It’s official – I’ll be speaking at WordCamp Edinburgh next month

I may have developing on the WordPress platform for 11 years but, as yet, I haven’t been a speaker at a WordCamp. In fact, other than at work, internally, I’ve never given a talk on WordPress at all. So, it’s with some relief that I can announce that I will “pop my cherry” next month, as I’m announced as a speaker at WordCamp Edinburgh.

But there’s a little story behind it (ssshhh, don’t tell the organisers).

You see, as soon as I went to my first WordCamp (WC London, last year) I knew I wanted to do a talk. So, I submitted a request to them for this year’s event. I was turned down. And, looking back, it was understandable – I’d asked to talk about transients and I made it sound as boring as hell. But I wasn’t going to give up at that point but, rather than change subject, I became more determined to talk about that subject (even though there are many others I could pick) – I submitted a request to WordCamp Manchester, revising my submission details to make it more exciting, learning from what I’d read from others, who’d been accepted at previous WordCamps. I was turned down again.

Third time lucky. And, again, further revision. That was to Edinburgh.

So, it worked and I’m still talking about transients. I felt joy but slightly suppressed by worry.

Let’s use an analogy here. The UK political party The Liberal Democrats – they never thought they’d get into power, as they were very much the 3rd party. And, as such, you can make all sorts of promises without having to worry about delivering them. Until 2010, when they were called upon by the Conservatives to form a coalition. Suddenly, those promised caught up with them and they found they couldn’t deliver after all. At the next election their vote was decimated (the number of MPs they had remaining after that election could be driven around in a minivan).

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash. You’ve been busted

I’d made promises in that submission about my talk that now I had to actually deliver. Most importantly, I said I’d make my talk about transients funny.

Don’t get me wrong, that analogy with the Liberal Democrats breaks down, in that I believe I can deliver those promises. But a straight, boring, talk about transients would be so much easier.

I’ve already started off working on my talk and, right now, it’s sans humour – I’m hoping I can find my fun-fu after getting the meat of the talk completed. Meantime, if anybody knows any killer transient jokes, I’m open to suggestions 😉

But for those who know me, and know I regularly take to the stage as part of a musical theatre group, will probably think a talk is right up my straße. But that takes 6 months of rehearsals to give me the confidence to walk out in from of 200 people a night. I can easily flip between extrovert and introvert, can suffer from anxiety and, yeah, Sensory Overload may not help me either. So this is genuinely going to be a challenge for me but one that I want (rather than need) to get better at – I believe in pushing myself in these ways to learn to better understand and cope. I also volunteered to be an MC at next year’s WordCamp London for much the same reason.

I’ll be posting up soon about my writing process and will also be adding a new documentation section to the site to include notes for the talk. This isn’t the last you’ve heard on this!

Posted by David Artiss

Enterprise Happiness Engineer for the WordPress VIP team at Automattic. Gamer, film lover and general fan of all things Marvel, Star Trek and Star Wars. Failed comedian. Writer for The Big Tech Question. World's Greatest Grandma.

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