For this week’s challenge, let someone else do the talking.
Blogging is such a powerful medium for self-expression and self-discovery: every day, I read dozens of posts that channel their authors’ personalities and voices, giving me a glimpse of each blogger’s viewpoint.
Every once in a while, though, it can be rewarding — and fun — to let someone else do the talking. And there’s something particularly exciting about being the one who asks the questions and leads the direction of the discussion.
For this week’s challenge, we invite you to conduct a Q & A with any person you know who might have something interesting to say (read: anyone). It can be a family member or a close friend, a cab driver or your favorite barista. Or it could just be the first person who agrees to answer your questions.
Speaking on record
Everyone has (at least) one good story; your goal for your interview is to find it and share it on your blog.
Note: Make sure to ask permission to share your interviewee’s answers — especially if you mention his or her name, or any other potentially identifying information.
Interviews don’t have to be formal, two-hour affairs; every time you engage in a conversation with another person you’re, in effect, interviewing them. Consequently, you can format your post in any number of ways:
- The classic interview: offer your interviewee a set number of questions, then share their replies. (If you’re not sure what to ask, take some inspiration from the famous Proust Questionnaire.)
- Conduct your Q & A as an informal dialogue and write it down from memory, or compose a story in which this conversation assumes a central role.
- Omit your questions from the post entirely, presenting your readers with the uninterrupted flow of your interviewee’s words (the Humans of New York project has really perfected this form — take a look and see if you feel like giving it a try).
Don’t have anyone to interview? Think again! You could:
- Check out other bloggers on our Community Pool and request an interview with one whose blog resonates with your interests. (Note: if you go this route, please contact the bloggers in question on their site, not on the Community Pool’s comments section. Thanks!)
- Compose a fictional Q & A with any historical figure you wish, living or dead. Write a short story about interviewing the first alien making contact with humans. The possibilities are truly infinite.
- Ask a complete, random stranger. You’d be surprised how far a big, friendly smile and the promise of attention might get you.