I met Anne T. Donahue in person several weeks back at an event and knew I had to include her on the blog in some way or another. She’s hilarious, super genuine and incredibly talented, so I was thrilled when she agreed to do a Words from the Wise feature! You probably already know who she is since you can find her work in 29Secrets, Rookie, Radio.com, HelloGiggles, The Guardian and all kinds of other places. She’s pretty rad – enjoy!
Name: Anne T. Donahue
Job Title & Company: Writer/person/comedian
Share a bit about yourself and what you do: I CAME HERE TO BE NUMBER ONE. (JK I came here to eat the complimentary shrimp ring.) I’m a writer for sites and magazines like The Guardian, Cosmopolitan.com, Refinery29, and NME, and I’m the music editor for Rookie. I also try to make people laugh via my podcast and by talking to/in front of them, and I’ve written for TV, too. Currently, I’m eating a Toaster Strudel.
Did you always see yourself working in your field? I did, yes! I saw it play out a little differently at first (because the Internet wasn’t playing the role in media/comedy circa 2001-2009 that it does now), but I still saw myself writing and trying to make people laugh, yes. I’m unemployable in any other field for sure, so I think even as a teen I knew I had to do something where I could just be myself.
How did you end up in your current position? I’d say through a series of very lucky disasters/Twitter. I tried out a few jobs/careers/school and nothing stuck, so after a year at university (when I was 23), I dropped out and decided to write. I looked up jobs on Craigslist (don’t do that, no one do that) and then used anything I got published to pitch elsewhere, and just kept hustling until writing was my straight-up job.
But that was also primarily music journalism. Around 2011, I started doing more comedic writing and broader pop culture stuff, but by that time, Twitter was a force, so I was able to make friends who were trying to do the same thing, and work together, and meet editors/bosses/comics I really respected, which created what I feel is a really great community. And then you all end up working together because you’re just fans of each other’s work, and it’s a dream.
What’s been the biggest highlight of your career to date? I… don’t know. Man! Um. Honestly, there have been many, and they’re all important to me for different reasons. Recently, it felt really great to go to New York this month. I’d never been before and after a few very bleak years, I was finally able to afford taking myself (which was amazing) and I met pals and editors and editor-pals who I’ve admired for a really long time. And of course, they turned out to be even more wonderful than I thought they’d be, and I was ultimately in awe (and/or Kimmy Schmidt). I literally walked around — backpack in tow — like a smiling freak for about two straight days. And I regret nothing.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Jessica Hopper (whose book just came out — buy it) once said, “Self doubt is poisonous to your work” and it changed everything for me. She’s a force, by the way, so I can’t recommend her writing and/or wisdom enough.
Why do you enjoy what you do? I love it. I really love what I do. To be honest, it feels fake, I love it that much. Like it’s the longest con and/or Truman Show segment to ever exist.