While in St Louis, Missouri at the Missouri Writers Guild Conference a week ago, I was asked if I would do an impromptu interview…on podcast. They struggled with it being live, and recorded it instead. They put it out three days later. I caught myself wincing throughout watching it.
Then I realized that was The Shy Writer talking to herself. Afraid of something different.
My environment is online, in newsletters, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on blogs. It’s all about the words I type, and has little to do with my age, looks, voice, or ability to speak intelligently. So when I was pulled into the motel bar, sat on a sofa, and sat smiling clueless as the interviewer set up his laptop on a table and read questions off his phone, I had no clue what to do.
In The Shy Writer Reborn, I talk all about being prepared. Preparation takes away the uneasiness, or at least a major part of it. I was clueless what was about to come at me, so I had to purely wing it…adlib…off the top of my head. Add to that the vague idea where to look or who to smile at, and I sat there nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
Sooner or later, when you are a writer in a public setting, you will be caught unawares. Just do your best and rock on. What could I have done if this went badly?
1) I could have asked the interviewer to scratch the interview.
2) I could have asked the interviewer to give me questions and reschedule the interview to a time I was better prepared.
3) I would have asked the interviewer to forward me the podcast before he released it, so I could ask him to delete a section or two.
But “went badly” is relative. As I endured the interview, as brief as it was, I told myself these lessons, straight out of The Shy Writer Reborn:
1) What if I wasn’t afraid right now? (i.e., If I wasn’t afraid, I’d smile, answer questions, and do okay.)
2) After this is over. (i.e., After this is over, I can change into my sweats and kick back on my king-sized motel bed with Roo cuddled against me.)
3) I’m really okay. (i.e., This podcast is minor, and unless I stumble all over myself in embarrassing manner, it will not only be okay, but will be a nice marketing tool.)
Suddenly, I was done with the interview, and I didn’t screw up too badly, and I didn’t come apart. And I was glad I endured it. That’s the thing about introverts who learn to step into the public eye. They are jittery inside, but they develop manners that keep them collected.
Then later…go have a big stuff drink! LOL