How do I present a reading which makes me cry?

(23 Posts)
kickassangel Sun 17-Apr-16 14:24:36

I know that this makes me sound really hand-wringing lefty emotional, and also totally up myself.


on Wednesday evening I have to present a creative piece I've done for my MA class. I've done a short piece of fiction, and the ending of it makes me cry.

Every time.

I hoped that reading it over and over would work, but I still cry.
I teach during the day, so I've tried sitting at my desk while there's another class in the room, and reading it quietly to myself, thinking that the presence of others would sort me out. I still cry.

What do I do? I have to read this thing out loud to my class. It will make me cry. I don't want to cry in front of them.

It's a pretty safe space and people would understand if I choked up a little, but I actually properly cry and then can't speak clearly and I need to read this out.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sun 17-Apr-16 21:42:56

Can you warn the others beforehand and also line someone up to take over from you if you can't get to the end?

FuckingFatSlags Mon 18-Apr-16 02:21:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 18-Apr-16 02:34:06

Your own work of fiction makes you cry? Blimey. That's a bit ummm... blowing your own trumpet?

antimatter Mon 18-Apr-16 02:36:31

Is it very personal? Based on events in your life?

PalmerViolet Mon 18-Apr-16 06:36:22

I'm guessing that this piece is about something painful and personal.

Agree with Countess that having someone standing by to take over for you should you be unable to continue would be a good contingency plan. However, could it also be that the worry about crying is giving everything more emotional charge? In which case NOT reading it over and over might be the better way to go.

annandale Mon 18-Apr-16 06:39:52

Have a projector and laptop (old school) set up for the last section. Stop at a point before you start crying, turn on the projector and they can read the last bit.

Or record yourself or somebody else reading the last section and play that. You could record it sentence by sentence.

MaddyHatter Mon 18-Apr-16 10:38:04

"Your own work of fiction makes you cry? Blimey. That's a bit ummm... blowing your own trumpet?"

There goes the words of someone who clearly doesn't understand how emotive writing can be...

OP, preface it with telling them it will make you cry, and maybe do the projector thing with the last part... but please don't be scared of crying.. if the piece is emotive, you will make the reading of it all the more personal for the people to SEE how emotional it makes you... it will be more moving and memorable.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 18-Apr-16 11:12:04

It's not blowing your own trumpet at all. I had a scene in my book which made me cry every time I worked on it. That's not a claim about the effect it had on other people, which is where the real skill comes in. (And it doesn't have to be anything obviously personal in subject matter, just that it presses your emotional buttons.) Making yourself cry can be a step towards making other people cry, but saying you have done the former isn't the same as boasting that you have done the latter.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kickassangel Tue 19-Apr-16 15:14:14

thank you for the ideas - a projector isn't an option as we're meant to sit around and talk everyone through our creative project.
I like the idea of recording it - I can do that on my laptop and then just hit play.

And, yes, it is the ideas in the writing, rather than some belief in my own genius, which upsets ime It's a story about how I am ruining the lives of thousands of children but cannot change how I behave (in the story, NOT that I am doing this in real life!). Even so, I know it sounds incredibly wankerish, but isn't writing supposed to be about things we care about?

I am going to do a practice run through to an empty classroom (and hope that no-one comes in) and see if that works.

I'm normally fine about holding it all together and can discuss quite emotional things in class, but that's in a theoretical academic way rather than fiction. I cry at movies, too, so I'm obviously just a blubbering mess.

FelicityR313 Tue 19-Apr-16 15:19:41

I'm a blubberer! I can't sing certain songs, read poems aloud, read certain pieces of text aloud. The emotion just catches me.
I've no advice really, but when you get to the part that will make you cry, just focus on each word one at a time, rather than the meaning of each sentence. Would that help?

kickassangel Tue 19-Apr-16 15:46:23

I never used to cry. Nothing got to me. Then I had a kid, and every bit of sad music just makes me well up. Even Titanic ffs.

I used to be a tough as nails goth/rock chic who could drink pints and shout down big scary biker guys. Now Im all 'think of the children' and crying into a hanky.

Maybe I should drink a pint and wear a leather jacket and then just channel my inner Ozzy Osbourne.

Grimarse Tue 19-Apr-16 16:20:33

Maybe try reading it in a different voice. Can you do a Pam Ayres/West Country accent? Or Bernadette from The Big Bang?

kickassangel Tue 19-Apr-16 17:22:02

OK - it's meant to be fairly serious, but I'm a Brit in the US. It's about how being a conventional female teacher just encourages little girls to grow up just like me in a world where we're all programmed and controlled.

So - I can go with being that super perky stereotype of a nursery teacher "now then children, let's all play nicely together" type. This is nothing like the kind of person I really am, so it feels different enough to work.

Thank you - I think I've got a solution.

scallopsrgreat Wed 20-Apr-16 09:59:25

Good luck today kickass flowers

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RobinsAreTerritorialFuckers Wed 20-Apr-16 15:44:06

I've only just seen this, but good luck!

milk, I am guessing she is crying because of the content of the writing and what it reminds her of? Not because she is trying to make a thing of how cleverly emotive her own writing is.

I know someone who wrote poems (published) about his son's terminal cancer. He couldn't read them aloud without crying either. Don't think it was self-aggrandising.

noddingoff Wed 20-Apr-16 21:52:16

I wonder if JK Rowling and Philip Pullman cried writing the sad bits of their books. I bet they did.

PalmerViolet Fri 22-Apr-16 05:20:13

How did it go Kickass?

kickassangel Fri 22-Apr-16 06:20:49

OK - it went fine. Once I was actually standing up reading I didn't really think so much about what the writing was about, as just saying it clearly etc.I also had quite a strict time limit so was watching my timer.

Then we all went out for dinner and our professor paid for all of us! Hurrah!

scallopsrgreat Fri 22-Apr-16 08:14:47

Oh I'm so pleased! Well done you flowers

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