What Does a “Real” Writer Look Like?

I’m not sure how to change the voice that keeps yammering away in my head. It tells me I’m a failure, despite my past successes. It saps my creative energy and makes me give up too easily.

I couldn’t believe my luck. The job enabled me to use my writing skills, but it was also a creative drain. When my novel was rejected, I stuck it in a drawer (it was an actual printed copy) and allowed myself to get distracted by life — marriage, kids, and a job that had become a career.

“It’s taken me longer than I expected to get here — I imagined a lot more early success — but I am slowly circling the writing life I imagined I would have.”

When I asked Anna if her current writing reality matched her past expectations, she replied, “I fantasized that I would start my day like Edith Wharton and write while I had breakfast in bed, then I would be Emerson and take a walk in my woods, come back inspired and write some more, then lunch, another walk (or nap) and then write until dinner, where I would happily consort with my family.

“If I had told my younger self that I would find my first real success as a ghostwriter, I would have believed I had sold out.”

Her daily writing life involves a lot of collaboration with her agent, fellow screenwriters, or clients who have hired her to ghostwrite their projects.

Unlisted

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Essayist, content writer, bereaved parent. I love birds, mushrooms, trees, my amazing kid, & a very tiny poodle. Featured in Human Parts, GEN, Marker & OneZero.

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Jacqueline Dooley

Jacqueline Dooley

Essayist, content writer, bereaved parent. I love birds, mushrooms, trees, my amazing kid, & a very tiny poodle. Featured in Human Parts, GEN, Marker & OneZero.