I’ve embarked on a new phase of my writing career. It’s a double edged sword. I love it and at the same time it’s nerve wracking! Up until recently I’ve been writing articles on various subjects. I research the information or write from prior knowledge. The only stress involved comes from my own procrastination and usually I work better under pressure. I enjoy doing the research and I really enjoy writing the articles.
Thanks to my mentor and friend, Kathleen Krueger, I am now moving out of my comfort zone and writing a few articles for a national magazine. This means that I have to interview people. I was given the topic and except for the theme question, I had to come up with interview questions myself. My writer friend Eric, also a former reporter for the Boston Globe and Chi Town Trib offered this advice: Who, what, when, where. Go deep. Don’t just look at the first thing you see on Google, dig deeper. Go a several pages in and see what you dig up. Don’t ask obvious questions. Do your research. All of it is good advice. Thanks Eric.
The women I am interviewing are amazing. I can’t help but think, who am I to interview such an incredible woman? I’ve done the research and have felt so humbled and blessed to have the opportunity to talk with some definite movers and shakers in important positions. Yet, some of these incredible women are just as nervous about being interviewed as I am about interviewing them. That surprised me. A lot.
These vibrant women share some important traits. They all know how to eat an elephant – one bite at a time! They talk about perseverance and keeping your eye on the goal. They know the importance of self-care. Each one has some routine that keeps her going, helps her decompress after a busy day – and trust me, these ladies have busy days like you wouldn’t believe. For each of them family is important. Family keeps them grounded.
They all believe in helping others and mentoring. They have an appreciation for those who paved the way for them to achieve. They, in turn, are way makers. They also believe in their own abilities. They’ve learned to trust their instincts and follow their dreams. They are curious and life-long learners. All of them emphasize the importance of education.
Interviewing a woman whose job takes her all over the world, one who deals with billion dollar budgets or one who makes decisions that will impact millions of lives can be intimidating. I’m embracing the late Susan Jeffer’s advice: Feel the fear and do it anyway. At the end of the day, all these women are human beings just like me. They had things they had to overcome and deal with. They also had fears and misgivings they had to conquer. They pushed through, they continue to push through and they are doing amazing things as a result.
Through these interviews I have learned a lot and I have remembered some things I had forgotten. It’s quite an experience and I am so grateful to have this opportunity. It’s a far stretch outside of my comfort zone, but I’m doing it and I know I’m a better person for it. One of the best lessons I’ve learned from this experience so far is that I don’t have to be perfect. All I need to do is keep moving forward and do my best. I need to be willing to work at it and not give up. When adversity comes, don’t quit. Re-frame the situation, change the attitude and keep on keeping on. That’s how a person grows.