Saturday, August 29, 2009


About 5 years ago I had my first interview when Bob Welch came to talk to me when Ordinary Days (the self-published version) first came out.

I think I was a bit of an uncooperative topic because I had never given much thought to such things as the writing process and what I want people to take away from my writing. I remember I said, several times, "Listen, I'm just me. I just write. There's nothing profound about me or my life. I don't think a lot about why I write and all that."

I used to listen to author interviews on NPR and would roll my eyes and think, "Oh will you just get over yourself?" as these authors would go on and on about their voice and their process and their inspiration and their all kinds of other dreamy words that really don't mean much.

My theory was, just write it and get it done.

Well. I've been interviewed a few time since then and learned to drum up fancy-sounding answers to probing questions because these poor people really do need some material to work with. I think maybe I got a little too good at this.

Today a very nice woman from Brownsville was here to talk to me because she needs to interview an author for a communications class she's taking. Oh my. I had never faced such detailed questions in my life. What is my goal when I write? What is my thought process? How much do I carry writing over into daily life, even when I'm not writing? When do I know I'm finished? and much more.

Well, would you believe I really got into this. How flattering, that someone actually wants to know what I think about, how I visualize the writing process, what is most rewarding about it. I pulled vague dreamy NPR-sounding phrases out and dangled them around like I really knew what I was talking about. "It's like a picture in my mind, and then I'm trying to arrange a puzzle to replicate what's in my mind."
"So you're very visual?"
"Yes!" [too happily]

I'm afraid I enjoyed it way too much.

And talked way too much. Bless her heart, Ms. Cieri never yawned or turned glassy-eyed. And she has enough material for three essays, at least.

Later I had a sudden horrible fear that her "class project" was just a front, and in reality she's doing a comic radio show on how authors just go off about themselves if given half a chance, and here's Our Prime Example [roll tape].

This is the subtle pitfall, I think--to start to believe that it really is important what I'm thinking, how I motivate myself, what I visualize, how I self-edit.

As opposed to just sitting down and doing what needs to be done, and then going and feeding the chickens and studying my Sunday school lesson.

Praise God for the people in my life, much as I resent them at times, who keep me grounded and remind me that I am not more important than anyone else and I should just get over myself already.

Quote of the Day:
"I found my skirt that I was missing. . .in the bottom of my sleeping bag."

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