[This is the] advice my father used to give to my sister and me as we were preparing to go out on a date.

 

“Turn. Let me see you,” he would say, approvingly. “You look beautiful.” Then he would add the words he always said before we went out — words that every daughter needs to hear her father say: “Now remember, before you go in to the dance, pause a moment at the doorway, lift your head, and tell yourself, ‘I am the most beautiful girl at the ball.’ And only then, go in.”

 

He was teaching us confidence. “Remember to compliment the boy you’re dancing with. If you can’t think of anything else to say, compliment his tie. You have no idea how scared boys are.”

 

And concerning our shyness at ‘working’ a large party: “Stop thinking about yourself. Everyone there is more afraid than you. It’s your responsibility to put someone else at ease.”

 

The same advice applies to writers.

~Sophy Burnham, For Writers Only

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