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Open Mic Nights for Writers

Open Mic Nights are one of my favorite writer events in which to participate. I don’t enjoy giving speeches, but it’s a whole new ball game when I’m reading my stories and poems to others. I’m animated in my gestures and my voice is strong and loud when I present the words I lovingly wrote to people who might enjoy them.

I’ve participated in several Open Mic Nights over the years. I always try to sign up for them at any event I attend. I’ve presented at the Ozarks Writers League Open Mic, Ozarks Creative Writers Open Mic, and just this week at the Joplin Writers’ Guild Open Mic. I don’t know if the Joplin Writers’ Guild has hosted an Open Mic in the distant past, but this is the first one we’ve had in the nine years that I’ve been a member. I’ve also participated in a few poetry readings, which are like Open Mic Nights, but you are restricted to reading only poetry.

I was excited when our president proposed an Open Mic Night as part of our agenda this year. I really love both reading my work and listening to my colleagues read theirs. I’m not bragging, but the fact is I know quite a few amazing writers who blow me away each time they step up the microphone.

Due to this being our first Open Mic Night, at least in recent memory, a few people were nervous about presenting their creations. We actually had a new person who was attending his very first meeting kick things off. There was no hesitation by any of the other writers. In fact, we barely had enough time to hear everyone. The librarians kept announcing the minutes to closing time over the PA system. I had to pause in reading one of my poems due to the unfortunate timing of one such announcement.

Do not confuse an Open Mic Night with a critique session. At Open Mic, you read your work in front of a group of people. They applaud and sometimes tell you that your work is great. A critique session is where you read your work to a group of people while each of them has a copy of it in front of them. They tell you what’s wrong with it, how you can improve on it, and what they think is working well. Critique sessions are extremely important, but not nearly as much fun as Open Mic.

I pour my passion into my writing. I love nothing more than to look out at an audience and see joy on the faces of those who are hearing my stories, essays, or poems. It’s important to share your work with others. What good is writer whose words are never read or heard? Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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