Thursday, 4 October 2012
Faber Anthology Launch
Reading one's own composition for the first time is scary, but the thirty or so other eight year olds were a forgiving audience. At fourteen, reading a story for the Year Of The Disabled competition was nerve-wracking but, as it had won a prize, it was also elating. Fast forward many years later to the Irish Writers' Centre, and Conor Kostick's Finish Your Novel course, where participants all read their work before it is critiqued by the group; this act of putting one's best, grown-up efforts before a group of committed peers, was terrifying.
Writers are notoriously insecure, and it doesn't take much to wound their fragile self-esteem. Witness desperate attempts to explain why the group doesn't get what they are trying to say, all the while conscious that, as Ronald Reagan famously said, if you're explaining, you're losing; the work has to speak for itself. This fear of being judged is often what prevents fledgling writers from finishing... anything.
Whether from finished pieces or work still in progress, eleven brave souls bared all – some more than others, not mentioning any names, Maebh – at the Faber Reading last night in the fabulously retro Vintage Rooms in the Workman's Club on Wellington Quay. Eloquently introduced by Eilís Ní Dhuibhne, we were the Dublin Faber Write A Novel class of 2012, and the purpose of the evening was the launch of our Anthology http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Novel-An-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00969YJTE
We read for agents, our teachers, our peers, and each other. But we also read for ourselves, because standing up in front of an audience and reading one's own piece of creative writing aloud is an affirmation of belief in the work, allowing it to speak for itself. And, if I may modestly say, it - the writing - acquitted itself very well.