…Margaret K Johnson lays dead the spectre of fear of public speaking… and novel writing…

…for any of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land who’ve ever had to stand up and speak in public, and’ve felt the attack of the 1,000,000 butterflies in yer stomach, here’s a terrific post from my pal, Authoress, Margaret K. Johnson… she addresses not only overcoming the dread of spouting on yer feet, but also of scribbling… getting that book yeez all have in yeez actually written and out there… enjoy…

Margaret K Johnson


When I was eleven years old, I had to give a talk at school about Joan of Arc, the French saint. Nervously, I went to the front of the class, opened my mouth and said:

“Joan of Arc was brought up as a pheasant.”

 “Peasant!” I corrected myself. “She was brought up as a peasant!” But it was too late of course. Everyone – including the teacher – was falling about laughing. No doubt they quickly forgot the unexpected entertainment, but I certainly didn’t. I developed a chronic fear of speaking in public which lasted for around twenty years – until I decided that enough was enough, and set out to do something about it. I was a writer, and I wanted to teach writing, so the phobia had to go.

I’ve come a long way since then – two years ago, I even performed a short stand-up comedy routine in a Greenwich comedy club. (You can watch me in action on YouTube if you want to!) But the truth is, if we let it, fear can stop us in our tracks.

Many people feel they’ve got a book in them, and dream of getting published. But they don’t always do anything about it. They find a million and one other things to do, like cleaning the oven or washing the car. They put other peoples’ needs or desires first. Or worry about what people will think.

Behind most of these displacement activities lies one big fat fear: This is my dream. What if it doesn’t work out?

 Because I’ve encountered this fear so often with my creative writing students, I started to include a confidence-building element in my sessions, and it really seemed to pay off. When my students recognised what they were afraid of and why, they were able to do something about it. As a result, they wrote more easily, were happier to share what they wrote with others, and gave and received feedback with more confidence. And that meant they learnt better.

I’ve recently put this insight and experience into an eight-module e-course called Feel The Fear and Write Anyway – Self-Confidence For Writers. It’s aimed at people who want to start to write, or those who have already started, but are now feeling stuck, and the course helps participants to:

*   Identify and deal with any blocks or obstacles to writing
*   Build their self-belief and deal with their nagging, critical voice
*   Tackle any resistance to writing – from themselves or anyone else
*   Identify their strengths and weaknesses
*   Develop their identity as a writer
*   Establish the best writing routine for them
*   Learn how to give and receive feedback on their work and how to contribute and benefit from writing communities
*   Plan for their future development as a writer

The course starts on Friday 28th October 2016 and places are limited. Anyone who’s interested in finding out more can do so by going to: www.feelthefearandwriteanyway.com


There’s a special bonus offer for the first three people to enrol.

As for me, I think it’s time I found a new challenge on the public speaking front. Having developed that muscle, I don’t want to lose it! Any ideas anyone?


Margaret K Johnson began writing after finishing at Art College to support her career as an artist. Writing quickly replaced painting as her major passion, and these days her canvasses lay neglected in her studio.

She is the author of both non-fiction and women’s fiction published by Crooked Cat Publishing, Omnific Publishing and Earthy Works Publishing. She also writes well as award-winning original fiction readers in various genres for people learning to speak English, published by Cambridge University Press and Cengage Learning.


An experienced adult education tutor, Margaret founded WriteUP Courses in early 2015, and works with those who want to use writing as therapy as well as those who want to become published authors. Margaret has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and lives in Norwich, UK with her partner and their bouncy son and dog.

Her website is at: www.margaretkjohnson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MargaretKJohnsonAuthor/


Twitter: https://twitter.com/Margaretkaj

…thanks gazillions for that, m’Lady, Margaret… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

6 responses to “…Margaret K Johnson lays dead the spectre of fear of public speaking… and novel writing…

  1. Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Seumas! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A busy writer and teacher. So many people fear speaking in public. More power to you Margaret. 🙂 Informative post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Margaret, for your thorough and interesting information on your career and work. I also finally learned to speak in front of people in college training to be a primary teacher. Thanks, Seumas, for having Margaret as your guest. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

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