Saturday, December 20th, 2008 • 1 Comment on Little Writer Girl
I just finished answering some interview questions for a website. I always feel like an idiot talking about myself and my writing—as if I should have some lofty wisdom to share or insight into the process that no one else knows. I stumble over my responses, deleting and rewriting them more time than any piece of fiction I’ve ever written and—in the end—it all still feels stupid.
I know I complained a couple of months ago about what a lousy interviewee I am when I was answering Ashley Lister’s questions for my Erotica Readers and Writers interview. I rewrote those answers so many times and they still sound dumb and pretentious to me (two things which are not mutually exclusive, I’ve discovered). Yet, I’m so, so grateful that anyone thinks anything I have to say is worthy of sharing that I will respond to any interview request, any time. Website, magazine article, blog, newsletter, whatever. It’s an honor that people think my words mean something. I really believe that. I may be an idiot interviewee, but I am a gracious idiot interviewee.
I wonder if all fiction writers are like this—at home writing about make believe characters but completely discombobulated to be writing about themselves? I have made a few attempts this year at some creative non-fiction, emphasis on the creative part. Anything that hits too close to home gets a deft swipe with some fictional details to soften the reflection in the literary mirror. Sometimes I think that might be the benefit of using a pseudonym—the ability to write anything at all about one’s self. On the rare occasions that I’ve been asked to choose a pen name (when I have more than one story in a collection, for instance), I always make my fictional self sound much more interesting than my real self. And yet… the things I say about my nom de plumes are still based on things I would really like to do and be. I’ve claimed to enjoy kickboxing and belly dancing, to live in London and have a cottage on the beach, to be a singer and an artist. So, perhaps reality (and a lack of talent) gets in the way of some of those things and laziness in the way of others, but they’re all things I’d enjoy. It seems that even when I’m given a blank canvas on which to recreate myself, the silhouette is still familiar.
Is it that I’m too honest or simply not creative enough?