By Belise Butler
I’ll always remember my first time.
I was nervous. What would I wear? What would I say? How would it feel?
As I entered the hotel, I told myself, “it’s okay, be calm, you’ll love it … and I did.
One of my favorite words is WOW! It conveys anything I want it to. For me, since it was ‘my first time’ it reflected a multitude of feelings. I was ecstatic, excited, enthusiastic, and completely out of my mind with anticipation.
This was officially ‘my first time’ at a writers’ conference and I was hooked. Upon arriving, I was nervous about my critique and cleverly talked Ginny Padgett into visiting the nearby hotel watering hole for one of their special relaxers in a glass. Having been a professional trainer and motivational speaker for companies all over the world, I was always in charge. This time I was not only, not in charge, I was not in control of my emotions. I had to keep remembering that this was different and…after all, it was ‘my first time’
The next morning in the dining room, I sat at a table where three people were deep in conversation. I knew I would blend right in because I had been extremely loquacious since I arrived. Every time I entered the elevator I had a captivate audience. I took advantage of it talking to each person on-board, and escorting them to their floor first, chatting the entire time. I must admit I was distraught when they each exited on various floors and I had to continue alone.
Most of the programs at the conference were excellent. By the end of this way-too-short event I had filled a hundred-page note book. However, I must be truthful and tell you that ninety-four pages of my precious journal were written so rapidly that it looked like a foreign language. Upon review I was sure that I had mistakenly picked up a book belonging to someone from Japan.
‘My first time’ was outstanding. I appreciated the many speakers though out the event. And WOW! I felt a new wave of excitement when Wendy Sherman critiqued my material and shared her thoughts about the MS. I have no doubt that the entire room thought I had just won the lottery when she asked me to rework the first six pages and then send her fifty pages. I don’t normally squeal or jump up and down in public, however I remind you that it was ‘my first time’…and I did.
I applaud the volunteers who gave their time and energy to provide talented professionals. Who, for the most part, were generous in sharing their suggestions and directives for achieving the goals that each participant there had gathered to hear--how to create an outstanding masterpiece.
It was ‘my first time’…but it won’t be my last.