Or at least, that's how I feel.
I read my work anyway because that's what you do, especially when feeding off the energy vibes of the others. People are polite. They chuckle at my Beatles reference. They applaud. I step down.
I think one of my largest concerns is not a lack of talent but a lack of bravery. The truly gifted ones stood up and talked about being raped, about their preschool daughters being sexually abused, about the most horrific things you can imagine. Yet I leave my best stuff at home because "it's too personal."
Part of being a writer, I think, is dispensing with such vanities and speaking to the world.
I want to be brave enough not to hide behind a pen name or a mediocre poem, but to stand up and say to the world, "This is my story."
I read a fantastic quote the other day by actor Barry Pineo. He was talking about acting but the principle is the same:
"The story is the hand you're holding out to them that says, "Come with me." Whether they choose to take it is unimportant. Some people no longer wish to travel. What's important is that the offering is made."