Dr. Seuss’s Day

“You already have permission

Just saying.

You have permission to create, to speak up, and stand up.

You have permission to be generous, to fail, and to be vulnerable.

You have permission to own your words, to matter and to help.

No need to wait.”

Seth Godin

Most of Seth Godin’s posts are so relevant to creative people that I am often tempted to forward them to every writer I know.

I find this post from a few days ago particularly relevant to my day, here in my little corner of California.

My favorite line is about the generosity, the failure, and the vulnerability.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to visit a local elementary/ middle school to help them celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, also Read Across America Day.

The generosity came 100% from the school that invited me. Yet they insisted I was generous with my time. How nice is that?

The failure: I could miss what I wanted to share with the children yet I hoped it wouldn’t be too bad.

The vulnerability: I feared the moment where I would be alone on stage, facing 500 kids.

I am just back from school and my short presentation, oriented around seven quotes from Dr. Seuss, which I applied to the writing process and my novel Trapped in Paris, was a moment of joy.

Thanks to the amazing gift children have to live the moment, everything fell into place as soon as the first slide of my power point presentation appeared on the screen. The students were curious, open-minded, eager, and generous with their questions, clapping and cheering.

I didn’t fail. Even though I had prepared notes to go with my presentation, I realized that I was so familiar with my topic and the audience so responsive that it was much better to just forget about notes and just go bare.

It is more challenging than using a teleprompter, but honestly? Our politicians would touch us so much more if they left their speeches at home.

It is worth the risk. I asked questions I hadn’t planned to ask. Encouraged by the enthusiasm, I went beyond what I had prepared and kids stayed behind to talk to me afterwards.

I was vulnerable. Who wouldn’t be in a packed auditorium, filled with young people?dr.seussquote

My mouth was dry. I didn’t forget my notes but my bottle of water. So unlike me!

My heart was like a bird flapping its wings inside me. I’d rather climb Half Dome, I thought.

And yet, the smiles and laughter, the comments and compliments  (yes, there were some!) were worth every second of doubt and fright.

Anxiety was necessary when I was getting my stuff ready.

But in the end, I was left with anticipation for a future event.

And a craving for a big bottle of water.


  1. […] meant to be that one of my first public events related to the publication of my novel happened last year on Dr. Seuss’s Day, also called Read Across America […]

  2. […] is not the first time I visit a school, a library, or a […]

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