Sunday, March 17, 2013

Getting ready for a reading

Getting ready for a reading is always an interesting experience.  On the one hand, you get to read through your old writing and discover pieces you forgot about or find new meaning in your words now that time has passed and you are older and wiser (or at least older).  On the other hand, you have to read through your old writing, and you usually conclude that you are a total hack and nothing you have ever written is any good at all and you are a total failure and everybody at the reading will be better, and you will be there to serve as an example to others or a foil to provide excellent contrast to the REAL writers.  The best and worst parts of writing and being a writer, right there. 

So I sit here, printing out pieces new and old, trying to construct a tiny book with a purposeful order and flow from one random piece to the next.  It's like a tiny puzzle only your inner editor is in full backseat driver mode and suddenly just really wants to edit everything even though she's been dragging her feet for months when you've wanted her to do that editing.  Now, when it is not time for editing, now is when she is rarin' to go.  So contrary.  Where on Earth did she get that from?  Ahem.

And so, I will choose pieces to fit this time slot and keep a few extra in case the mood is lighter or darker than the main ones I have chosen.  And I will ignore the inner editor as much as I can because the lighting in coffee shop readings is usually dim, and it's hard to read chicken scratch notes you made on your paper when you're in front of people and wound tight anyway.  And I will discover new things to change and edit as I read out loud in front of people because that's how it works for me, and that means every reading is an opportunity to improve pieces I like and make them even better.  This is what I will tell myself because it is true and because I love to write and like to read and share stories with other people.  This will be another good reading.

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