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Friday, January 4, 2008

On Both Sides Now

In the past twenty-four hours, I have interviewed and been interviewed. Both still make me equally nervous. But for very different reasons. When I interview someone, I want them to feel comfortable. I want them to like and respect me. Most of all I want them to open up to me. I want to somehow be different from the zillion other people who have interviewed them. I want my questions to allow them to think, to muse as opposed to regurgitate.

When I'm being interviewed, I worry about misrepresenting myself. How does one come off confident but not self-centered, intelligent but not know-it-all, witty but not laughable? How do you reveal only exactly what you want to reveal without looking as if you have something to hide? How do you say "I'm a nice, smart, funny, kind girl who you'd like. Honest. And I have something to say that you'll want to hear." How?

I don't know yet. But I figure I can only stand to get better at both by practicing both. Something I hope to have plenty of opportunities to do as my book comes out and my writing career sallies forth. Until then, I suppose I will have to make friends with those butterflies that appear every time I hear or say, "So, I just have a few questions for you..."