Diane Vanaskie Mulligan
Mar 9 · 2 min read

I haven’t shared a five-hundred-square-foot apartment with six other people or subsisted on ramen noodles so I could quit my day job.

I haven’t had any cocaine-fueled all-nighters to make a deadline, nor have I gone on any booze benders to drown my sorrows after a rejection or bad review.

I haven’t fled my marriage so I could spend more time writing, nor have I lost friends by exploiting other people’s personal stories in my work.

I haven’t sold my home and moved to New York City to put myself closer to the pulse of the literary world.

I haven’t offered my body to agents or editors as a quid pro quo to get a book deal.

I haven’t burdened myself with a crippling mountain of student loan debt to get an MFA in creative writing.

I have suffered from a pretty bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome, which led me to give up playing tennis.

I do get headaches sometimes from the eyestrain of staring at my computer, so occasionally I have to take an afternoon nap instead of watching TV.

I did gain ten pounds after my second book got a tepid review from Kirkus and I consoled myself with cupcakes. I’ve never managed to shed the extra weight, so I guess my figure is a casualty of my writing aspirations.

Is that enough sacrifice to call myself a writer?

Diane Vanaskie Mulligan

Written by

novelist, teacher, sourdough enthusiast, dog-lover, folkie and a whole bunch of other things, too.

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