Are you afraid of public speaking? Does your body quiver with stage fright? That was once the plight of Long Beach-based writer Walt Grassl. At the age of 50, he chose to face his fear and single-mindedly worked on this goal until he was comfortable speak up in front of an audience. In his book, Stand Up & Speak Up, he shares not only his journey of overcoming stage fright, but provides advice on how you can conquer it, as well.
Carma Spence: What types of genres do you like to write?
Walt Grassl: Non-fiction books (motivation, self-help). I also blog, write jokes for my stand-up and comedy sketches.
CS: Where do you get your ideas?
WG: My life experiences combined with lessons I’ve learned from others. I also get inspired during normal conversation, reading non-fiction and fiction books, listening to the radio, reading news on the internet ... really, inspiration is all around, now that I have developed that observation muscle.
CS: Did you always like writing?
CS: Do you have a set schedule to do your writing?
WG: No. However, I set deadlines and as the deadline approaches, I schedule time in order to complete the project.
CS: How do you feel about the current state of writing?
WG: With the popularity of blogging, I believe more people than ever are developing their writing skills. Although, I believe the strictness of the standards of writing have loosened. Is this a good time for writers? With the technological advances in computers and in the print industry making it easier and less expensive to self-publish, more people than ever can publish a book.
CS: What is the best advice you've ever received as a writer?
WG: Writing is re-writing. Get your thoughts out with as little filtering as possible and then edit for grammar, flow and consistency. Don’t get paralyzed by trying to be perfect in the first draft.
CS: What is the best advice you can give as a writer?
WG: The hardest part of writing is starting. The second hardest part is finishing. So sit down and start writing, and the words will come. Then, at some point, you will have to put your pencil down. You can always improve your work but at some point, you need to let your baby go.
CS: What's next for you and your writing?
WG: I am thinking about a follow-up to Stand Up and Speak Up, talking about reinvention.
CS: Are you a Long Beach native or a transplant?
WG: I am a Southern California native, raised in Pico Rivera and have lived most of the past 40 yrs in the Long Beach area.
CS: What do you like about being a writer in Long Beach?
WG: The diversity and large number of creative people, which I’ve become more and more aware of since I began studying improv two years ago.
Would you like to shine the light on your writing brilliance? Make your online footprint support your goals as a writer? To learn how Carma Spence can help you own your awesome in business and life, and increase your visibility online visit www.carmaspence.com.
NOTE: Are you a writer, author or editor connected to Long Beach in some way? Please contact me ... and you can be a part of my series of profiles of local writers!