I have been writing some new poems lately for my ‘poem a day’ project which isn’t exactly working out as a poem a day but it still makes me stop and write something more than I was doing before.
I have written some terrible stuff, don’t we all! (please, tell me you all do too…) but I have also been able to edit together some interesting and even audience-worthy work. I will be reading out a new poem at a book launch tomorrow night (details at the end of this post) and I have to say I am rather nervous about it.
I have been re-reading the same stuff for quite a while now; poems that I have been told are good by the audience, or poems that have been published and so (I feel) hold some kind of credibility. It has been quite a while since I have shared something completely new.
I have had a friend look through it, give me some feedback and I have edited and tweaked until I felt I was fairly happy with it. Truth is I am never really happy with most of my work. It seems it can always be edited just a little further. I have been practicing reading the poem out loud to ensure I don’t stumble, that the flow and rhythm roll easily from my tongue.
I was told to think of it as a good chance to find out how the poem feels, how people react to it, and whether it works or not. I was advised to think of it as a good thing. But I am so worried that my best work is behind me. Have I peaked too soon? This could be the poem that flops and ruins me!
I don’t know why I am so nervous. Do other writers get this? How do you feel about airing new work (poetry or prose)? Is it exciting or do you fear you’ll be looked upon as a fool?
Would be nice to hear how you guys cope.
If any readers are in the Yorkshire area tomorrow then I strongly recommend stopping by the Pressed By Unseen Feet (published by Stairwell Books) book launch. Many great local writers will be performing their spook-filled work including Steve Nash, Helen Sant, Tim Ellis, Andy Humphrey, Rose Drew, Alan Gillot and myself. There will also be a few open mic slots available (limited so please comment on the facebook page if you are interested). Details can be found on the facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/VickiBartramWriter#!/events/395269667209662/
Hotel Dun Vin
Doors open at 7pm
£6 entry (includes a copy of the book)
Hope to see you there!