Do you ever have to do something that makes you uncomfortable?

Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Brad Pauquette on The Company’s Podcast! He’s been my mentor for the past year as I attend The Company, a writing trade school. I’ve been at the school for a full year now, and I’ll admit, I’ve experienced some pretty cool, but fairly uncomfortable things. Some of which I talk about in the interview!

I was also able to share my literal death-to-life story on how I got to this school. Check out the interview here!

But something I wasn’t able to talk about in the podcast was some of the stuff I learned about being interviewed and being on a podcast–or really, what I learned by doing the things that make me uncomfortable.

The Writing Spotlight

I’m a shy person. I like to be friendly, don’t get me wrong—and once I’m comfortable around you, I won’t shut up. But meeting new people, being myself in front of strangers, or receiving attention I didn’t expect to receive, makes me extremely uncomfortable. Fun fact: That’s one of the reasons I decided to become a writer. I thought, ‘hmm, as a writer, I won’t have to be on stage or in front of a camera at all’.

News flash: As a writer, you have to promote your writing and (in essence) yourself—otherwise nobody will know about your books. If nobody knows about your books, you don’t get a paycheck. You don’t get a paycheck, you can’t buy food and you’ll die.

Okay, maybe it’s not a death sentence, but the fact of the matter remains. If you want to succeed as a professional writer, you need to be able to promote yourself. This often means being interviewed, or speaking at writing conferences, or even getting professional pictures taken. So, my plan of hiding in the background, clicking away at a keyboard, failed. But that left a question…

How do I become comfortable with promoting my writing and myself as an author?

Second newsflash: I still haven’t figured that out. When Brad told me he was going to interview me for the podcast, I freaked out. Then, when we sat down to do the interview, we had to restart three separate times because I couldn’t stop nervously laughing. But, through the experience, I have figured out some helpful tips to get you past the dizzying panic that claws at your throat when you sit down to be interviewed, or the sickly dread that creeps up your back when you have to smile in front of a camera.

1. Exposure ‘Therapy’

If I had to choose one thing I’ve learned over this past year, it’s this: Sometimes, when something makes you uncomfortable or scared, you just gotta do it a bunch of times.

When I first came to the school, I hated being in photos. I would literally cry when people would post a picture of me I hadn’t pre-approved. (I’ll admit—I still sometimes cry). But, over the past year, through allowing people to take my picture and being more open and honest about who God created me to be, I’ve been able to really relax in front of the camera. (You can see this in the pictures I recently got done by Melissa!).

The more you do something, the less scary it becomes. The less scary it becomes, the easier it eventually is to do. It may take a while, but don’t give up!

2. God made you!

Third newsflash: That includes your personality, your soul, your inner being—whatever you want to call it. The things that make you, you. God thought about those and was like ‘heck yeah, we need a little of that in this world’.

Would you hide a light under a bush? Then why would you hide yourself away from the world when God so clearly designed you? God is constantly calling us deeper. Constantly calling us closer. Sometimes, the best way to grow is to stick a foot outside your comfort zone and see what happens.

So, remember to keep being brave, to walk with God every single step of the way, and to check out the interview!

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