Lessons From Being Interviewed

I don’t like being interviewed. That’s the first thing I learned.

A fellow writer came to our home for a short profile piece she is doing on the contributing writers for Focus magazine, the local Scugog magazine I write for every now and again. Focus wants their readers to know a little bit about their writers.

The interviewer and I, who was lovely and pleasant and could be my friend I am sure, began by swapping writerly compliments and a few war stories. We chuckled over people who answer questions and then nervously say: “But don’t print that!”

Within five minutes, of course, that’s exactly what I was saying.

I equivocated. I fretted. I realized I have virtually no hobbies. When I shared that I loved to cook, she volleyed back with “What are you making for supper tonight?” I entertained the thought of making something up but finally admitted I didn’t have a clue. I showed her my office, then quickly hustled her out of there as the scales dropped from my eyes and I saw how messy it was.

She did like my dog, which was nice. But then Dewey, sensing this was an important moment, started to misbehave and prance around and not lay down and stay where I put him. I chuckled nervously and tried to see what she was writing down in her notebook.

I learned that being interviewed is a vulnerable experience, a complete handing over of control and involves quite a bit of trust and some risk. I will remember that. And I will remember that if you say you love to cook, you should probably have some clue to what you’re going to make for dinner.

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