Monday, March 7, 2011

Stepping out of the Zone

"Do you do readings here?" I tentatively asked the manager of the Barnes and Noble bookstore. One question and the ball starts rolling.

I guess you will need to share this journey with me into publication. I may be a grandma, but I'm still able to make new journeys. I'm still allowed to be nervous and a bit scared. So come on! We might learn a few things together.

Step up and step out. That's the name of the game, all of you adults.

This weekend I worked with a young lady preparing an audition piece. Ten years old and wanting to capture the dream of attending the Arts and Communications School. I know those dreams. I had them. I know those dreams, because I have helped other kids try for them. The competition in the arts is sometimes wicked and often disappointing. So why try?  Because the voice will not be silenced.

"Use your energy, your fear," I told the budding actress. "You have a gift that no one else possesses. No one can do the monologue like you. Don't be intimidated by those around you who brag about their shows or those who seem to have more confidence. Remember that everyone who steps out of their comfort zone is a bit scared, or maybe really scared. Only you can do what you do."

Only you can do what you do. I told this to a young man I met today who has asked that I help with marketing of his new business. He has a wonderful idea that has nagged him over the past few years. Finally, he has the courage and encouragement to step up and try it.

You would think that after the many years we have lived, that our self confidence would be strong enough for us to try something we've put off for one reason or another. I've had the excuses: I'm too old; I don't know how to do it; yada yada yada. I've said it all. All in all, I was too scared to try to write. I was afraid of failure. I was afraid that I had no talent. I was afraid to put myself out there for the public to scrutinize. Well, no more. If I don't try, I fail myself.

I've never done a reading before. I've never signed a book before. This will be the first of several readings that I will do with other authors who have contributed to the series of Chicken Soup for the Soul. I don't know how I will do but look forward to the adventure. I am learning. I have taken that step out of my comfort zone.

So, come on out of your comfort zone dreamers. The only way to fail is not to try. You can do it.


  1. I am so excited for you! Back in college I took part in poetry readings. That was a definite step out of my comfort zone, but it was always gratifying as well. You will be a huge hit, I know!

  2. You go, girl! Enjoy every minute.
    What's the title of the Chicken Soup book?

  3. Great power talk, Pam. I wish you the very best and am filled with excitement and adventure for you. It makes me smile, my friend.
    Patricia Steele

  4. Thanks, Susan. I wish I had heard you reading the poetry. Would love to read some of yours.

  5. Amma, it is titled Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandmothers out March 22. Not a big story, but a great deal of fun. Thank you.

  6. Patty, we have both tried this writing thing for a long time. I'm just following your lead. Much love to you.

  7. I've done a lot of readings at stores and in schools. you'll have a great time, Pam. People love to be read aloud to, no matter what the age.

  8. I’ve been reading to my grandkids over the Internet. It’s great to be able to share story time even when we’re not together. It has enhanced my relationship with my grandkids. I went to and used the code readtome92 and got a 1-month free trial!

  9. Good for you, Betty. Where there is a will, there is a way. I'm cheering your effort to stay close to your grandkids and to part of their lives. Thank you for sharing.