Sometimes readers who have heard me speak live or on the radio will tell me that I speak very quickly, which is a very New York thing — and I guess a nice change, since when I first moved here people thought I talked. Too. S-l-o-w.
I can be a motor-mouth, especially when I have worked too long in the office and haven’t actually been social for a while. At a luncheon last week, I’m pretty sure my companions wondered, “does she ever take a breath?”
The intention is to do better, to be a better listener, and less a talker, and yet sometimes…Lizzie just goes and goes. Even during an interview conducted, as this one with Lisa Hendey was, over the ether…
Q: We Catholic authors also often double as our own cheerleaders, which is a challenging role for most of us. We’d rather promote anyone else’s book before our own! Has your own life been changed fundamentally by the exercise of writing and then promoting this book?
Its’ been really humbling, often uncomfortable — you’re right that it’s not always easy to promote oneself, but part of writing a book is being prepared to work with your publisher to do just that.
Has that changed me in some way? I think so. Before the book, I think my life-motto might have been “Work hard, very hard; If you are awake, be working”. Now, frankly, my motto is “kiss it all up to God and calm yourself down.”
While I was writing the book I took everything so seriously and fussed and fretted and treated it all so much like work (instead of privilege and gift) that I became blocked and couldn’t write at all. Talk about taking yourself too seriously! Instead of just kissing it all up to God and getting on with it I got so bogged down in me that nothing could get done. I was in my own way. Blocking myself, so to speak. I’ve learned to get out of my way (and God’s way) and just, yeah…bend into the curve of the Holy Spirit — not insist so much upon my own ideas.
In this, I am very fortunate in my family; I don’t see how anyone writes a book without a lot of help from family members willing to eat Chinese take-out or Pizza more than anyone should reasonably be asked to. More to the point, though, while my family is supportive, they also are very funny, irreverent sorts who have really kept me grounded through this whole experience because their support always came with a measure of teasing, or awful pun-making and joking. So, supportive they were (as Yoda might say) but they never took “me” seriously and perhaps that’s one of the reasons I was surprised to see others take the book seriously. My sons and husband are delighted for me but not that interested in the book; even better, among my in-laws the book is an amusingly great mystery, because they think “writing and reading books is crazy! Very nice, of course — and that’s a nice cover — but it’s crazy!” When you’re around all that, you can’t get on a high horse or start thinking too well of yourself. I’m grateful for it. I’m laughing more.
Yeah, motor-mouth and me, me, me — and I really must do better; I do try. Maybe it would help to pray this before I take a big breath:
Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth,
keep watch over the door of my lips..
I need to remember to do so.
But anyway, it’s an interview, and it’s authentic and I hope fun. You can read the rest of it, here