One of the benefits of my work as a freelance writer is that I get to interview some of the most interesting people you could possibly hope to meet. From entrepreneurs to artists and performers to corporate leaders – you name it, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with them AND picking their brains.
While some of my sources may be as close to me as downtown Montreal, others can be as far away as Timbuktu. That being said, I don’t actually get to do much travelling these days thanks to the wonders of technology. Aside from my laptop, my best-loved tools are Skype and Call Recorder, which is automatically set up to record and save my Skype conversations as a .mov file (video and audio) for future reference. Call Recorder is great because I get to focus on the actual conversation instead of my next question.
(Note: I don’t know how writers of past eras managed to listen AND take notes AND look like they were paying attention. Writers of past eras were, in my opinion, demi-gods.)
My job after the interview is to transcribe the conversation, which then serves as my notes for writing the article. It’s a great little tool – although I admit, the transcribing part is loonnngggg (aka time consuming). The positive side is that thoughts and ideas organically surface as I re-listen to the conversation. By the time I actually get to the writing part, the first draft of the article practically writes itself. (HA! And if you believe that, I may have some snow in my freezer for you. Big sale; today only.)
By now you’re probably thinking, “For sure she’s screwed up on the title because how could there possibly be any occupational hazards associated with writing?”
And you’d be correct. Almost.
The occupational hazard is caused by all the cringing.
“Cringing?” you ask?
Yes. CRINGING. In fact, so much cringing that my eyebrows get all tangled up. You know that expression where inappropriate people say, “ah don’t get your panties in a knot!”?
Well, just like that only it’s my eyebrows that get in a knot and not my panties.
(And if you’re young and still openly untainted by this wicked world and wondering how the hell my panties got into this, please accept my glares of jealousy as I invite you to skip all parts of the previous paragraph after the part that goes “Yes. CRINGING.”)
You see, sometimes instead of looking at the Skype video windows, I’ll open up a Word doc that has all my notes and questions for the interview. So while I’m “speaking/interviewing” via Skype, the view on my laptop is my prep work and a small window that shows the other person.
With me so far?
After the interview, transcribing the conversation into notes comes next. As I re-play the recorded call I get the pleasure of watching myself because even though at the time of the interview I was staring at an opened Word doc, the built-in camera on my laptop CONTINUES TO RECORD ME. (Something I always forget.)
Yes. A lovely peep show of me not aware that the camera was on the entire time.
Hence the cringing. Which leads to the eyebrows in a knot. Which leads to a tangled mess and yes, occupational hazard.