Selective Sensitivity and Other Modern Constructs.
By day, Donna A. Lewis is an attorney in Washington DC. At all other times, Donna is a writer and humorist.
Q: Are you a lawyer who's a writer or a writer who's a lawyer or some other variation?
A: I think I'm really a writer who's a lawyer. If I won the lottery (or if I had been born into money), I'd be writing full-time. Although....I'm probably also a lawyer who's a writer because even if I were writing full-time, I'm sure I would be doing a lot of advocacy, volunteer or otherwise.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to pursue a law degree?
A: I struggled with the decision of law school for years. Law school seemed like such a 'duh' given my interests and skills. But I was worried about not choosing a more writer-friendly career like teaching at a university. But law won in the end and I just decided I'd keep writing as much as I could.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in writing?
A: I always wanted to be a writer. Always. I remember spending hours writing essays and book reports in school and reading them to anyone who would listen. As I entered my 20's and then my 30's and 40's, I began to pray harder and harder that I'd have more time and opportunities for writing as I got older. Sure enough, I do.
Q: How many hours a week do you spend writing? What does that schedule (or non-schedule) look like?
A: I spend pretty much all of my time out of the office either writing or drawing. An hour or two in the morning before work, several hours after work at night and however many hours I can get away with on the weekend.
Q: What is the response of your current or past colleagues (and clients) to your being a writer?
A: Before I began doing cartoons, I had a very small and loyal following of folks who liked my writing, including some colleagues. Mostly though, I only shared links to my writing with colleagues I considered friends. It's much easier to share a cartoon. People click on a picture much faster than they'll click on something that looks like a lot of words. Most colleagues hear about my strip through other folks. It's SO nice when they tell me they checked it out. SO nice. :-)
Q: What is the easiest part of writing for you?
A: Writing itself is easy for me. I don't need to motivate myself or think of things to write or warm up. I can write on demand. It's not all good, but you can't produce all good stuff all the time. When I'm driving or running or taking a bath, I'll start hearing prose in my head and I'll write it down when I get to paper or a computer.
Q: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
A: The drawings that accompany the writing, hands down. I'm not a natural at drawing and I'm ridiculously slow. But I really enjoy it, especially when I look at something I've drawn and think it looks better than prior work.
Q: What misconceptions do people have about what you do or how you do it?
A: A lot of folks ask when I'll quit my day job and I think a lot of people assume that's my goal. I guess what's hard to convey is that I would do all of this work regardless of whether it paid money. It would be great to earn a living off of my writing, but that's not a deal maker or deal breaker in any way.
Q: What kind of kid were you?
A: Introverted and very much a one-on-one kind of kid. I collected school supplies and aspired to be Sylvia Plath. Not exactly the most easygoing kid on the face of the earth. :-)