Last night I read something I'd written at a public event. To a crowd of people.
A small crowd, nonetheless, but it was still a group of people.
My friend/fellow writer/mentor was being named Poet Laureate of our town (yes, Stars Hollow has a Poet Laureate because DUH), and she asked our writer's group to come to the open mic night that was being done in honor of this announcement.
And so I got up there. And I read. I also sweat a little bit, but mostly I read.
And you know what? It wasn't that bad. I actually got laughs (in a good way) and people seemed to genuinely enjoy what I was reading. There was even some clapping when I was done.
It's not like I've never read my stuff out loud before, but usually I only do that when I'm reading it to my writing group in order to get some feedback. I'm never "performing" it. And while posting my writing on this blog is a way of performing, I don't get the immediate feedback. Sometimes I don't get feedback at all, actually, but when I do get responses, they're through the screen. I don't hear you all laughing or sighing. I don't see you all nodding your heads while you listen or read. I just push "publish" and hope no one writes me an angry or hurtful comment.
This is not to say that I don't love hitting that "publish" button. I think I actually look forward to it more now.
Reading my stuff out loud to a group of people - most of whom I'd never read to before in my life - was an entirely new and thrilling experience. It made me want to keep going.
This past year has turned me into more of a writer than I ever was before. I can't pinpoint what changed and when exactly, but I recognize that my desire, drive, and ability as a writer has increased and that's exciting. I never would have done what I did last night before, but now that I've done it? I want to write more stuff to read out loud. I want to write more things to not read out loud. I just want to write more things.
And I just think that's something worth noting.