There will be blood. And free muffins.

There will be blood. And free muffins.

We did show-and-tell for this month’s department meeting.

The theme: “What I did this summer.” It would help us practice our presentation skills, we reasoned. There were chocolate muffins.

Coworkers shared wood burning projects and photos of Zion. We talked about Austin Kleon and our associate creative director’s fantasy novel. I went last, even though not everyone had gotten a turn, because the hour was almost up and because let’s be honest: Who really wants to explain their summer vacation to ten people at conference tables, if they can get out of it?

If you want to feel how long three minutes can be, play a three-minute video of your family vacation while standing in front of ten coworkers.

It’s uncomfortable. It’s long. Immediately you notice 2:52 minutes of footage that you could’ve probably cut.

People asked me good questions: Did I plan the story in advance? No. How much footage did I capture? Not enough.

“I like the music,” someone said.

“Thanks. It’s a total rip-off of Casey Neistat’s videos.”

“Yeah. It is.”

I didn’t expect this response. It pinched a little, this confirmation of my self-doubt. Or maybe it was just the adrenaline lingering in my system after five minutes in front of a crowd. Whatever.

Today I’ll do my work: the copywriting I owe to the account managers, the email responses my coworkers are expecting, the checking-off of to-dos. And sometime in between, I’ll find five minutes to email the editor I pitched during last month’s writing conference. The editor who said, “We’ll get in touch if we’re interested.” The editor who didn’t get in touch.

I’ll ask her if she has any feedback to share. I wouldn’t, normally, but I paid $35 for the five-minute pitch session and it can’t hurt to ask.

I’ll make a list in my journal titled “Brave Things I Did Today.” Underneath I’ll write:

  1. Presenting my vacation video at today’s meeting.
  2. Emailing editor.

They say you can reframe your fear as excitement. They say this tricks your brain into thinking something that’s seems horrible is actually a grand adventure.

I’m not anxious today. I’m not anxious. I’m exhilarated.

Image by Pixabay used under a Creative Commons license.