Reading Aloud to Loved Ones or Strangers

Would you rather read your book aloud to a room full of loved ones or strangers? How about neither? Is neither an option? It’s not even a matter of social distancing. I’m an introvert and suffer from social anxiety. Even though I am accustomed to public speaking and did it regularly for years, it’s been a while. It’s not something I’m itching to get back to.

Loved Ones or Strangers

If I had to chose, though, I think I’d rather read to a room full of strangers. My assumption is that they are people who want to be there. They heard that I was doing a reading, and chose to come. This means they are somewhat familiar with my work, if not with me personally. I expect that they’d be more supportive, and be willing to put up with my quirks.

Loved ones will be supportive. They’ll show up because they feel they have to. Why bother with that? If they’re interested, they can read my book. If they want to chat with me, they can chat with me. Reading to them seems weird and pointless. More an exercise in displaying my own hubris than doing anything constructive. It’s more likely to be awkward and strain relationships.


The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

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