It Ain't Easy Feelin' Queasy--but it's worth it!

Post date: Oct 31, 2019 4:58:36 PM

When I wake up and my stomach hurts and I wonder what I ate the night before—I realize it almost always has nothing to do with indigestion. It’s nerves. That queasy feeling accompanies every author interview I facilitate for The Journey of a Story television and podcast series. I don’t know why I get so nervous every time. I mean, I’ve done 17 episodes now. Get over it already! But, I don’t. Why would I continue to do something that makes me anxious?

Last week I interviewed two very different but equally intriguing authors for The Journey of a Story series. The quarterly interviews are done in collaboration with our amazing community partner, Wakefield Cable Access Television (WCAT) Studios. Both days I woke up not feeling well and wondering, “What’s going on? What did I eat last night?” Neither of those days did I prove to be sick in the traditional sense. I was just nervous, anxious—whatever you want to call it.

Doing these interviews is not something that falls naturally into my comfort zone, but is anything worth doing ever entirely “comfortable?” Maybe you wonder why I still do them if I feel sick every time. I’ll tell you. Every time I sit down with a different author I learn something. I discover something about the world or myself or writing—or often all three. I connect in a way that is so much more authentic and human than I could over the course of a few emails, on the phone or even if I were to run into that same person at a social gathering among many others. The interview allows me to ask questions that I wouldn’t normally ask on a day-to-day basis. I take a deeper dive and it’s refreshing.

However, no matter how diverse the authors appear—whether an Afro-Latina writer who is an award-winning author, international speaker and published a range of books for adults and children including a bilingual book or a former restaurant owner and North End native who lives food, loves the written word and began a new chapter of his life by starting a daily blog and podcast in his seventies—at the core of their being is a pen fired up and filled with ink. I’m sure of it! In fact, I bet if we x-ray all seventeen authors I’ve interviewed there will be a pen floating around in there somewhere, emitting a signal to, "Write, write, write."

So, twice every three months I will wake up wondering what I ate or if the stomach bug has taken its hold until I realize I have an interview scheduled for later that day. These queasy, quarterly interviews are a steady reminder that I (and you!) need to get over ourselves—our fears, our bad past experiences, the inevitable bad future experiences, our awkward first impressions, our upset stomachs—and participate in life in ways that challenge us, teach us and open us up to the world beyond our noses.

It’s not always something that comes naturally. It may take some courage on our part. But, just do it. You may surprise yourself and do it sixteen more times with no end in sight . . .