Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thinking on My Feet and Trying Out Different Schedules

This week I’m going to be trying some new things.

One thing I’m going to do is practice doing live interviews. I’m not a fan of live interviews, I have to admit. I remember from my journalism years how easy it is to get flustered and for journalists to take things out of context.

My last phone interview was so-so. For one thing, I hate phones with a passion. If I have to be on a phone, I’m usually texting, not talking. For another, I don’t think the interviewer was exactly the most seasoned person on the news or entertainment desk. One of her questions was: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” and another was “What’s been your biggest accomplishment?” She sounded like she was reciting the questions she’d been asked for her job interview. So my answers were “writing” and “getting published.” I just couldn’t tell what she wanted from me.

My interview tomorrow looks to be a lot more thorough. I don’t want to be stammering my way through it. I started thinking about Presidential press conferences and how they usually stay on the topic the President wants to talk about. No matter how the questions starts out, it ends up on his talking points.

I’m going to make some note cards with some likely questions (frequently there is some overlap with interview questions—understandably.) I’m going to pen some succinct answers. I hate going “uh-uh-uh” on the phone.

Along these same lines is a radio show (podcast) I’ll be doing in a month or so. My reservations about that is that it’s live so any stupidity of mine will run, unedited. Also---my Southern accent. I do drawl, but it’s not remotely heavy…to me, anyway. But on the answering machine and other times when I hear my voice recorded, I can tell it’s thicker than I think. Those automated customer service reps? The bots never understand me.

My practice for that will be similar to the phone interview. I’m going to come up with my very own set of talking points. I’ll be a lot less nervous if I’m prepared, after all. And if I’m not nervous, I can stray off-topic and I’ll be fine and dandy. It’s just when I’m not prepared that I’m a wreck.

I’m also playing around with new schedules for my writing—I’m vetting a different schedule each day. Yesterday I decided I’d get all the ordinary household stuff out of the way first---it’s necessary, after all, and some days it hangs over me while I write. So I did laundry, made doctor appointment phone calls, sent off bill payments, etc. first. Then I did blog stuff, then I wrote. Pros—I felt like I’d accomplished a lot in an hour’s time. I was energized after running around the house and it translated into my writing. Cons—I didn’t start writing until 10ish. That’s late for me.

Today I’m going to try something different and see how it goes. I never know how my little experiments are going to go, but I’m willing to try anything that might work with my problem areas (phone and live interviews, and my busy schedule.)