Monday, January 25, 2010

Food for Thought

I had a really interesting conversation with my husband yesterday. I was comparing my two interviews--one for the newspaper and one for my publisher's blog--and how much easier it is for me to write my answers to questions than to answer them verbally on the fly, and especially how challenging it is for me to answer questions about myself. Somehow we came around to my being able to teach about writing just fine. I hardly ever get nervous when I teach and really enjoy the process, but start asking me about me and my brain freezes up.

He asked me why I thought that was and I said, "Well, I think it's because I'm passionate about my subject, so it's easy to talk about."

He then asked me one of the most profound questions I've heard in a long time. He said, "Well, aren't you passionate about yourself?"

It's been over 24 hours since he asked me that and I can't get it out of my head. Am I not passionate about myself? And if not, shouldn't I be? I am the only me that exists in this world, the only ME God created, so shouldn't I take joy in sharing the uniqueness that is me?

Perhaps. But even knowing that it's not easy to open up and let the world peek inside at who I am. I'm not sure how to change that. How DOES one become passionate about ones self without becoming self obsessed? How does one remain humble, yet open up in this way?

I don't have the answers to that. If any of you have thoughts, I'd love to hear them.

20 comments:

Jen said...

I've never thought about it but I happen to be the same way, I can talk about a subject or topic I love however when it's about me I immediately shut down, forget what I should say!

I'll have to keep a look out for great ideas and tips!

Daron D. Fraley said...

Amen, sister! We'll have to figure this one out. Same problem here!

Jill Ann said...

For me it's knowing who I am. That I'm a child of God and the ONLY me out there. That I was sent here for a purpose that only I can fulfill and if I just listen and obey, He can use me to accomplish that purpose.

So no one should waste their life trying to be someone else. You're YOU for a reason!

L.T. Elliot said...

Well, I think you're pretty wonderful so you can always take what I say and use it. ;)

I'm the same way (you know that) and I honestly don't know that there are parts of me I'll ever want to open up. Those are for selected people only. For me, the most sacred is also the most veiled. I suppose I need to be better about that but there are some things I think it's okay to keep to myself.

Nisa said...

What a thought-provoking question! Here's my two cents. I think it's how we view the word humility. It doesn't mean "Whoa is me" or to have a lack of self-confidence, though I think it's taken that way. Humility to me means trusting in God and giving Him the credit for what we become. The talents are ours and we can do amazing things with them, but only because God blessed us so richly. And when you think about how much He has blessed us with and how much He loves us, it's a little easier to love ourselves. I mean, if He can love us, shouldn't we do the same?

Can you tell I've thought about this a lot? Yeah, I've had issues on this subject. *grin*

Kristi Stevens said...

I think it's okay to be a private person. Signing a book contract doesn't mean you're obligated to expose yourself on a billboard.

Personally, I always feel the best about myself when I don't think about myself at all. When I'm doing for others, I'm most content in my skin.

Kristi Stevens said...

I also agree with Nisa on her thoughts on humility. Humility does not equal low self esteem. I think truly humble people deeply love themselves because they recognize how much they are loved and cared for by Heavenly Father.

Being passionate about yourself and maintaining humility go hand in hand.

Noble M Standing said...

wow, I don't have any thoughts but what an interesting question I'll have to think about it more.

Julie Wright said...

I think you are the bomb diggity of friends and should be passionate about yourself because you are awesome

Brenda Susan said...

Wonderful question! If God created you & thinks you are just peachy, then why in the world do you have trouble agreeing with Him?
(I'm asking myself the same question.) This is very thought provoking. I AM passionate about some things & some people so why not me? Hmm? Good one.

Diva Donna said...

Karen,
Having been a reporter for two years, I can imagine the questions you are getting asked. And your husband's question is a very profound one indeed.

Your question is a little different. I know that you are passionate about you because I know that you are a storyteller and that is something about you that brings joy to your family and to you.
The question is how to share your passion about you without seeming or becoming self-absorded.

I have been given a great answer to this by a professional image consultant. He taught us about dealing with the media for my job. Here is the best answer I have ever heard to YOUR question:
"When people ask you to tell them something about you, they are silently adding the words 'that will help me.'

What can you tell a report about yourself or your book that will help him or her write the article? A true event that has meaning to you.
What can you tell a group of conference attendees about yourself that will help them? A true event from your life that helped you get to where you are.

Tell them stories and always remember that what you share should be true, meaningful and helpful to the person you are telling. And take down the walls--look them in the eye and try to help them in whatever way you can.
That's the best advice I can give on this. I've been practicing for weeks and I still feel sometimes that I sound like an idiot, but I keep trying.
You'll be great. I can't wait to see you at LTUE.

elizabeth said...

Wow, Diva, that is awesome advice. I really like that... Thank you so much for publishing your comment here.

Kay! You know, the thing with me is that I blank out every time I am asked, "What do you like to write about?" OR "What is your book about?" Uh, I don't know.

I can tell someone face to face my testimony and all the nittygritties of how I acquired it as well as how I parent and how I came to my standards now, but when it comes to writing, I freeze.

That is really something to think about. I really feel that Diva hit it right where we need it. Think of something that would benefit others. Wow, that's so true. That's what I do when I bear my testimony. That's what I do when I share my experiences as a mother.

I share the most useful info in hopes that they will like them and even apply them!

ali said...

Wow, that IS a profound question! And I can't say as I've ever thought of the whether or not I'm passionate about myself.

Hmm. Definitely something to ponder.

Thanks Kay!

Karen Hoover said...

Thanks for all your comments, everyone. You've given me a TON to think about. :)

MeganRebekah said...

Oh my gosh do I feel your pain. I've had similar questions to myself and I don't know how to respond. Am I passionate about myself? Obviously not enough yet.

Good luck!

オテモヤン said...
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Carolyn V. said...

Karen I finally found your blog!!! Whoop!

I think the important thing is to remember the journey. How hard AND fun it was/is. I think that is a good way to stay grounded. And as for opening up, Good question. I was thinking about that last night. I decided I'm just the quiet type that keeps a lot of stuff to myself. And I'm okay with that. =)

Kaylie said...

I wouldn't beat yourself up too much about not being able to talk about stuff out loud. You can practice, of course, and get more passionate about your subject, but you're a writer first. Your specialty is communicating on paper, and the person who can both write well and speak well is extra talented.

kanishk said...

I'll have to keep a look out for great ideas and tips!

Work from home India

Anna Arnett said...

Maybe I'm the odd one, but I love to talk about myself. I'm getting close to publication of my memoirs called,"Lolly's Yarn, Tales From the Life of a Crafty* lady." *The archaic definition of 'crafty' is 'skillful, dextrous'. And I write in first person. It's a lot easier to keep in the correct point of view.

As I write, I find I'm writing about some other person--the one I once was. Sometimes I'm delighted with her, and sometimes I wonder how she could be so dumb. I see within her the seeds of great good, but also the seeds of most any evil. It's what she ponders most most that makes her character.

Am I passionate about her? Of course. Do I get puffed up because of her? Not when I'm telling it the way it happened--faults and all. Am I pleased with her? Well, if I weren't, why would I bother to tell her story? And the answer to that is really based on ego. I want my posterity to know what I was like and perhaps they can profit by it.

Hey, I'm getting rather worked up. I think I'll copy this and paste it onto my own new blogsite, annaarnett.com.