“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
~ Annie Dillard
I have talked to people my entire life and spent thirty years conducting parent-teacher conferences, asking questions and collaborating in groups, but I had never conducted an interview until last summer when, motivated by curiosity and addiction to delicious food, I asked to interview the proprietor of my favorite restaurant. I wondered how she started her business, how she knew what she wanted to do and especially what her story was. I am fascinated by people’s stories as I imagine that lives can change in an instant and believing that I have the power to change my own life. We all do.
I conducted my interview and have written the first draft of my story anxious to get it published. I had contacted several local newspapers and then today, while volunteering at an Oktober Fest at my friend’s house, the editor of the local paper stumbled into my “wish flag” booth. I did not hesitate, asked her about the possibility of publishing my story and was encouraged by her positive response.
My motivation is revved up now and I am determined to finish the story this week. I have an idea for a fresh approach and want to finish what I started with the interview this summer. Asking questions, just enough to get started, and then listening, being patient and waiting for the interviewee to feel comfortable enough to begin talking can lead to honest responses. People want to be heard and want their story known. In the beginning, she felt baffled that anyone would be interested in her story, but as the story unfolded, she became proud of her accomplishments, which when spoken aloud, suddenly seemed quite remarkable. Her story will be a motivation to many others and also an introduction to her remarkable restaurant.