On Saturday 8th October my writing group took part in the West Bromwich at War event. I mentioned this event in my last post titled ‘Oldbury Writing Group Event – World War Two Anthology Reading’. For the event, we read out a selection of short stories and poems from our soon to be released World War Two anthology titled From Sunrise to Sunset.
As you know, I was nervous. Being a self-doubter, it is scary standing in front of people and reading out your work. You fear what kind of response you will receive from the audience, and that’s if you get any at all. But even though I was so anxious I couldn’t keep still, I took on the challenge and read out my pieces better than I thought I ever could.
Due to being last in the book, I was the last one of our members to read out my stories and poems. I decided to read out two poems and one short story. I had spent the prior week practising every single day, so I felt prepared.
When it was my turn, I stood in front of the audience, took a deep breath, and then allowed the audience to hear my words. And hear my words, they did. It was encouraging to see how engaged the audience members looked. They were actually listening to me speak, and they liked what they heard. I had some great feedback from people who said I had done brilliantly. I spoke clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear. I was even told that I didn’t even need a microphone, and I appeared confident. And I did all of this without a drop of alcohol.
While thinking about my performance, I wondered what exactly helped me to read out my work the way I did. I found three answers: the first is that I practised and used the tips that I mentioned in my latest the Horror Tree post – How to Prepare for a Book Reading Event. The second was that even though nervous, I had faith in my work, and I believed every single word that I wrote. Finally, I told myself that I could do it. I imagined myself standing in front of everyone and reading out my work like a professional, and when it was time for me to read out my pieces, I performed the way I had imagined – I even did the character voices.
I was a little shaky after I finished, but I was so proud of myself. I had set self-doubt on fire. I had ignored my fears and did something that terrified me. And even though I will always be nervous when it comes to reading out my work, I know that I can do it, and do it well.
All members of the Oldbury Writing Group did very well, and I am so proud of us all. And due to the writing group’s success, we have been invited to do another event on November 11th. We’re a writing group in demand lol. You can find out more about our book and future events via our website www.oldburywritinggroup.wordpress.com.
Since starting this writing journey, I have achieved and done more than I thought I ever would. I’m so glad that I decided to write again, and I know that I will never give this up.
Keep writing, folks!