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A is for

I am now back from Athens, via Hungary, and I suppose my anxiety, if it is called that, did alright. I managed to navigate around the city, go to meetings and actually talk to people. But I always knew that I would be returning to two events that are filling me with complete dread.

I’m going to talk to students at high schools.

Now, a few years ago, when I was a teacher, this wouldn’t be a problem. But right now, I can’t think of anything worse – not to say that I don’t want to talk about my book, but the fact that it’s students – I don’t know, it’s making me feel even worse about it. Let me talk to pensioners and I’ll be fine. But right now, I feel like I can’t. I will, but I feel I can’t. And that will shine through. And I’ll be found out.

The first event, next Thursday, is at a private school at a small literary club in a library. Seems ok. But they’ve asked to film it for their YouTube channel. I said yes – what have I done? But it’s the second one, a week later, which is freaking me out. The day will be headlined by a major literary star, and then there’ll be me. Talking to up to 50 students.

I’m not even going to talk about my body issues and standing up in front of people.

Any words of wisdom?

I’ve also had lots of rejections from Submittable, which is depressing, but I’ll keep going. What seemed like a good freelance gig has suddenly gone silent. One thing I am pleased about is the photo at the top of this post – I took it on the walk in memory of my father in May.

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