I wanted to try reading a piece of my work before a group of people other than my classmates. I knew nothing about giving a reading, but I knew I wanted to, I really wanted to give it my best shot.
Terry stayed after class one Saturday and I read an excerpt of a chapter that she helped me extract. Even though I read my piece to her as best as I knew, I was nervous and spoke really fast.
“Take a breath and go slower in the beginning,” she encouraged. “Tell your audience what they need to know about your story so they will be with you as you read.”
When I finished, I was discouraged and doubted I would succeed.
“Practice everyday,” she suggested. “You’ll get better.”
And, I did.
I recorded my five-minute reading on my iPad, and then critiqued my performance. I did this four or more times everyday for nearly two weeks.
Finally the day of the Writer’s at Work Anniversary of 2013 came. When my name was called, I took a deep breath and delivered a reading that did us both proud.