This weekend my husband and I had the honor of being interviewed for the local paper (the one for which I write, incidentally). The theme for these week’s edition is thankful people, and Matt and I are very thankful this year – our first house, and our first year of marriage cancer-free (he was diagnosed with testicular cancer just nine months after our wedding).
While I always enjoy sharing our story with people (because we can’t share it without sharing our faith in God), this was particularly enjoyable because I got to see someone else doing an interview!
You see, even though I write for two newspapers, I don’t have any real journalism experience. My degree is in English. I don’t even have a newspaper subscription. Journalism is NOT something I was trying to do…it just happened.
(NOTICE THE PLUG) But God knew what He was doing! It “happened” just after I got home from a writer’s conference where I had taken a class on conducting an interview. I figured it might come in handy some day…that day was two weeks later! Eighteen months later I’m still at it.
If you’re anything like me, you always wonder how your work compares with someone else’s. I’ve wondered that since I started working for the papers – do the other writers do better interviews than me? What could I do better? By having someone else interview me, I got to answer those questions.
Would you like to know what I found out?
I’m pretty normal when it comes to small-town newspaper interviewers. 🙂 I don’t do anything drastically different (other than my note organizing, which works just fine for me, thank you). Other than that, though, it went about the same as it does when I interview people. Yeah!
Not that I endorse comparing yourself to another writer, but if you’re wondering “Can I really cut it?”, then maybe it’s time to ask another writer to help you out. Maybe they can interview you, or you can start critiquing each others stories. Put yourself into a position so you can see where you are.
But remember – you might not be as advanced as you think you are (I mean, I’m okay for a small town weekly, but I’m not ready for the NYT…I can handle that). Be prepared to discover that, and be willing to work until you get to that place, because I know that my interviews weren’t this smooth over a year ago, but eighteen months of practice will do that to you 🙂