The room had been set aside since 11 for tea and coffee. I was due to start reading at 12. My wife and I were the only ones there. We had already found the best spot for her to take pictures and video. I'd placed my business cards on the chairs. I had my excerpts ready. I'd asked a friend who had done readings before for advice. I was all set.
And I was scared out of my life.
I viewed the reading as a performance. Not only did my audience have to like my writing, they had to like how I read it. I hadn't performed in from of an audience in about seven or eight years. My reading was a relatively late addition to the lineup of Vaticon, the UCD Games Society annual games convention, so I wasn't sure how many would show up. And to top it all off, I knew my voice wouldn't last long if I wasn't careful.
People slowly started to filter in. I went to double check that everyone who might be interested knew that we were starting and went back to wait a little longer.
I went back to the room, sat back down and began.
My voice held out, and at the end I got the best applause I've ever had.