“What advice would you have for someone who wants to write professionally?” is a pretty tall order. It’s a question that, while I love answering it, remains one of the toughest to answer because you are being asked for that “One Ring” kind of answer. What’s the one takeaway you want people to have after meeting you? Well, apart from buying my latest book, there’s no one thing that makes an aspiring author a success. A lot goes into building a professional writing career.
But one thing I’ve rarely, if ever, hear an author offer for advice is this: Learn how to read a room.
If you want to see a really good dramatization of this, watch the Amazon Prime movie, Late Night. It’s a terrific watch for many reasons (like you need any reasons beyond Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson) but one scene in particular is a masterclass in how to read a room. At a stand-up comedy cancer benefit, late night talk show legend Katherine Newberry (Emma Thompson) takes the stage in an impromptu stand up set, and she is bombing. You watch Newberry look the length of the audience; and the camera switches angles, looking at the world from her perspective. She takes a moment and changes her “opinions on this wacky world” approach to self-deprecating comedy, a change that not only helps her recover gracefully but also makes a connection between her and the audience.[Read more…] about The Art of Reading a Room