Speaking at UMass: It’s Always a Crapshoot

I’m heading back to UMass today for another opportunity to speak with students about writing. This is an old tradition, dating back 7-8 years, and it’s unpredictable whether the students will be interested in what I say or completely distracted.

I remember one time when I came to this same classroom and got the sense that nobody really cared and most of them would have preferred to noodle around on Facebook than listen to me.

But after this desultory reaction, I put my foot down. I told my friend BJ, the professor that if they didn’t ask questions and act like they were interested, I’d give them a really hard time. I asked her to warn them too, and that seemed to do the trick.

I sometimes wonder why I go to this, but then I realize that like anyone, I like talking about what I do. I like the chance to encourage writers, and the opportunity to preach my gospel….the internet holds the most promise for publishing and for anyone with something to say. I like evangelizing about web publishing and I guess that’s why I’m going back to UMass today.