My attempt to criticise why I let my nerves get to me at a reading of my latest book. Before I go further, I would once again like to thank Annarosemeads for having the courage to post about her latest speaking experience. This in turn gave me the idea to post about mine here.
Very strange, I had read the same exact passage to the writers’ group in my local Stroud and I have experience galore in reading in public, especially as a supply teacher. So, why when I read “He Was Weird” to the writers’ group in Cirencester was I so nervous?
It could be that it was because I didn’t know any of the people there or maybe because I was the very first one to go up. But this wasn’t the first time either of those phenomena has happened to me in the past. There could be a further explanation. The fear that the subject matter of my book would not go well with the audience. Rural Gloucestershire is very peace loving and so a story about a school shooting wouldn’t be well received; no matter how much sympathy I heaped upon the main character before he commits his deed. Or it could be a combination of all these things.
I worry because I know I didn’t read very well that night. Nerves allowed my usual reading affliction of my eyes not being able to keep up with my brain. My mind is usually three words ahead of what my eyes are reading. Therefore, I stumbled over words and even skipped the odd one, so I don’t think it sounded as well as it could have.
Trying to take the positive, I did have one person inquire about the book afterwards and he said he was going to buy it in the local shop. (I did offer to sell him the copy I had but he said he was skint.) On the flip side, the organiser was talking about giving me my own evening at a future meeting but no such discussion was continued after. That has me a little paranoid.
I know I have to make it a one off because I have two book readings in the next month and a few schools are interested in me coming in and speaking to their pupils. The bullying theme behind the book has them interested. So, I must learn from this because I know that my book is definitely worth reading.
Next post: Sandy Hook- One Year On, My Thoughts