So last Thursday, I did my first short story reading to an audience. It was pretty fun. It wasn’t a public reading, though; it was for an art show our organization put on. I thought that since I knew everyone there, it would be an easy thing. I was suprised, therefore, when I spent most of the day with the jitters.
Reading something for strangers is easy, because once they hear you, you never really see them again, unless they liked your work so much they go to your blog. But people you know is a different story. In this case, the people I read to are my co-workers, people I see every day. It wasn’t that I was worried that they wouldn’t like the story (I read “Click”, which is the only story you can’t read online). In fact, as I read it out, I kept thinking, wow, this is a good story! I don’t know if I can write anything to top this.
I think what made me nervous was that this was something “I” wrote, not some nameless, faceless writer. So when I read it to my co-workers, it was like baring a part of myself to them. It’s strange, because I don’t write my stories just to hide them away. I want them out there to make a connection to other readers. It’s the best way for me to communicate. But at the same time, it is personal. So when I read it in front of people I know, I feel a little funny.
Then again, I haven’t read in front of complete strangers yet, so what the heck do I know?
Anyhoo, the reading was a success, and I had lots of people come up and say they really, really liked it and that I read it wonderfully, which makes me happy. I had so much fun reading it, I’m considering sending it out again. I think it will make a good reprint. The question is finding the right placement for it. It’s not a standard fantasy story; more on the experimental side. Plus, I need to do some light editing. It was funny–I was actually making revisions in my head as I read it aloud (Ooo, that sentence would be better if I said it this way; I need to delete these adjectives so they’ll have greater impact later on). Funny how a story is never really finished, even after it gets published.