At last year’s Poetry at Round Top festival, which was also the weekend of my 30th birthday, I gave myself a challenge: to do at least one reading a month before I turned 31. I was going to read in public at least once a month, either at an open mic or as a feature. It didn’t matter if it was one poem or several. I was just going to get up and get out there. That meant 12 performances of one kind or another in my 30th year.
As it turns out, doing one reading every single month was quite challenging, and some months I didn’t read at all… But I not only met my goal, I surpassed it! In November, for example, I was too busy training for my black belt test to schedule anything. And while there are poetry readings and open mics just about every week in Austin, some months, I couldn’t get anything that meshed with my work schedule. But there were other months full of abundance. December was particularly active; I read four times!
I ended up reading 16 times. 13 of those times were in Austin, one was in Georgetown, one was in Fort Worth, and one in Waco. This year my schedule was just too heavy for me to get to San Antonio or Houston again. I can’t believe I haven’t read in either of those cities in over a year!
Now that this challenge has been met, I plan to keep it up. Reading 12 times in a year was tough at times, but overall doable. Now I’m just trying to figure out what the literary challenge will be for Year 31!