A week ago, I posted about my upcoming first reading with my writers group Writers in Stuttgart. Well, it has come and gone, and I survived. Yay!
It was a great experience. I'd practiced reading my pieces out loud to myself several times and wasn't all that nervous after all. It probably helped that it was a very small, intimate group of listeners. All in all there were only about twenty-five people present, most of them group members, who were a little nervous themselves, plus my mom and best friend. It was great to have them there. My story Swimming Pool had people surprised and laughing at the twist ending, which was the intention and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
I especially enjoyed the variety of matieral that was read: literary fiction, thrillers, poems, memoirs, sci-fi and fantasy. We're a very genre-eclectic group, which is great because it brings us out of our comfort zones and broadens our horizons. Mine, at least.
Since this one went so well, I'm really looking forward to the larger, more public reading we're planning for some time in late spring. I used to never want anybody to read my writing - not even my family - because I couldn't bear the thought of people not liking it, and by extension me. A writer's work is very personal, so having other people read (or hear) it means to bare a piece of your soul to them. But I'm more confident than I was as a teen (thank heavens), and like who I've become, so I don't feel like I need to hide my writing - my soul - anymore. Which makes sharing, reading and letting my work be critiqued a lot easier; wanted, even.
Especially doing so with a group of such talented writers. Sure, I'm biased, but when you make people laugh or cry, or react to your work in any way, it shows talent. And every one of the stories read on Friday night accomplished that.
Therefor, big kudos to all of us!