Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Too Revealing? Oh, Well

Second class day at the Meredith Writers Workshop. This afternoon we held the faculty readings. The three of us--poet Betty Adcock, novelist and memoirist Nancy Peacock, and I--all chatted and read for about 15 minutes each to an audience of the combined classes.

I read the opening few pages of my novels Sister India and Revelation and told the group where the idea had come from for each. Well, that's fairly personal. They now know a lot more about me than they did. I often wonder whether I've gone too far, offered Too Much Information. That's probably true for at least a few people in any audience.

But I'm pretty much past actually worrying about it, which is a relief. Because once you start second-guessing what people in an audience think, you're in for a lot of wasted time and energy.

I think a part of why I like public speaking is that trying to do it just right for everybody is so obviously impossible that I don't worry about it and say what I want. It's paradoxically freeing.



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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was in that audience today, and I enjoyed hearing about the personal "stuff" that inspired the written material. The "stuff" is interesting, and as a beginning writer, I find it helpful to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes.

Peggy Payne said...

Thanks, Anon.

mamie said...

Peggy, this was just the message I needed to hear tonight as I was doing a little second-guessing myself. I think there's always some risk when we put ourselves out there, and a fear of rejection that goes along with it. Your way of dealing with it sounds very healthy; thanks for writing this. And I very much enjoyed the reading.

Peggy Payne said...

I'm glad it was useful, Mamie. And if you did any oversharing, it wasn't around me.