Is blogging still a thing? I’ve fallen off of regular postings. My partner reassures me that I’m micro-blogging on Twitter and I suppose it’s true. A dear writer friend of mine, who is very savvy, has pointed out writing a lot on a blog is basically writing for free, when it’s important that we try to find gigs that will pay us for our labour. Yes, I thought. That’s true. It takes time to write a post and when I had kept a more regular stream of entries I would find creative energy rather spent after a particularly long piece. But then a blog is also a nice way to share some thoughts with readers & the broader writing community so there’s that.
Hullo! Today’s topic is Radio Interviews! XD XD XD
It’s been a while since I’ve been on air. Thank you, Julia & Art, for having me come in for the Writing Life program! Happily it wasn’t live, but pre-recorded. Far less pressure for those (like me) who get all sweaty at the idea of not being able to take something back….
Tips on how to prepare for Interview both live & pre-corded:
- Listen to previous interviews that the program has conducted.
- Ask for a list of questions, even rough copy, of what they intend to ask to be sent to you several days prior to interview.
- If there’s a question that you think is inappropriate, etc. let the interviewer know you cannot respond to that question. (But also don’t think you can veto almost all of them, unless there’s some huge problem with the line of questioning– then it’s better to just politely let them know that this doesn’t seem like the right venue for your work, thank you for the invitation, however. Be professional.)
- Review the questions and jot down notes for yourself, so if you have brain freeze your notes will bring you back.
- Practice aloud at home, by yourself or with someone else asking you the questions.
Julia and Art were all graciousness and the questions very professional & engaging. We’d gone through most of the questions and I was feeling rather relieved that I’d held it together, we were almost done. They asked me if I ever experienced writer’s block and if I did, what I did to deal with it.
Yes, I experience it, I relayed. Going off the interview notes script I’d prepared for myself I decided I wanted to reference Octavia E. Butler (for the listeners, because not everyone knows about her amazing Speculative Fiction) and create an analogy between how I deal with writer’s block and the behaviour of the aliens in her Xenogenesis trilogy….
In the trilogy, I explained, there’s an alien race called the Oankali, who have three sexes. The third sex was able to manipulate genetic material, and shape things in this special organ inside them, called a…. My mind groped around in the dark for the word. “Ya….” As Julia and Art gazed at me and the interview silence began stretching my mouth completed the word before my mind was finished… “ni”. “Yani.”
A little thought bubble wafted around in my back brain, “Really? Was that the word?” but my forebrain was charging ahead to complete the interview. The alien, I explained, with the “yani” would sometimes find itself in need of new genetic materials. They’d say, “My yani hungers.” And so they would go out to collect new things. When I have writer’s block, I explained, I think of it as feeding my “yani”. I read books, watch films, go to art galleries, etc. to feed what’s been depleted…. A petit uneasiness lingered in the deepest reaches of my thought bubble mind, but I forged on, the need to be present and respond efficiently and clearly so necessary on radio. Finally I was done. Phew!
I thanked my kind hosts and walked home, set back to working on a very difficult presentation on gender, feminism and identity constructs for an upcoming university visit.
Many days later I received an email from Art that the interview would air the next day. The day of, a few hours before the program was to begin the little thought bubble in the back of my brain slowly bobbed its way to the front and swelled into comprehension. “It’s not ‘yani’…the organ in the third sex in the Oankali is the ‘yashi’. It’s ‘yashi’! You said ‘yani’ because you conflated ‘yoni’ with ‘yashi’, you actually said on radio, “My yani hungers.” YOU MIGHT AS WELL SAID, MY PUSSY HUNGERS!!!!! OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!
Dear friends, sometimes, no matter how well you prepare, you will make a mistake.
Make it a glorious one.