The Interview: Lessons in Humility

The Interview: Lessons in Humility

Once I realized that writing was exactly like other businesses my husband John and I had done together; some extremely successfully; others not so much, I  accepted the fact that promoting this new novel will be no different. Therefore, I hired a publicist to help promote the events planned for the Texas trip. Wisely, the publicist  suggested that she could promote the novel through my writing what she calls ‘by-line’ articles on subjects tangentially related to the book but not directly. Writing the articles was easy but I was unprepared for the lessons in humility which would follow once the interviews began.

Speaking to her live about potential directions for the ‘pitch’, we decided on two provocative articles, one on retirement, the second about medicine and health, they were written and promoted nationally and locally in time for the Texas trip. While in Houston for the two week blitz of events, the sales training learned the hard way through extensive study, trial and error and loads of practice during the last ten years came back readily. But responding to reporters and hosts of radio shows for the 21st century interview was different:When I listened to the link to the audio download for the first live interview done while still in Houston, I cringed.

Strangely, it has taken a while for me to determine why the twenty minutes was fraught with too-long pauses, use of non-words and over use of ‘well..’ to begin my reply are all clear evidence that I am a novice. Speaking with small and large audiences has been a part of my life for most of it. But responding to interviewers, reporters, hosts of radio shows has not. For years I have addressed those wishing to learn a new skill, or understanding of a complicated subject which I have mastered with something like this phrase, ” become a student again” in fact, I did so in this first interview.

The words are so very easy to say but the reality is quite different; like everything worth doing poorly, at least at first. I have re-learned the consequences: Wincing when we hear ourselves sound like what we are, novices, all lessons in humility.

Lessons that are most probably the most important ones of all; humility is reality…we want, no we need, to be real.

2 Comments

  1. Almita says:

    More than once I’ve heard an actor say in an interview that they never watch their movies. They cringe to see themselves and can’t watch themselves without some criticism of their performance. I listened to your first radio interview and, honestly, feel you did a good job. The conversation flowed, you had intelligent and interesting things to say, and you sounded at ease and personable. What I heard relates not at all to your assessment as stated in your blog. To me you sounded like a seasoned interviewee. I say this not to flatter you. I say it because that’s what I heard.

    • admin says:

      I am smiling as I read this comment! I thank you for the sage advice of not watching/listening to your own work!!! And also for your kind feedback.

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