Saturday, July 26, 2008

A "Who, Me?" Moment and a Challenge

When I encountered an email message bright and early this morning with the subject line "Invitation to Speak," I at first thought I'd strayed into my spam folder with its odd collection of financial offers from Nigerian noblemen, etc. Then I recognized the name of the sender, and my curiousity was aroused.

It seems that the Illinois Woman's Press Association, an organization of which I am a member, wants me to speak at its Fall Kickoff Breakfast on the topic "Blogging: The Magic and the Mystery." Actually, I'm to be part of a two-person panel with a moderator. My initial reaction was "Who, Me?" I'm hardly known as a speaker on any topic; I don't think I've made a speech since my Wright College commencement address in 1996. As I recall, speech was the only college course in which I earned a C. My recent years of relative elderly isolation aren't likely to have improved my speaking ability. The IWPA speakers are usually big-name female reporters from the Chicago media, publishers, or journalism professors, not obscure elderbloggers.

My second reaction was, "I can't do that." However, it only took me a few minutes to decide to accept the challenge. After all, I believe in the magic of blogging, and I realize that the whole idea is still a mystery to many, including many in my own generation. Here is my chance to spread the word. I have about two months to overcome my shyness and decide what I'll say. I'll try to remain positive and look upon this as an opportunity. Opportunities are rare for those of us past 70, and I'm flattered. After all, the title of my other blog is "Never too Late!"

Copyright 2008 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Lydia said...

This is wonderful news, Marlys! I feel really "in the know" because I'm currently savoring your book Reinventing Myself and so I've seen the picture of the graduation where you spoke. The following comment will clue you into what chapter I read last:
Where some seniors would decline an offer to speak publicly because their dentures might be undependable (i.e., click, slip), I'd bet $30,000 on your confidence at the microphone. ;)

seniorwriter said...

Yes, no dentures for me! I guess I'm a veteran at plunging into difficult situations. I should have learned how to handle them by now.

Lydia said...

BTW, my post for this weekend refers to the wonder of blogging.....
The topic of your speech is wide open to rich material and wonderful stories.

Samantha said...

Thanks for the inspiring post.Overcoming shyness is not that tough. If you think that it's time to let go of the "shy side" , seek help from It has interesting guides. Thought that I might share with you.

Lisa Allender said...

I hope I can encourage my Mom to write. Rather shy(unlike me, who can speak with someone for ten minutes, and know their life history!)I think it'd be great for her!
You rock, woman! Peace.