I don’t mean reading books but reading your work outloud. Yesterday I read a piece on motherhood. It was a memoir and a creative essay. I was terrible at it. I kept my head down and I didn’t look up. I couldn’t. What I was reading was so personal that if I had I couldn’t have held my composure. As it was a lost it in the last three lines.

But that reading was strange and wonderful. I finished and there was nothing.

No Noise.

You could have heard a pin drop.

I stared for a moment at the words and tried, in vain, to stop myself crying. Then I looked up.

So many faces mirrored my own. How had that happened? How had I managed to transfer my pain and happiness to another person?

But I had.

After I was undercontrol and the session over people came up and said it was good. And this is where I fell down again. How do you accept praise? I don’t know. A mumbled thank you and a glance away is about as good as I can manage.

But I did it. I broke the back of reading out loud. Yes I stumbled over a couple of words but it was okay. Maybe I read ita bit fast but overall it was good. I’m happy I did it. I just hope that in the future I can do this without the same amount of nerves.

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