Doing interviews

One of the most personally rewarding parts of journalism writing, is the interviews I have to arrange and then do, usually by phone, but occasionally face to face. I’m not sure which I prefer, because the one allows a person just to focus on communication, while the other allows for a better picture of the person being interviewed.

Over the last few days, I’ve been doing rounds of interviews for an article I am writing for Vermont Woman magazine which includes talking to artists about something that they have passionate feelings about, so much so that they are almost driven to be a part of the event I am writing about.

As often happens when I talk to people about art in depth, we very quickly discover myriad meeting points of mutual interests, and even mutual friends. Because artists are light on their feet and nimble in their thinking, we cover wide ranging topics, but with the artist’s focused intensity that always returns to the message of the medium they use. Out of the interviews I have been conducting for the last four days, has come an extended community that I knew was there but had not actually connected with before, and now, in a very real way, am. Its not a connection that will go away. And being new, the best is yet to come I am sure.

Also out of these interviews, and almost every interview and article I’ve written in 2013, comes a clarifying sense of purpose… what I am being called to do as a writer and a media journalist. Giving voice to voiceless, shining a light on the invisible, and making sure people know about movements that are happening that mainstream media will never cover, is important. And I hear from people how important that is to them.

Since I tend to like to focus on things that bring people hope, instead of making people depressed, its important that my interviews with people include their personal views on solutions, and how they FEEL about what they are doing. I often talk to state officials in the course of doing some of the environmental coverage articles, and fortunately, Vermont officials are still connected to their emotional selves, and willing to allow that part of their connection with work and life, come through. Not just that facts and figures.

But what I am realizing most of all from this year’s work, is that there is a way to write about almost everything that opens the way to hope and solutions. And here in Vermont, we are very fortunate to have some of the best and creative minds on the planet finding new approaches to challenges people beyond the borders of the State are experiencing as well.

Vermont keeps proving itself to me to be on the cutting edge of just about everything. Its people are stubborn, self-reliant, persistent, strong, creative, and engaged in their communities and each other. There is a strong Vermont culture that is alive and well in its hills and valleys, and that will always be our hidden strength. Its not going to be easily knocked off its center by any one or thing that tries to come in and change that.

Once again, I find myself amazed and astounded by the depth of intellect, minds, and creative heart-full people in this State.

And THAT is an emotional response.

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