I suffer from a complete inability to say no, so much so that I now have a picture on my office wall that states "Stop me before I volunteer again..."
BUT sometimes wonderful things come from a nervous and hesitant yes.
Yesterday's Write On Radio Show was my fourth anniversary show, yes, I've been doing it for four years. The whole thing came about because it was someone else's idea, and they were going to do it, and I offered to fill in occasionally (thinking that will never happen) but then they buggered off overseas for a bit, and we got a sponsor and suddenly it was, well, unless you do it Vanda, we'll lose the sponsor. Gulp. It was never supposed to be me!
Turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened, for many reasons.
Firstly, I got to learn how to produce a radio show, as it's me doing all the dials, gadgets and computer stuff. I don't have some fancy-pants technician, nope, for that one hour I am in control of the station (can you just hear the megalomaniacal laugh...)
Secondly, despite being so nervous for the first few shows I thought I would puke, I did it, and it was fun, and my guests were great. It has helped my self-confidence immensely.
And speaking of guests, it turned out to be a wonderful way to showcase the fantastic writers we have in Otago, and a good way for local writers to have some radio exposure with someone they knew who was, hopefully, non-threatening, or at least not too scary.
It also meant I have had the opportunity to interview a few super-stars, Ian Rankin and Diana Gabaldon. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd get to do that!
One of the most beneficial things to have happened as a result of doing the radio show, is my reading horizons have been hugely expanded. As I'm the kind of girl who likes to over-prepare I like to read my guests books, most recent and past, so it means I have had to read all sorts of things that I would normally never have picked up. I have discovered a love of biographies, read all sorts of fascinating local history books, lots of fabulous fiction for all age groups, and have had my reading comfort zone rather challenged with subject matters I really did not want to know about.
So after four years I am still having a hell of a lot of fun with this show, and will be eternally grateful that I didn't say NO.