An adrenaline shot excites my heart, but my throat tightens; I’m unwilling to talk. Why is someone interviewing me?
I’m not planning to re-join the ranks of the employed anytime soon, so this can’t be a job interview. But maybe I’ve become a famous author, or they’ve taken me in for questioning…
Writing is hard, but I’ve learnt how to slide into a slipstream of words and get carried along by the challenge. I research. And research some more. I write rough drafts, then break the text into pieces and reassemble it. I edit and cut. I sculpt a piece of writing into shape, polishing and tinkering. It’s never really finished, just submitted on pain of missing a deadline.
Talking is more spontaneous, less scripted, yet even when speaking in front of a terrifying crowd, I’ve had the benefit of crafting my speech. I’ve stood in front of a mirror and practised the rough edges away. Giving a presentation is a verbal article; well-paced and engaging, when we get it right.
An audience might be present or invisible, large or small, live or saving the show for later. Yet, having questions flung at me seems like barbaric punishment designed to humiliate and expose. What did I do to deserve this? Something wonderful? Or something terrible?
If I had a choice about the questions? Maybe I’d hope for something like…
- What it’s like having such a weird name?
- Would your father be proud of you?
- Do you have any regrets?
… And how would I respond?
- My father named me. Gave me quite the challenge to live with in doing so.
- My father showed me how to think, how to imagine and how to be brave, but he never saw me become a writer or a mother. He saw me study hard, trip and stumble through my youth, watched me aspire and perspire. He saw the struggle, not the success.
- I don’t regret my choices, but I regret wasting time. It’s more precious than saffron. When I created entire humans with my body, I realised the power I hold to create any dream. The challenge now is how to divide my attention between my gorgeous time-thieves and my desire to build those dreams into reality.
But even these questions are painful. I’m not ready to peel off my narrative armour, revealing parts of myself like an authorial stripper.
Instead, let me write for clients who have something to say. I know writing. They know their audience. Let me catch their voice like a fisher, let me cultivate it like a farmer, let me wrap it up in delicate paper for them to gift to their customers.
“How did you do it?” The interviewer asks.
The ultimate question. My answer depends on who’s asking and who’s listening.
Have they taken me in for questioning? It looks like I need a lawyer…
Am I finally a famous author? Then, let me tell you a story, starting with the unusual origin of my name…
I’m Rananda, a Sydney-based writer and editor.
With 25-plus years in corporate life, a financial background, a science education, and a lifetime of writing, I know there is more to starting and growing a loyal following than just the words on your website or saving that draft manuscript in a folder.
I bring comprehensive practical experience to supporting your writing needs.