For any writer preparing to give a reading: I recommend this post on BeyondtheMargins.com. The one thing every author surveyed does (with one exception) is practice, practice, practice.
When I first became a published author, I panicked at the thought of public readings. The book Never be Nervous Again by Dorothy Sarnoff helped me a lot.
From Sarnoff, I learned to:
- print out in big bold font every word of my talk, giving each sentence a line;
- dog-ear the pages so that the turn easily;
- learn to look up and scan the room;
- practice in front of a mirror;
- practice three times the day of the event.
I chose short readings and talk a lot about writing and research before, during and after. Every sentence is composed and practiced beforehand. What I’ve learned is that to appear off-hand and relaxed, you have to practice.
I print out the text of my book, as well. I will show the actual book, but I won’t read from it. I’ll revise the text, as well, so that it reads well.
I’m curious: what do you do? How do you prepare for a public “performance”?
[You can see some of my talks on YouTube: here. Some are an example of what not to do. It took time for me to evolve my process.]
On the home front, I’m intensely into editing/revising the 5th draft of The Next Novel. (Presently titled The Art of Enchantment: what do you think?)
In preparation for my next newsletter, I put together a website page on my Sandra Gulland Ink ebook publication project.
What do you think of the covers? (To see all of them, click here.)