For a while now I have been opting for fashion/beauty posts rather than my longer style of posts commenting on personal issues. In part because I’ve been sent lots of lovely things to review, but mainly because the functionality of my brain is very limited at the moment, and a post full of images is something I can just about cope with.
Even as I type this I am having to go back over each sentence and correct typos, and those mistakes that are way more evolved than a typo…complete gobbledegook. What I am talking about is what CFS/ME sufferers refer to as Brain Fog.
You know how your parents say things like ‘you know who I mean…thingymebib from whojeeflip’, ‘that film starring, ummm, that guy, you know the one with the hair’. Although I get stressed on a daily base with their inability to finish a sentence or remember the name of any thing, person, place, band, film…..and so on, I am nearly as bad.
So their that lack of memory, or inability to get the bleedin’ words out, is annoying at times, but as retired people it doesn’t have any repercussions apart from conversation takings a lot longer resulting in me getting a little bit stressed. As a writer and interviewer my my misty mind is a nerve inducing issue, one which makes doing what I used to enjoy, extremely difficult.
No one wants to do a bad job. We want to feel pride in the work we do, and hopefully enjoy a few positive comments because of the quality of the words we’ve constructed. Unfortunately of late I have found it extremely hard to piece together sentences, let alone articles. Even when I think I cracked it, I will look back on it, in a time of slightly heightened energy levels, and realise the piece is riddled with typos or bad grammar. I have always put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, in school, college, uni and always wanted to maintain a high quality during my working years. Sadly, I have to admit, for reasons out of my control, I’ve failed. Any sort of failure in my life results in giving myself a very hard time, in turn reducing my confidence and reducing my impulse to try in spite of the difficulties. This brings me back to why you haven’t seen many wordy posts from me of late.
I have been vlogging throughout this particularly bad phase of brain fog, because my videos are on my channel, so any brain farts, or apparent absence of brain, only reflects badly on me and YouTube Channel, and not any other websites or companies. That leads me to another point. I hate letting people down and the thought of people thinking I can’t deliver a job. I have been opting out of interviews of late for that reason (and due to lack of funds to commute to London venues and festivals). It’s annoying when your words don’t come out when talking to friends, but you can have a giggle about it, and there isn’t really any hurry for you to finally stumble on the word you were looking for. When you are sitting down with a band, you have a strict timeframe to fit all your questions in, and you have a camera as well as other faces (managers/pr’s) watching you, the sudden knowledge void is a scary thing and extremely detrimental to the task at hand.
At Boardmaster’s the other weekend, I did my first interviews in a long time. I knew I’d be rusty, so did even more research than usual. I always try to do a fair bit, as courtesy to the bands, and for my own peace of mind, but I wanted to make sure I was even more prepared. When it came to interviewing Sunset Sons I could instantly tell I wasn’t going to be up to scratch, and I was right. Despite knowing the facts very well, when it came to saying where they made the album, I went blank. When it came to naming the producer, it went blank. When it came to responding in a fun and natural way to their banter….you guessed it, it went blank. Such a shame, because they were lovely guys, who were great interviewees, but there was a barrier in terms of our rapport….that being the fuzz.
I don’t like to be defeated by this thing though. It’s stolen enough from me already. So this weekend I refuse to amend my usual Reading Festival work routine. In terms of interviews, it is always my busiest festival, one year I did about 30 video interviews in total. As someone who works without notes, you can imagine how many tours, album names and release dates that involves remembering.
This year Ticketmaster have asked me to do their interview coverage, and despite the massive fear factor of the prospect, I said Yes.
Festival interviews are a different beast to the one off interviews at venues. You are covering so many bands, so you have to find of accept that the quality will go down, and more generic questions will be used. Bands are often offered up very last minute, so you will find yourself sitting down with a band you may well know absolutely nothing about, having done no prep whatsoever. The rooms are full of other journalists doing the same thing, so it’s hard to concentrate at the best of times…hearing other interviewers questions right next to you, confusing you as you attempt to take in what your subject has said and come up with a suitable retort or follow up question.
I’ve been getting myself quite worked up over the last few days, just thinking about the possible embarrassment caused by my brain melts. I want bands and people in the industry to respect me, think that I’m ok at what I do, and not just some girl winging it. I don’t really want to use to use the ‘its hard to be a woman in this industry’ card, but being an interviewer you do put yourself up for more criticism than if you are male. YouTube comments are evidence of this.
They seem to give you a break if you decide not to do music based interviews and content, maybe because when we do that we aren’t attempting to prove our knowledge of music/the band, or perhaps because that’s where they believe we should be putting ourselves. As soon as you put yourself against other interviewers, male interviewers, they seem to ready to jump on any hiccup or slip up…and boy do they revel in it.
So if you are someone that likes to leave negative comments on interviews…just a little note. Consider these things…..
You are getting this content for free…you haven’t lost any money for choosing to watch it.
No one made you watch it
At festivals we are doing one interview after the other, your brain get fried at the best of times….The person you are watching may have just done 10 in a row, with no break to look at notes.
Before you comment on the awkwardness or lack of flow, ask yourself whether the band are the difficult party.
The interviewer may not have planned to interview the band, so their lack of preparation is not their fault.
There are more points, but I can feel myself getting into rant territory….just for a change eh?
So, back to my initial point. I apologise for lack of lengthy blog posts of late, hopefully some of my lengthy vlogs make up for it a bit.
Hopefully I’ll see a shift in my brain soon, and normal and easy tasks will feel, well, normal and easy again.
I’ve tried hard to make sure there are no typos in this post….but if there are, you’ll understand why.