What’s your 60 Second?

When I first arrived at the writers expo this past Saturday I found myself a little overwhelmed.   I was expected about a handful, let’s say five authors, around the ages of 50-65, trying to promote their soft romance or spiritual novel they finally wrote after years of pondering it.

I’ve been out of the writing gig for sometime, and it was made apparent to me that self-publishing is all the rage!  It was created such a surplus of authors that they are drowning one another out.  This is not a judgement, more an observation as I most likely will be set up with a booth beside them this time next year.

My anxiety shot as I stood alone in this sea of strangers.  When I approached the first boot there stood a tall middle aged blonde with a presentation board on her book and a large pile of copies ready for the eager purchasers of Huntsville.  Beside her was a shorter man, grasping a large camera.  I don’t recall how the conversation began, but eventually we made our way into the fact that I was writing a memoir.

“What’s a memoir?”

I was stunned a moment, was he joking/ mocking?  My barriers started lifting up, as my sensitivity set in. “It’s a story about yourself.”

His face grew with inquisitive fascination, I now wondered if he was serious?  “I’ve never heard of such a thing.”  As I stood in an awkward silence, unsure still what his game was, or who even was.  “What’s your 60 second?”

I took a writing course at Stanford that a 60 second was discussed, but no real feedback was ever given on the topic once yours was created.  It’s something I am very stressed out about when I think of the next steps after this book is complete.  No really I stay up nights agonizing over what my 60 second will be.  I almost want some poetic genius like Ginsberg, Wordsworth, or Wrenn to review my work and tell me my 60 second.  I’m a sales person, which adds to the pressure…I’m just rubbish at selling me.

“Uhm, Well it’s about my job in retail,” what about it, “and it was a whirlwind.”  Ya, that was absolute trash.  “I’m sorry,” and then I start to rattle off about Stanford and sleepless nights.

The author then steps in, “I’m sorry this is my PR guy.”

I nod, wanting to ask her if he was joking about the memoir thing.  This is really harping on me.  She was much less eager, much more kind and patient.  I listened to her story of how the book came along and suddenly I felt like I was talking to my best friend.  Finally it just came out, “My book, it’s really about how my job made me feel as if it was giving me control over me life, when indeed my life was unraveling all around me.  When I noticed it was beyond repair, divorced, homeless, and without any person future plans I realized I had lost my life, and being grounded hurt more than chaos.”

Now that’s no 60 second, but that did sum up a meaning that I didn’t realize I was seeking out until then.  It’s my purpose, and now that I found that perhaps it will be easier to picture the what’s next.


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