I was born and raised in a one-square mile town in New Jersey with a love of reading, a few degrees in English Literature, and plenty of opinions to share.
My spark was ignited by my parents when I was still insanely young. My dad still tells the story of the time he caught me stealing Charles Dickens off of his bookshelf when I was only five. When I was in elementary school, during the summer months I used to have to make reading lists. I would have to read a few chapters each day before I was allowed to go play with friends so that my skills remained sharp when school began come fall. If my list was complete by time I was back in the classroom, I was allowed to get a treat of some kind. At the time, I resented my parents for isolating me to read every single day, but now I can’t seem to thank them enough. My love of stories is what blossomed into a love of reading and writing in middle school, and you could almost always find me with a journal or novel in my arms.
I don’t remember a time when books weren’t in my life, but I really picked up on the habit more than ever during my college years during breaks between classes. I’d spend hours during my down time on campus decompressing and losing myself in another world. Sometimes, my favorite stories gave me inspiration and I began working more seriously on plots of my own. I also had a bit of an addiction to social media which eventually led to downloading the goodreads app. I would write my thoughts on each book the moment I was done reading so that I could process my thoughts and emotions for the journey I had just taken. When I realized just how fun it was to obsess over the amazing story and incredible characters I had spent time with, I branched my sentiments into a Blogger account, and eventually, my own website.
There have been both challenges and surprises along the way. The unexpected good was a direct result of being able to share my love of literature. Through the years of reading, writing, and developing a proper blog space, I’ve gotten to chat with readers and non-readers from across the globe. We discuss the books we all love, and get to delve into our stories over and over. I also love the messages I get regarding someone reading a book because my suggestion or review made them want to experience the story as well. Getting to network with fellow bloggers and authors to help out with book promotions, reviews, cover reveals and more brings a ton of positives and always winds up going in directions you don’t expect. As I’m in the process of writing my own novel, I realize how much authors hustle and market with us bloggers to get their story the recognition it deserves so it’s amazing to feel like you’re contributing to their success even if it’s in a tiny way. My journey has also led me into an International English Literature Honor Society, being accepted to attend Book Expo in NYC a few times, a handful of featured posts on other blogs, and most recently – to my current occupation as a copywriter.
Difficult aspects of running a blog or being a creative person was not only keeping up with the work that’s solely resting on your shoulders, but also the adversity to overcome when you try to make it something more. For me, there was a lot of learning as I progressed, especially once I segued into my own domain. There’s also the desire to see what kind of potential your work has as far as getting your experience to translate in the professional world. As an English Major, more people than I expected told me that my path could only lead to teaching, or wanted to reassure me that the jobs I dreamed of having either didn’t exist or wouldn’t be easy to attain. Knowing you have the skills and experience required to deliver quality work only to be met with silence from potential employers was a lot to go through and definitely not always easy.
There were two times I remember distinctly when I had to make critical decisions or else remain stuck in a rut. The first was when I sat in university, in class-after-class and knowing that going the education route was not for me. I didn’t have the knack or patience to teach or go through the politics of running and handling a classroom. Instead, I wanted to use the English Literature portion of my double major to move in another direction. I thoroughly enjoyed reading, writing, editing, proofing, and more, I needed to take those adorations and transform them into a niche or career. The second was when I realized that with my background and platform I created with my blog, that I needed to part ways with my day job even though it was my only source of income. It wasn’t doing anything to help me become the person I wanted to be in the future. I applied to attend Book Expo for the second time, and I told myself if I got in, that would be my turning point and time to break away. From there, I hoped to network with others who shared my passions and interests to see what opportunities I had.
Walking away from steady income with no guaranteed backup lit a fire in me. I was forced to move out of my comfort zone and still manage to survive financially. I looked for freelance work in order to make a little income, and I spent time dedicated to my resume to really strategize how I wanted to approach a position that would let me use my degree and do something I enjoyed every single day. I fell into a routine of sleeping, meals, and rigorous job searching and writing.
I had searched for work for the better part of 2018 but was unemployed for about 2 months. In order to relieve stress from the terrifying “unknown” factor that my life became, I threw myself back into my blog to really turn it into a space readers wanted to visit, and I continued to work on writing, and even outlined more of my novel. With full days and nights dedicated to the process, I wound up getting a job as a copywriter close to home. My dedication to all aspects of my blog and the pieces I did for various companies while freelancing really got my foot in the door and into a position where I can be creative most days and change up what projects I’m tackling at any given time.
The Blabbing Bibliophile is still going strong, has formed its own book club, and has big plans for the duration of 2019 and beyond. My novel continues to be in the works, but will hopefully be complete sooner rather than later. Life is chaotic but when you get to spend most of it focusing on the things that make you feel alive, you can’t help but enjoy and soak up every moment.