Today I’ve got my good friend Sinead MacDoughlas and she’ll be talking about one of not only her fears but one that effects many of us, one way or the other, in the writing world. It’s called the dreaded but necessary INTERVIEW.
You’d think, being someone who loves words so much, I’d be fairly comfortable in an interview situation. After all, putting words together is what writers do. Our job is to express feelings, describe circumstances, and clarify details in elegant prose and witty dialogue.
Yeee-ah… interviews scare the hell out of me.
Seriously, every time I’m asked, (or volunteer), to do an interview, I lose my tenuous grip on mental stability for a while. Panic sets in before I’ve even finished agreeing to answer a few questions. It continues until I see, or hear, said questions, and I’m usually shaking hours after the interview is over.
Why? (Oh, crud, another question!)
Well, let’s see. First, I never speak remotely as well as I write. I’m a babbler. I will hem and haw and “uuuuum” so many times in a conversation, even I would want to shake me and yell, “Just spit it out dammit!” So live, spoken interviews Freak-Me-Out.
Even the “I’ll email you the questions and you email me back the answers” type interviews frighten me, though. I couldn’t even write the third sentence of this post without consulting a thesaurus three times! Granted, I ended up using the original word twice, but you get my point.
Anticipating the questions is hell. What if they ask me something I don’t know how to answer? What if they ask me a question I don’t understand? What if they ask me a question about something I have no clue about?
I’m no writing genius. Honestly, I write the way I do just about everything in my life; I just do it and hope I don’t make an ass of myself. The technical aspects of authorship are mostly lost on me. For example, if someone were to ask me about my “voice”. Do I have a “voice”? Uuuum, I hope so. Where did it come from? Uuuuuh, my head? How is it unique? Uuuuum, because I’m unique? Okay, so what about my genre? I haven’t really pinned that down just yet. See what I mean?
Every time I agree to an interview, I realize it’s a prime opportunity to prove to the world that I’m really clueless. I keep waiting for someone to call me out. “How the hell do you get off calling yourself an author, when you can’t define what you do?” Uuuuh… nope, can’t answer that one, either.
The one thing I do know, without the slightest hesitation, is that I love writing, and I want to share what I write with the world. Even in the world hates it, I want to share it.
I know why I write. I write because I need, in an all-encompassing way, to express myself in words. I write because I hope someone out there is going to read something I’ve written one day and think, “Oh my God, someone understands! I’m not the only one who feels this way, or thinks these things.” I write because I have stories to share. I write because I can’t not write.
Finally, there’s that horrible condition I call “reflective rehash “. The interview is over, the questions answered, and the entire thing has been shared with the public, and then I think of the perfect answer for one, or two… or all of the questions. It never fails. Maybe it’s a writer thing. We certainly do spend as much time editing as we do composing, if not more.
I’ll continue to do interviews. It’s not that I don’t like sharing my thoughts with others. I certainly wouldn’t be much of a writer if I didn’t like it. However, I will continue to panic before, during, and after every interview I do. That’s just part of the author experience for me, and it’s worth every terrifying second.