Shhhhh... I have a secret! I think Mac at church used to be a college French professor..... shhhhhh.... Don't tell!
Interest is key. That's the only thing that got me through 7 years of Russian!!! I started my older child off with Spanish since at the time we lived in back of a park in a neighborhood that was becoming increasingly Hispanic. But then about a year later, we hosted a missionary family from France... That was the end of Spanish, and the end of my comfort zone (I'd taken a semester of Spanish in college). French was the language of choice. I have experimented with different curriculae, because I'm dealing with a now Jr. High school student and have plenty of time! The upshot of all this is, I absolutely had to take a Continuing Education class in French at the local community college because the curriculum we're using doesn't take my children as far as they want to go, and because I was TERRIBLE at speaking :-) I jokingly refered to it as "well, I'm off to Remedial French now."