I am not a fan of doing public readings. I talk too fast, I mix my words, I jumble, I stutter. But, as a writer I have to get better at it. It’s something I must do, and do well. I love to watch readings and take in the ease at which other writers can read their work. It seems easy in theory, right? And then I stand in front of the room, watchful eyes of my peers, and it’s suddenly the hardest thing in the world.
I was never a person afraid of public speaking when I was younger. I performed in musicals and choir productions, always volunteered to read in class, even held officer positions which required addressing a room. And now the bar is set so much higher, the stakes raised, and I feel meek and small and unable.
I know really, this boils down to practice. Do it often and it’s not so scary. It’s just reading words, after all. Tonight, I will be reading and sharing my words on a stage in front of others. And I will be just fine.