DUUUUUUDES! Omg. I’m a noodle. Prepping for speaking at TEDWomen in San Francisco since June (5 months!) was NUTS! I think I rewrote/tweaked my talk on Time Debt and how The Boyfriend Log woke me up 100+ times… welcome to my world as an editor. I actually said one of the original lines on stage by accident. Ha! You get so sick (and nitpicky) of lines/thoughts that you HAVE to rework them or go completely mad as the weeks go by. But sometimes they’re so cemented in that you can’t help yourself:).
It was hella comforting to find out that EVERYONE goes through some version of insanity in this process. I talked to veteran TED talkers who said they get so tired of hearing themselves recite the lines that they HATE their topic and their talk in the weeks up to the event. (And no matter where they’ve appeared before… on Oprah, at the White House, or on any other stage… nothing has been as intimidating.) But here’s the amazing thing: we all had a blast and ended up loving our topics again after all, and would do it over in two minutes. Okay, more like after a LONG sleep-and-recovery period. But still.
Anywho… I could feel you all pulling for me and sending me love and want to THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR EVERY SINGLE LOVING THOUGHT. I carried your well wishes and energy with me, and every text and tweet and email made my heart swell. I kept thinking: “How is it that memorizing and giving a 12-minute talk is harder than writing a whole book?!” So true (all of my books, but the memoir, of course). But, I’m proud of the writing, the prep, my insistence on going for it despite the fear of being so seen, and elated that I was chosen in the first place.
And, having you all beside me made it 1,000x better… and more meaningful, as I knew I’d have so much to share.
My Carmel Writing Retreat buddy, the singer Taylor Dayne (18-top-10-hits-Taylor-Dayne, in the photo above), was there with me and said it was like being at Dancing with the Stars, only for brainiacs. (She and I spontaneously wrote HER talk at her Carmel retreat on the second night… and magically, weeks later, when TEDWomen asked me to speak, I pitched Taylor to them, too! And she KILLED it… Can’t wait until we have the links to share.)
I think Taylor’s right about the intellectual weightiness of these TED events, which is why participating in them is so intimidating… everyone’s up to SUCH BIG S#IT! Geopolitical; scientific; race and religion; gender issues; hate crimes; how design can help bring communities closer together; teenage girls inventing biofuel and water filters to save lives in the 3rd world; Black Lives Matter creators; gold medalists; hospice for children; Ashely Judd calling out cyber sex abuse against women, and our beloved Nancy Pelosi!
Good Lord. Attempts at world-changing are no joke and not for the faint of heart. But, after having multiple women take me aside after my talk on Time Debting (and how The Boyfriend Log got me OUT of wasting my time/life in bad relationships) and cry to me about how terrified they are about losing their own time/lives to self and relationship abuse, I was grateful I’d pushed through to the other side.
Bottom line: don’t wait until you’re comfortable to do that thing. I was prepared, for sure. But I was not comfortable. But someone was waiting for what I had to say, and they’re waiting for you, too.
For more info on Time Debting, my November writing retreat, or using The Boyfriend Log to give you clarity and freedom in love (and time!), you know what to do. I’ll let you know as soon as the talk posts on the TED site (they sent me a screener to proof… yay). In the meantime, here’s a link to a TED blog post about the first session, which includes info on my talk.
Love my tribe, madly!
P.S. For the BEST insider guide for creating unforgettable talks, Chris Anderson’s TED TALKS: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking is unparalleled.