After a great start to Camp NaNoWriMo last weekend, I got side tracked for about a week for a variety of reasons. I had a very productive week, it just wasn’t related to writing… in any capacity. Even this blog post is being written late because I have been busy. One of the main reasons is that I rejoined Toastmasters.
Toastmasters – The Past
It wasn’t just because I re-joined Toastmasters, but that became a big focus of my week. Some background, for about 7 years I was a member of the public speaking organization, Toastmasters. In that time I completed their educational program two times and was on my way to finishing it for a third time. I realized that I could have gone in circles with the program, but I really wanted to focus on professional goals that would utilize my developed communication and leadership skills. This was when I first got my current job, about six and a half years ago. Things have changed since, including my professional goals.
Why Re-join? What Changed?
About two weeks ago I spoke at a SIPA meeting about writing a 30 second pitch for your book. It is one of the things I have become obsessed with as I prepare for Modern Persuasion’s release. I realized I missed writing speeches, speaking in front of audiences, and sharing my knowledge. Yes, i do this at work, but I am a bit bored with telling the same thing to, what might as well be, the same group of students. I am not going to get into that issue today, but I dusted off an old business plan to become a professional speaker.
Yes, this is a thing! These are the people who give keynotes at conferences or are invited to speak to a group about a specific topic. They are paid for their time and, depending who they are, get paid a lot to do so. I always struggled with what I could be paid to speak about. When I developed the plan, I wasn’t really an expert on anything. There was a system in place with Toastmasters to become an accredited speaker and part of their speaker bureau. This means that anyone looking for a speaker could find me through Toastmasters. It’s a long process and I have to be paid for speaking regularly. Seven years ago I was not ready to really consider this a reality, but things have changed.
What Are The Plans?
You may have noticed the focus of this blog keeps changing. It’s me trying to find something I enjoy writing about. There is the ongoing theme of my own writing and novels. That’s not going anywhere for a while and Fridays are pretty much dedicated to this is some capacity. Mondays and Wednesdays are always in flux. I am going to keep playing with things here and maybe launch something bigger from here. Who knows.
As for Toastmasters, I am not re-joining to get involved in the organization again, but to focus on my bigger goals. Last time I felt too caught up in the politics of the organization and I want to avoid that. I also need to make sure I don’t get caught up in side things that will distract me from what I need for my own goals. I do that all the time and I know I can easily get caught up with the Toastmasters educational program and what the club needs. I need to focus this time.