I’m sitting in Hugo House in Capitol Hill, Seattle. Tonight is the bi-monthly “Works in Progress” night where a mike is opened for authors to read pieces they are working on. At 6:30 all are invited to put their names in a jar. At 7 they pull the first name. That person has 5 minutes to read, no more. Then they pull the next name, and so on till about 9p.m.
For regulars, the 5 minute limit can be interesting. Take for example the novelist who read a short story over a span of two months. I was there for the last installment. The collective gasp from the audience when he looked up and essentially said “that’s it” was, well, pretty durn amusing.
Then there is me. In the corner, making myself small, sometimes ending up at a shared table enjoying some light conversation, but not yet having read. Don’t really have anything to read. A lot of these folks are published writers. Others have stacks of well-worn journals, or blogs they update daily. I don’t think I measure up.
Maybe I’ll take some writing classes here so I can get a REAL indication of how good or bad my work is…and how to fix it. Maybe I can get to the point where I’ll have the cojones to do more than sip beer and get lost in their work. I’m working on it…I’m still a work in progress.