An interview I gave Michell Plested for the Get Published podcast went live last night. I always love giving interviews, but I still feel very strange when I’m asked for one. It’s a funny combination of feeling confused, flattered, excited and nervous.
The confusion happens when I’m between projects, I suppose, though this last interview was at least half focused on my design work, which is an ongoing business I’m building. The Dreamer’s Thread ended over two years ago, so talking about it anymore feels strange. As a writer, once a book is finished and out there and in your past, promoting it seems futile anymore. I think this is even more true of podcasted works. With audio fiction, I feel (as a listener myself) that once you’ve listened to a thing you move past it and on to the next thing that’s new. While I’ve been told by more than one person that they’ve listened to The Dreamer’s Thread several times (someone told me at Balticon they tend to do so about every six months!), since I myself don’t do this with podcasts it’s hard for me to wrap my head around that. I stopped sending out promos for it forever ago, but perhaps I should take that up again. I might even create a new one for that purpose. Still, promoting something I’m so far removed from isn’t really a big thing on my radar.
Whenever I’m asked for an interview, I feel incredibly flattered, though complimented is probably a better word since flattery implies that I see the requests as insincere, which I don’t. I guess I haven’t fully realized that I’m a special part of this community. I still feel like a tiny fish in a big pond since I don’t have a giant following like many of my comrades. When I’m asked for an interview I have to tamp down that knee-jerk reaction of “why would they want to talk to me?”. I’ve done a lot of projects at this point and contributed to many different things. I have to remind myself that I’m no longer in high school where when “important people” wanted to talk to me, it generally meant I was about to be the butt of a joke or the receiver of emotional abuse. I have to tell myself every time that these people are not out to make a fool of me. I’m thirty-two years old now, but I still have to extract myself from that mentality. At the same time, however, I have to remain grounded so I don’t get too big for my britches. Developing an ego is a double-edged sword. Too much of it and people will distance themselves from you, especially if you haven’t earned your self-bestowed awesome. Too little of it and you risk fading into the background. I think most people struggle to find a balance between these. I tend to err on the side of too little, maybe sometimes to my detriment, but I’d rather be told “you’re worth so much more!” than “hey, come down from than pedestal, jerkface.”.
There’s definitely an excitement aspect to interview requests. For one, it’s a chance to reach a new audience, no matter how small. Even if only one or two people hear about my work and check it out, that’s one or two more sets of eyeballs my words have commanded. I am grateful for each and every listener or client I have. I fully intend to always feel this way. You never know which set of eyeballs will propel your career to the next level. They ALL count.
It’s also exciting to get the chance to talk about myself and my work. I love what I do and I want to share that with as many people as possible. Excitement is contagious. Demonstrating passion for what you do can endear that in others and foster a wonderful community of friends, fans, and colleagues. You can never have too many of any of these.
Interviews also make me nervous. The more I do them, the easier they get, much like all things, but I’m still working on some of the finer points. I’ve always felt like I laugh too much during them, and I’m working to curb that. Humor is a great equalizer and can put folks at ease. I’ve always been about making others comfortable, especially in professional situations, but I’ve learned that it’s a bit of a defense mechanism as well. It’s a wall I put up. I got so used to people poking fun at my ideas that I tried to cover them up with nonchalance. I have since realized that by following everything I say with laughter, it takes away some of my credibility. Especially when professional matters are concerned, it’s important to put forward confidence in my own abilities, ideas and feelings. They matter to me and following every answer with a chuckle can be a subtle cue that I don’t have conviction in my words. I’m not generally one to say things I don’t mean, so this is something I need to fix.
Another note before I direct you to the Get Published interview, please forgive the fuzzy audio on my end of the podcast. My MacBook Pro was a bit sickly this summer and was generating audio hiss. Finally after two rounds of logic board replacement this has been fixed, but it’s forever preserved in this interview. FML.
You can find this discussion about my design, writing, and voice work projects here. Enjoy!