Athena Dixon on Being a Human Being, Not a Brand
In Conversation with Lindsay Hunter on I'm a Writer But
Welcome to I’m a Writer But, where writers discuss their work, their lives, their other work, the stuff that takes up any free time they have, all the stuff they’re not able to get to, and the ways in which any of us get anything done. Plus: book recommendations, bad jokes, okay jokes, despair, joy, and anything else going on that week. Hosted by Lindsay Hunter.
Athena Dixon discusses her new book The Loneliness Files, the cases that inspired the essays, how social media can help and harm the creative process, writing on her phone, being ghosted for writing opportunities, being transparent in the industry, working without an agent, and more!
From the episode:
Athena Dixon: Social media is such a highlight reel, a lot of times, and it’s such a brand thing for a lot of creatives, that we don’t show what it takes to get to those high points. When I started talking about my writing on Instagram, and talking about the highs and lows, I had people coming to me and telling me not to talk about the bad, because you’re building a brand, and the brand is supposed to be positive. First of all, I’m a human being and not a brand. Why would I do a disservice to writers who are still trying to get to some of the milestones that I’ve been able to achieve by lying to them about how many years I had to write and how many submissions got rejected and the steps that it took to get to having a book deal and all the things that I still want to accomplish? Getting an agent has been on my literary goal list for like four or five years at this point and it still hasn’t happened, so I have to be honest.
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Athena Dixon is a poet, essayist, and editor. She is the author of the essay collection The Loneliness Files, out now on Tin House, The Incredible Shrinking Woman and No God In This Room, Winner of the Intersectional Midwest Chapbook Contest. Her work also appears in The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic and Getting to the Truth: The Practice and Craft of Creative Nonfiction.