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)
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.
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.