Week 4: A New Skill

Greetings!  I hope you all are doing well and enjoying something new as we close out the first month of the year.  I don’t know about you, but for me a lot has happened, yet time seems to have gone by so fast!  Every day I wonder where all the time went.  That’s a question I do plan on exploring in the near future, but for this week my something new involved making an attempt at a new skill, one that is fairly intimidating and kind of scary to me… conducting an interview.

I will be the first to admit, I’m not the best with small talk, or feeling comfortable talking to people in general, especially people I don’t really know.  I don’t know where to begin, if we have anything in common, or how to respond.  In general conversation, I know this is mostly due to me being too much in my own head and worrying too much about what to say rather than truly listening to what is being said.  I am aware of that and I do try to make an effort to listen more than think, at least when I remember.  However, most of the time it is only after the conversation is over and the stress is gone that my brain floods with all the things I wish I had said, questions I should have asked, witty remarks I would have made, etc.  it’s frustrating for sure, but this week it wasn’t a typical conversation, and this week, I didn’t have a choice.  That is because I am part of the magazine team at work, and for our second issue I volunteered to write the feature article.  I am very excited to do the writing, the interview required to write the piece, however, stressed me out just a bit.

Prior to scheduling the interview, I met with the supervisor in charge of the magazine and we discussed what she was hoping to cover in the article.  That was definitely helpful when it came to formulating my topic list that I used to base my questions on.  After scheduling the interview is when my nerves began to kick in.  I found myself doubting whether or not I could do a good job, second-guessing my decision to sign up for the feature article at all, and panicking that I wouldn’t know what to say.  Of course, none of this is conducive to conducting a successful interview, but there you are.

When I sat down to conduct the interview, I smiled, thanked the interviewee for her time, and after a couple minutes of small talk, we got down to it.  I remained nervous throughout the whole thing, but I recorded it (with permission) so I didn’t have to worry about remembering everything and wouldn’t waste time writing everything down.  That was a minor relief, but I still felt a bit awkward most of the time.  Still I’m proud of myself for trying.  I’m sure this will be the first of many interviews, because I do intend to continue writing for the magazine.  In the future, I will probably try to come up with some less predictable questions, and maybe focus more on the person I am interviewing than the article topic.  I believe that will help make my writing more engaging and personable if I can write more about the people involved.

I haven’t written the article yet, so I still have time to ask more questions or exchange some e-mails if I think of any other questions that will make my article great.  Either way, this has definitely been a learning experience for me.  I know I have plenty of room for improvement, but now I have a better understanding of the preparations I need to make, what I want to focus on deep down, and most importantly, I proved to myself that I can do it.

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