Friday, February 10, 2012
The writer who loses his self-doubt, who gives way as he grows old to a sudden euphoria, to prolixity, should stop writing immediately: the time has come for him to lay aside his pen.
~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
This month’s Sierra Writers meeting featured Emma Santa, speaking on Speechcraft for Writers. It was a fabulous. Emma walked us through the steps to create an elevator pitch, a brief summary of what you have to offer. In this case, it would be my book, Free from Hepatitis C.
Here is what surprised me. Six years ago, I did an elevator pitch to a publisher in front of a group and I bombed. I joined Toastmasters to learn how to be a better public speaker so I could do stuff like this. I am not afraid to stand up in front of an audience, but at Sierra Writers, I was nervous.
Fear and self-doubt got in the way. Perhaps Colette is right, a bit of self-doubt may help us as writers. However, self-doubt does not belong in the elevator. Goodness gracious, we spend hours, days, months, and years writing. If I had reasonable doubt about writing Free from Hepatitis C, I would have quit long before it was finished.
So, here is my new pitch:
More people die in this country from hepatitis C than from HIV. Four million people have hepatitis C, most of them born between 1945 and 1965. However, 3 out of 4 people with this disease do not know they have it. Hepatitis C is curable, if it is diagnosed. My book, Free from Hepatitis C tells you everything you need to know from diagnosis to cure. I write with experience, as a recognized expert in the hepatitis C field and a person who has lived with this disease. My book shows you how to live free from hepatitis C.
P.S. Prolixity means wordy. A prolix elevator pitch is an oxymoron.