Who ghost writes the Dear Abby column?  I’m wondering specifically about the fake questions.  Not that this one has to be fake – I think it’s reasonable that someone would feel this way.  But it sounds so insincere and its in the same exact voice as all the other letters she “receives.”  Do the ghost writers just wander around making up problems for people, guessing or hoping that maybe someone out there will suffer  from the particular affliction they’ve come up with?  Did the person who wrote this get disappointed at a book signing and work through their feelings by putting themselves in the author’s place (finger painting helps too, fyi)?  Decide for yourself:

DEAR ABBY: I have recently enjoyed the success of having my first book published. However, this achievement has begun to change my life in ways I hadn’t expected.

I am a somewhat shy and reflective person by nature, preferring to live quietly rather than being in the spotlight. Having the freedom to spend time with my family and to enjoy the little things in life is more important to me than success. However, since my book’s debut, I have felt myself pulled into a different sort of world.

I am meeting more “important” people than I can remember, and I am struggling to keep up. My inbox is inundated with questions, appointments and invitations. I am expected at speaking events and signings that don’t feel entirely authentic. I know I would be an idiot not to embrace these opportunities, but I am becoming more and more uncomfortable and stressed. Maybe this just isn’t me.

How can I be who I am without feeling like a disappointment to those who believe in me? — Not What I Expected in the Midwest

DEAR NOT: For your own sake, it is important that you stop being so self-critical. There is more to being a successful author than just writing. You are among the lucky few who has been published, and you now have a responsibility to yourself and to your publisher to promote your work and do public relations.

This is a window of opportunity that won’t last indefinitely, and it’s important that you recognize that fact. In case no one has mentioned it, every business involves relationships. Meeting people of all kinds will prove valuable to you in the future — long after the hoopla of this book has died down.

Stop saying this isn’t you because it is you. And if your schedule is too stressful, cut it back a little.

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