I enjoyed yesterday with the family. One of my favorite parts of the day was when my mother-in-law Linda and I shared our short stories with the rest of the family. Let me explain. We are both in a writing group - WOWA, Western Ohio Writers Association, - that meets in Fairborn, Ohio the first Wednesday of every month. This Wednesday the group is meeting at a Books and Company in Dayton, Ohio to share Christmas stories with the public. We shared our stories with the family first to see reactions from people of varying ages and to see how long they took to read.
Reading my story to the family was so much fun. I love reading out loud to people and making them laugh. The format in our writing group though, is to pass around printed copies of our work for people to look at and give feedback on. I like this style too and by doing it this way we are able to get through more works than we would if we let everyone read out loud. BUT just this got me to wondering - how many people out there LIKE sharing their work - actually enjoy the drama and emotions of being able to put your own voice with your words. To have the ability to TELL the story to others the way you wrote it? How many of you absolutely hate it and would rather have your nails pulled out by the roots than have to speak to the public? How many of you have a hard time sharing your work at all? I do this for fun and am very good at taking criticism so it doesn't really bother me at all. I do my best to learn from my mistakes and become a better writer from it. I am not depending on my writing for a sole source of income. I can see where it would be hard for others though.
What is your preference? When you are a rich famous author do you want to just do signings and pray they never ask you to do a reading or will you volunteer for extra readings at tiny off-the-map bookstores as well as the big chains just because you love making your characters come alive the way you want them to? If you are not a writer, do you like to listen to people read, books on tape, or do you prefer to read the stories yourself?
Let me know your thoughts.