5 Ways Reading Your Work Will Make You Grow as a Writer

reading, my writing process, writing process, writer, Devin Berglund

I get nervous before reading or speaking aloud.

But, who doesn’t? Right?

When I was recently at a writing workshop I read my work aloud to about 15 other people. I got nervous. Butterflies appeared in my stomach and I felt shaky. If you know me personally, you probably wouldn’t think I would get nervous.

But, my thoughts were all over the place:

Why am I feeling this way?

Will they like my writing? I hope they do!

What if they don’t? 

Have you ever found yourself wondering about these same questions? If so, read on to find out 5 ways reading your work will make you grow as a writer. Honestly, I think every writer is afraid of people not liking their work. It’s normal. But, don’t let fear stop you from living or reaching your dreams. (click to tweet)

The awesome studio type room we had the workshop in.
The awesome studio type room we had the workshop in.

1. It will make you a better speaker

Writers need to know how to speak aloud, especially if they are planning on speaking. Speaking at conferences, book events, and to readers.

2. You will get more confident in your skin

It is important that you feel comfortable speaking and that you are confident in your skin. It also helps that you are confident with your writing. This will help mightily when you pitch to agents and publishers at conferences. It will make you more comfortable. Comfortable is always a good thing.

3. You will see how people react to your work.

Are they intensely listening to what you are going to say next?

Or are they texting?

Yawning or sleeping?

You will be able to tell a lot of important things about your writing by how people respond (unspoken and spoken responses). Be sure to make notes if people lose interest. And why? Did your character go off on a long winded bunny trail? This will help you spot issues.

4. Feedback

Many people will tell you what they liked about your writing.

Be sure to ask them questions. Is there a quieter person in the room. Go ask them what they thought of it.

5. It will help you build your platform & author presence

One word. Interact.

When you read your work at readings, critiques, or workshops it will get people invested in your voice. They will be interested and probably will want to read more. Readers are what writers need. Have some way to make sure they remember you. Be real and full of life. Ask them questions. Give them a business card. If you do this, they WILL REMEMBER YOU.

I hope these 5 ways reading your work will help you in the future when you have to read to people. Remember, you aren’t alone.

 What do you struggle with the most when it comes to reading your work in public? What do you find helps?

2 thoughts on “5 Ways Reading Your Work Will Make You Grow as a Writer”

  1. Oooh, I never thought of reading my work out loud to other people. I’m also wondering on the other side of the spectrum: what I could learn by hearing other people read theirs out loud. Good idea. Thanks!

    1. Yeah, that is true too. Listening to others read their work out loud is really helpful too – you learn things about writing and speaking, both. Thanks for reading, Katie! 🙂

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