WHO AM I? My name is Marisa Donnelly, I’m a full-time creative and professional content writer/editor, Founder & CEO of Be A Light Collective, part-time teacher, bonus mom, and dog-lover.
I currently reside in San Diego, California where I spend too much time in the sun.
What is the best thing that I love about my work? In early 2018, I founded my business which gave me the freedom to work for myself and anywhere I want. I love that I have the flexibility to schedule my days, calls, time, and location. I love that I also get to pour my heart into my work every single day. My job is a combination of writing, editing, and teaching – all things that I’m passionate about. To be able to do those things every day is such a blessing.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? I used to think that happiness was something we worked for. Now, I recognize that happiness is all around us. It’s present. Happiness, to me, is being able to wake up every morning and make the best of the day. Happiness is what I create, what I see, what I cultivate all around me.
What is my greatest fear? My greatest fear is not living/creating a meaningful life.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I’m very much a workaholic for the things I love. I’m driven and passionate, sometimes to the point that I neglect myself and what I need.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? I admire women who are fiercely passionate about what they do. I’m particularly a fan of female writers, too, because they pave the way in expressing their hearts through words and I personally resonate with that as a writer myself.
What is my greatest extravagance? I try to live a relatively simple life, but when it comes to clothes, I do love to dress myself in things I care about. I see clothing as a form of expression. I’ve never been concerned with brands or labels, but I do have quite a few items of clothing – definitely more than I need.
On what occasion would I lie? As a bonus mom to my boyfriend’s son, I’ve learned that sometimes you have to lie to children to protect them. There are things you can’t always reveal in the moment, but you can craft in better terms and present to them later.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I don’t always know how to say ‘no’ when it comes to work-related matters, so if there had to be something I dislike about my work and career, it would be how much it becomes sometimes.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I am the happiest when I have client calls and can see my clients growing and becoming more vulnerable through their written work (writing coaching) or self-work (empowerment coaching). It’s so inspiring to see them grow and know that I play such a key role in that process. I also love the moments I can just pour my heart out in my own personal writing – there’s nothing like it.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I would change my fear of what others think. I tend to fall on the empathetic side, and I prioritize others’ needs before my own for fear of them not liking me. This isn’t always healthy, and although my big heart has blessed me tremendously, sometimes I wish I could worry less about what others think and focus more on what I think and feel.
What is my greatest achievement in work? I launched my business, Be A Light Collective (writing coaching, editing and tutoring services company) at age 25.
Where would I most like to live? I love living by the beach. San Diego, although not my home, has become a home. I love where I live, but would definitely love to grow roots in Italy.
What is my most treasured possession? Honestly, this is such a hard question. There are things I care about, but nothing that I really ‘treasure’ because I think I treasure people and words more than items/things.
What is my most marked characteristic? People say that I’m vulnerable and passionate. You can see that in my writing, my calls, my interactions – it’s something that truly does define me.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? I am in awe of the ocean. Any time I can work or write by the water, I am instantly inspired.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Sorrento, it’s an authentic Italian restaurant in Little Italy, San Diego.
What books influenced my life and how? Beloved by Toni Morrison, A Face First, and My Sister’s Keeper. These books really resonated with me, taught me the power of words, and inspired me to write myself.
Who are my favorite writers? Kim Addonizio, Maya Angelou, Jodi Picoult
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? House/beach/chill music
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Women who aren’t afraid of their voices.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Freedom Writers
What role does art play in my life and work? I am a fan of ekphrastic poetry, which is poetry written from an image. I use art to help inspire my writing often.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? This sounds silly, but my dog. He is my companion for whenever I’m writing, wherever I go, and fills my life with so much joy. Of course I’m so incredibly blessed by supportive family and friends, but if I were to think of a ‘partner in crime’ that would be my dog. He’s my little sidekick all the time.
Whom would I like to work with or meet in 2019? Other female leaders and entrepreneurs.
What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on? My goal is to take my finished manuscript (for my new book!) and get it published. I’m also excited about launching my product shop for Be A Light Collective.
Where can you see me or my work in 2019? You can find my work on my website, my business on the Be A Light Collective website, Facebook, or Instagram, and my personal writing on my blog or motherhood page. I also am active on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you’re interested in reading my poetry book, you can find it here or on Amazon.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? This really resonates with me. When you’re passionate about something, you’re never done.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Rania Naim
How can you contact me? You can contact me through my website, social media, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org