Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Find Your Passion - And Write About THAT!

Remember when I told you about this totally awesome young woman I judged at a speech competition awhile ago? Click here to refresh your memory.

Well, we're not all good at everything.

Agents tell aspiring writers all the time, write what you love, not what you think the market wants. I think there is a purpose behind this. Passion and devotion are needed.

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to judge speech competitions again. The first round I judged was "Radio Speaking" and guess who walked in as the first competitor? Mmm. Hmm. It was her. Awesome girl from last time. She didn't remember me at all (huh! go figure.), but I certainly remembered her.

And as a result, I expected awesome.

However, a couple of things to consider first:
1. In the previous competition, her category had a very visual element to it. I watched her body language, body movements, facial expressions, eye contact... these things have huge impact on the delivery of a dramatic speech.
2. In the Radio Speaking category, the judge is actually expected to turn her back to the student and not look at her (or him) the entire time. It is judged solely on verbal skills.

However, I truly believe that body language (as listed in #1 above) still has a huge impact on the delivery, regardless of whether or not the recipient can see it.

None-the-less, I expected awesome. Now understand, I am a great judge (really, no bias) and only judged her based on this competition. I did not bring in past competitions or set expectations too high for this awesome young woman. I judged her fairly.

She stunk at Radio Speaking.

I'm not using her name, and she doesn't have a clue who I am, so I can say what I think (well, in theory). This was not *her* category. I felt like she was only there to stretch her wings and take a shot at another potential trophy. Maybe her teacher made her do it. I dunno.

It's okay to stretch our wings. It is: good exercise.

But we need to remember to focus our efforts where our passion rests, on the thing we most love.

It was pretty clear to me that she did not love Radio Speaking. It sounded like a chore. You can HEAR a smile in someone's voice. It's a proven fact. Ask any successful salesperson. A smile while talking on the phone will achieve better results than a scowl. Don't believe me? Tape record yourself doing both. It works.

And that smile in your voice is where your passion is. Find your passion. Write about that.


  1. Really good thoughts! And now I'm wondering if this girl will polish her Radio Speaking skills or move on to greener pastures. Thanks for sharing!