Friday, 10 September 2010

Public Speaking: my journey from shy smalltown girl to published author

I've spent a few days in Sweden to talk about my life as a writer and my first novel Punkindustriell hårdrockare med attityd (Punk industrial hard rocker with attitude)

This week it was the opening of a new cultural centre in my hometown, Nässjö. On Tuesday I was invited to hold a talk in the library and the day after I did the same 45 min talk at the youth centre. I also went to another town, Tranås to talk to young people about identity (which is the main theme in my novel).

It's always a bit nerve-wracking to speak in my hometown as a lot of people know me and/or my family and I can't get away with any lies ... Not that I usually lie, but sometimes I change things around a bit ...

Even if the audience was very different at these three occasions I basically spoke about the same thing: my journey from quiet/shy/ugly smalltown girl to confident "punk industrial hard rocker with attitude".

I made an active choice the summer when I was sixteen. When school started again (in Sweden you go to the school "gymnasiet" from when you're 16 until 19) I wanted to be a punkrocker. I also had thoughts of becoming a "good-looking popular girl", but decided it was much harder so I settled for the punk rock style.

Now, 10-12 years later I've realised it's just as hard to become a punkrocker as it is to become a good-looking girl. It takes courage to find your own style, search for alternative music and go to school looking like a car accident with hairspray- damaged hair and ripped jeans. For me it was a relief though, not having to keep up with the latest fashion, although in the end I compared myself to other punks and wondered if I was a "real" punk ...

Whoever you are it's tough to grow up. I think everybody spends far too much time in front of the mirror worrying about if they're okay or not. Sometimes the beautiful people are not visible because they are too shy to be seen ...

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