Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Empowered Wednesday: Paper Trail Diary

Welcome back bookworms! Another week, another creator! This week I have another blogger who not only has been in the game for a while, but she now has started selling her very own banners on Etsy! Including with that, she also has a love for snail mail (Which I definitely have to agree is awesome!) so with that being said, let's get started!!

Q: Can you tell our readers about yourself and what you do?
A: I run a blog/web shop called The Paper Trail Diary! On the blog, I write about books, zines, snail mail, and crafts. On the shop, I sell zines and banners. I also am a co-host of monthly letter-writing events at Toronto’s First Post Office, and The Book Lover Postcard Swap. I’ve also created The Chain Letter Short Story Project and The Notebook & Pen Swap. I work at Playwrights Canada Press - we publish Canadian plays - doing sales and marketing. So basically I am a serious fire hazard.

Q: How did you first get into blogging and your shop and when did you decide to take the leap and go for it?
A: For blogging: I started out writing a music blog about a decade ago, in a former life. I switched to my current topics about four and a half years ago. I honestly can’t really remember my specific ‘whys’ - wanting to share what I like and am interested in via the written word has always been a part of me. I went to journalism school and work in marketing, so it’s natural! As for creating: I’ve been making zines for many years, and over the last couple years I’ve become more interested in pursuing more crafts. There’s so much I wish I could do!

Q: Who or what inspired you to do what you are doing now?
A: I’m constantly inspired by other makers and creators - I scroll through Instagram and it’s full of gold! 

Q: How would you describe your style with blogging and creating for your shop?
A: Informal, friendly, sassy, cute.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
A: Well, I guess my spare time is for my blogging/creating, since the Press is my day job! I also watch a lot of Netflix, cuddle with my cat, and play dumb games on my iPad. I like to go to movies with friends, and go 

Q: What is one thing you wish you knew starting out with blogging and your shop or something you could have told your past self?
A: Blogging/creating can be exhausting, even when you love it. 

Q: What would be your ideal working environment?
A: Ooh. Somewhere air conditioned is number 1. It’s been unbearable crafting at home in the summer with no AC in my office! I like my home space I’ve carved out for myself (although I could definitely do with more space). Lots of shelves and such. A nice cozy chair for reading is what I really want right now!stationery shopping!

Q: How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog and shop going?
A: Oh gosh, it can be so hard sometimes. I try and keep ‘inspiration’ boards on Pinterest, Instagram, etc. and remember names of other creators I like to look at for inspiration. Planning a schedule ahead of time works sometimes. LISTS! I make a LOT of lists.

Q: What do you find the most frustrating and/or challenging aspect of blogging and creating?
A: Is it weird to say that I never have the light/space I want for Instagram? And finding the energy/time to sit down and write out a solid blog post. There’s so much I want to do with my site that I haven’t done yet.

Q: How much time do you spend blogging and creating and is it a hobby or job?
A: It’s kind of a mix of hobby/job I guess, but still a huge chunk of my spare time. Evenings and weekends - I craft and read to relax, and then the blogging comes after.

Q: Can you name some of your favourite bloggers/authors/shops and explain why they’re your favourite?
A: Bloggers: Barb from Rite While U Can (and my Book Lover Postcard Swap co-host) for her penchant for finding such cool mail-related things, Pop! Goes the Reader for her knowledge of the kidlit genre, and Michele from Just a Lil’ Lost for her enthusiasm and wisdom. 

Authors: Jennifer Mathieu for Moxie and being a feminist/political high school teacher, Becky Albertalli for Upside and putting up with a bajillion wackadoodle fans, Angie Thomas for THUG and her Insta stories about her Sims, Menna van Praag for her absolutely magical books that take me away, Whitney Gardner, Julie Murphy, Katrina Leno… I could keep going. 

Shops: Curiosa for being the go-to place for Harry Potter and HP-related things in Toronto and its sister store The Paper Place for being the Place Of Dreams, The Regional Assembly of Text for being the kind of store I could live in, Queenie’s Cards for being the homebase for everything cute, for being the place where I get most of the cute paper I use for banners, and Michael’s for being right next door to my office O_O

Q: What would be your go to meal, outing and Starbucks/Tim Horton’s Drink
A: Meal: The first thing that came to mind was good chicken fingers and fries, ha! Outing: stationery/book shopping. Tim Horton’s drink: iced coffee with milk, no sugar!

A: Kiss, Kill and Marry:
(Uncle Jesse from Full House, Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles, and Jess Mariano from Gilmore Girls)
Odd choices… um. Kiss Uncle Jesse because eh it’s just once, Kill Jake Ryan because he gives me the icky feels for some reason, and marry Jess Mariano, because he likes books.

Q: If you were stuck on an Island what would be the three things you would want with you?
A: A full set of the Harry Potter novels (that counts as one!), a notebook, and a pen. 

Q: What sort of advice can you give to anyone out there that’s thinking about starting a blog/novel/shop?

A: Be mindful of how much time it will take up. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, find what flow works for you. It’s okay to get stressed out and still love what you do. Make things you enjoy!

Here's Where You Can Find Jess!

That's all for this week's Empowered Wednesday's! I hope you enjoyed this new feature! Check back here next week where a brand new creator will be featured on the blog!!

So until the next time, Keep Reading!

Your Graduated Bookworm!! :)

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