On Sunday, October 29th, 2017, the Pontiac & Ottawa Valley Writers’ Circle (POVWC) hosted its first-ever public reading event. Significantly for me, this was the first-ever time that I read anything of mine in front of a public audience. That’s huge.
Back in July, I wrote a post about my desire to improve my public reading skills and to conquer my related fears. I have been reading to the other members of the POVWC since the winter 2017, and it has gotten progressively easier. I think it is directly related to my growing familiar with the group and becoming more secure in my own skin. The post from July is here.
I was nervous for the event, but having worked so hard to get my story ready and working so hard with the other members of the POVWC to get the show amped up and ready made me that much more confident. A lot of work went into preparing the event from planning, writing, editing, critiquing, practice reading…
And we had a HUGE help from Glen Hartle (http://art-life-you.ca) in having the images available to project behind each writer as they read. And all of those fancy and wonderful advertisements that went out about the event were designed by Glen, including the generous sharing of his images for those advertisements. THANK YOU!
Some of the best parts of the evening for me was in the comradery that I felt with the other members of the POVWC. We meet regularly, so we have developed a really great rapport with one another. I really enjoyed the moments as we set up for the event, sharing our anxieties and our excitement with one another. And as we cleaned up, I loved as we shared our laughs and our feelings of accomplishment. Those were great moments, and I am glad to have been a part of them.
For the reading itself, I am so proud of the story that I wrote. I feel like it is the strongest short story that I’ve ever written. I worked on in it regularly for months in preparation for this reading. I practiced reading it many times. There were some really great moments within the story where – during practice – my intonation and emphasis was done just right, but at the reading, I got a little shy and lost some of those moments. Overall, however, I walk away from my first public reading with a feeling of pride and achievement. I feel good about the effort and the experience.
And this is a big deal for a writer. It’s not a small moment the first time you become vulnerable to a public audience by reading your work. I look forward to many more.