Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson Takes You to Prides Hollow
Come Meet Her Characters and Hear Their Stories
Follow me past Critter's Creek, to the tiny town of which I speak,
About a mile and a hair past anywhere you've been...kelly swanson
Hi, I'm Kelly. And this is my story of how it all began.
It all started about about twenty years ago when I was a writer with nothing to write about. I had no grand story of climbing Mt. Everest - no thrilling love affair - no Olympic medal - no story. But I loved to write. It consumed me. So, being the kid desperate to fit in, I looked around to see what others wrote about - to get them to tell me what my story should be. I looked at the world of publishing, to see what they wanted to publish. I looked on the shelves of the bookstores to see what they wanted to print. I looked at the jobs market to see what they would pay me to write. But when I wrote what others wanted - well, it was empty and unfulfilling. The joy of writing disappeared. It just wasn't the same when I had to write about the beauty of owning a tractor. That was the day I walked out of that job interview and decided I was tired of trying to fit in. I would do my own thing. Problem was - still no story.
"Write about what you know," people said. So I did. I looked around and wrote what I saw - what I lived - real life, from an ordinary seat. I wrote about life, and people, and the tiny moments that made it funny and made it beautiful. I wrote about hope. I wrote about courage - written on the faces of the people I met every day. Sure, I gave them different names. And eventually I gave them a town of their own. But they are as real to me as life.
And that's how Prides Hollow was born. And that's where my storytelling career began. I began to find groups who would pay me (even if it was just in chicken) to tell a story - to take them to my town. Some day I will tell you all the funny tales of my life as a professional storyteller. Be sure to ask me about the retirement home where they threw food at me - or the kid's birthday party where I dressed up as a fairy godmother and my car broke down on the way - or the time I told stories in a crowded mall between Santa and three elves. It wasn't glamorous. But it was mine. My journey. And every piece was necessary - even the painful ones.
Motivational Speaker is Born
And then I met a humorist named Jeanne Robertson who opened my eyes to the world of professional speaking. She showed me a place where I could tell stories and actually make a career out of it. I was introduced to the National Speakers Association which changed my life and taught me how to turm this into a business. They taught me how to take the stories and give them real life application. And even real business application. They taught me to believe in myself and my own story. They encouraged me, inspired me, and gave me flight.
And I became a motivational speaker - the perfect fit for me. Here I can be funny, motivating, everything I want to be - and challenge you to think at the same time. Here I can put on a show and drink in the bright lights and the smell of the stage - and at the same time show you how to come out of your own comfort zone. One story, one laugh, at a time.
Talk about coming out of my comfort zone! From the picked on kid who spent the first half of her life trying not to be noticed - to a motivational speaker spending the second half of her life trying to get noticed. Talk about a leap! I was scared at first. Shoot, I'm still scared. Sometimes I feel like I woke up in this world where I don't belong. But my dream is bigger than my fear. And I press forward despite my fear. It's worth it. They are worth it - the people I bring with me - who have their own stories to tell.
So I'm not doing this alone. The characters are coming with me. And there are some days when I feel like it's those characters you fall in love with more than me. And I'm just fine with that. Because I'm finally a writer with a story - doing what I love - in the hopes that it will give you courage to find your own story - and then sing it out to the world like no one's watching.
Yes, my friend, dreams do come true. I'm living mine. So join me on the journey to Prides Hollow, and we'll help you find yours - in that tiny little town about a mile and a hair past nowhere - where the simple life is revered, ordinary heroes are appreciated, and the stories aren't fancy, they're just about the people.
See you in Prides Hollow!