.