It is utterly appropriate that my first post with the Insecure Writers Support Group is about signing up for an open mic night to read from the novel I am working on.
Unlike a lot of people I am comfortable speaking to a crowd. Oh let’s be totally honest I love being center stage. Finally everyone has to quiet down and pay attention to me. I grew up the youngest and smallest so when I step up to the microphone and everyone shuts up and focuses on me, that feels great. If they don’t quiet down, I can ask them to. Or kick them out.
I do have a creeping feeling though that this may be different. I will be reading to a group of people comprised of I know not whom. It will not be my small, intimate writers group, or the kind folks in the annual poetry workshop I have come to know.
This will be – I don’t know who. Anyone who wants to come. Anyone at all. And I will be reading from my novel~this novel~the one I cannot tell if it is any good at all. The one I have been pouring my guts and soul into for so long.
That will make a difference, I know it will. I just don’t exactly know how it will do so. I try to imagine possible outcomes the worst of which of course is indifference. Polite applause, distracted eye wandering, phone checking.
The next worse is gushing, because I never know what to do with that and become wide-eyed and tense and nod too much.
Scene: They hate it.
Me: Oh, I see and what is the title of your novel again?
Scene: They love it.
Me: Oh what do you know, it sucks, are you kidding me?
As you can see I have a good head start on my defensive posturing. Which will not help me one little bit on Saturday. THIS SATURDAY?! I’m sure it will be fine…
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