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It’s been a few months since I’ve started this site. I started it with absolutely no knowledge of how to do so. It hasn’t been all too easy for me, since I’m not exactly technically or digitally inclined, and I kind of jumped in with both feet. To be honest my site went live accidentally. Only a couple of weeks but early nonetheless. I was working on it and didn’t know it was live until it started receiving likes through WordPress. I seemed to have published it instead of saving it. From this point on, everything has been an uphill battle.
The amount of time I spent sitting at the table with this laptop is insane. Still, I spend a good part of every day looking for design tips, and plug-ins’, and general ways to improve the site. I am always making changes, some for the better, and some to be undone later. I think I have made it to a point where I am temporarily happy with it. I don’t think it is at its finished stage, I’m just ok with it here while I move on to other things. I feel like if I don’t keep moving forward I will just spend all year tweaking this site and never get to where I want to be.
Having a dream/goal can be terrifying. So much so that often people don’t act on it. It just sits on a shelf gathering dust while we think that one day we will get to it. That is the “safe” route. If you don’t try, then you can’t fail. And this is kind of where I was stuck. I was scared to move on. I could continue week after week posting on my blog, hoping to start to really gain a following and start making money from marketing, or I take the leap and follow my business plan. I knew what I needed to do, but that didn’t make it any less intimidating.
I saw a site advertising for guest post submissions on particular topics, one of which was body positivity. I felt like it that was a good place to start. So last week I pulled the trigger and set up a Zoom interview with someone I’ve known for a number of years, who has made great efforts to help people in that area. I started freaking out the moment I finished the conversation asking her to do the interview. I now had a whole new group of problems that had to be figured out. Again I was stepping into a whole world I knew absolutely nothing about.
I’ve never interviewed a person. I didn’t have the foggiest idea what to ask or say. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to talk about, and the things that had happened in her life that made her an expert in the area I was researching. But they were sensitive topics. How do you bring them up without offending or causing hurt feelings?
Google wasn’t much help at first. When I tried to look up interview questions and techniques, it sent me results for job interviews. If I included “journalistic” or similar words in my search then I got results for journalistic reporter job interviews. Apparently google thinks I suck at job interviews, which isn’t completely false. Finally I found some tips to help me, and looking back they are kind of common sense.
Interviewing someone is pretty intimate, and communication is key. You can’t just jump into the darkest parts of their lives without warning. I sent her a basic rundown of the things I wanted to discuss, asking her if it was ok to talk about certain things, and where her limits were. I did not send specific questions so there would still be authentic reactions when they were asked, rather than planned and robotic answers. Which, it turns out, I never had to worry about. She was way more comfortable then I was in front of the camera, and was completely her very animated self.
I am pretty introverted and was not at all comfortable being recorded, even though I was the one doing the recording. I guess it’s something I’m going to have to try to get used to, because my plan involves a lot of interviewing. The theory is that the interviews will go up on YouTube, and/or somewhere on this page, and I will write posts based on the interviews. I’m not quite sure how to deal with it now though. I’m having trouble editing the video because I don’t like watching myself. I find my facial expressions weird and my general appearance pretty unattractive. I expected to have multiple issues stepping into this role, but this wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t prepared and honestly, I’m unsure how to move past it. I guess I’m just going to push through and see how it turns out. It’s a lot easier baring my inner most thoughts and demons with strangers when it feels anonymous. I know that even a little digging can get you to my Facebook and LinkedIn pages, but that isn’t as bad somehow as being live and in color.
One of the expected problems is, as we have discussed before, I’m not exactly technologically inclined. I had to find a video editor that I could use. So far Filmora from Wondershare is the best one for me. It’s pretty user friendly, even for newer users. I tried using the Windows Photos editor, but I couldn’t get it to really do what I was looking for. There is software that does a lot more than Filmora does, but it gets pretty complicated to work with. Since this is literally the first video I have ever tried to make, I think I’ll stick with it for a while.
I’m sure I’m going to have trouble when it comes to actually posting the video too. I don’t know if there is specific formatting required or how to format a video. These are all things that I’m sure I can figure out with enough research, but it’s always a struggle doing it the first time. There is an additional aspect with the video that makes it a little scarier than this site. If I fuck up this site, my name is the only one attached to it. I’m the only one embarrassed by mistakes or design flaws. There is a lot of pressure to get it right knowing that her name is on the line as well as mine. I may well be blowing everything out of proportion, and it’s entirely likely that no one will blame her for my errors, but that doesn’t make it any less stressful. Especially considering she already has a public persona, she is a professional wrestler for an independent wrestling promotion. She does a lot of good in her hometown and I don’t want to be responsible for setting back her causes in any way. Again, logically I don’t believe that people will hold her responsible, but fear isn’t always logical. I’ve learned recently that fear of success is as powerful as fear of failure, if not more so.
I know my site isn’t perfect yet, and I know that my videos will probably be flawed for awhile too. Luckily for everyone involved I am getting better as I go. It has only been a few months. I am comparing myself to people that have been doing this for years, and that’s where the disconnect comes from. You have to just keep pushing through. You can’t keep comparing yourself to those with more experience, training, or education. Hopefully you are reading this before you fall into the same trap. Hopefully the lessons I have learned will carry over into information you can use.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield