Useless Fears About Reading One’s Work

in other words bookstore frontI’m reading this afternoon at In Other Words, the last nonprofit feminist bookstore in the country. The one featured in Portlandia, but I won’t mention that today when I’m there, in case they’re sore about it. As is typical for me and my neuroses, I have some worst-case scenarios in my head that won’t leave me alone, even though I know they’re extremely improbable. Here is the list of “what ifs” that I’ve dwelt on so far:

1. I will get motion sickness from trying to figure out how to use my new bifocals that I throw up on myself or the audience.

2. A recent rain in Portland will create a puddle over by the electrical panel and my mic will electrocute me when I’m talking about intimate like packing or breasts.

3. My ex will show up to challenge everything I wrote about him like I’m the next and more disappointing version of James Frey.

4. My bow tie will be too tight and my head will explode.

5. Everyone will realize that they’re so tired of my announcements about this reading they’ll decide not to show up after all. The coffee shop on the next block, however, will be swamped with an impromptu open mic event.

None of these are likely to happen, I know. But neither are they impossible. At least I haven’t envisioned the zombie apocalypse beginning at this very event.

Damn it!

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Categories: Writing


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3 Comments on “Useless Fears About Reading One’s Work”

  1. JD Stew
    March 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    I’m so sad I don’t live in Portland anymore! I would have loved to be there and see/hear you.

    I hope it went well, and I feel pretty certain that it actually went great. Let me know if you end up doing a reading in the Twin Cities.

    • evmaroon
      March 27, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      Well no worries, I may someday read in a town near you! As it happens Susanne knows a lot of folks in the Twin Cities and we do try to make it out that way from time to time. Are you enjoying living there?

  2. stephanieyuhas
    April 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I am so with you on this one! I actually stupidly blurted out to a potential publish in the middle of the interview, “By the way, both my ex and father are sociopaths and will probably start writing crazy letters if we publish this because I mentioned them in the book!” After I said it, I realized how silly it sounded and how much I’ve been standing in my own way due to this somewhat irrational fear.

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