June 23, 2015

From My Bibliophilia Addiction To Writing: How One Promise Changed It All

 Yes, you caught me! I am a self-professed bibliophile. For those of you that don't know, a bibliophile is a word that consist of the Latin prefix biblio- or book and the suffix -phile which means lover of, which directly translates into lover of books. As Collins English Dictionary would define it, a bibliophile is "a person who loves or collects books, especially as examples of fine or unusual printing, binding, or the like" (1). I would define it as simply a book lover, and I don't mean that in the 50 Shades of Grey sense. I mean that in an unquenchable and undeniable wanton thirst to be submerged in books, with no regard to genre, or length, or even place. Whether in a bookstore or a park or even at the gym, a thirst for a good book is the driving force to exsistance.

I am not exaggerating. I love books. I love seeing them, holding them, collecting them and reading them. In fact, my most favorite place is standing in the middle of an aisle in a bookstore: standing under the glaring lights, in the middle of a carpeted floor, and facing row after row of endless options-- of books. I love the act of running my fingers over the spine and carefully tracing the contours of each book until I select one. One to pull out and hold in my hands, one to carefully hold
between my fingers as I purse my lips. One to flip over in my hands as I stare at the cover art trying to decide if this is a novel that resonates with me.  Each moment, is exhilarating and intense. Each minute with a book in my hands, is a measure in time that can be counted through my each slight inhalation of the intoxicating fumes of ink covered pages. Each flip of the page, each wordless skimming, is a beginning of a chain reaction that leads itself to the countless number of books that make it to my own book shelf, floor, bed, dressers and even work areas. Take one step into m living quarters, and you will undoubtedly find yourself in a living work of art; my home might as well be one big bookshelf for which I simply house my things.

So, its not hard to assume that I am not ashamed to say that books are my first love (second, is art, and oh-- did i mention family, never mind), and I indulge in it often. In fact, I still have the very first book I have ever owned on my book shelf. It is called Flutterby, and I found it in a yard sale. I remember I begged my mother for it, and she gladly paid 10 cents contributing to a habit that would follow me for years to come. The book was about a horse who burst from a cocoon with no knowledge of who he is, his origins, or his place in the world. That one book set the stage for a life long obsession. Who would have thought a flying Pegasus would teach me my little place in the world at such a young age?

However, I didn't want books to be my secret obsession. in fact, it is a very hard secret to keep as I am always with one. I couldn't live with just the thought of seeing them on shelves once or twice a week. I made them my career. I studied books, I majored in it, and then I even made a career of teaching about them. However, I don't want to stop there. I refuse. I have reached an impasse in my life, whereas reading books isn't enough. Its not enough to simply purchase my books from avid bookstores and as with any addiction it is time to take it to the next step. I needed to become a dealer, a supplier-- of books. Now, I had reached the precipice of my love and connoisseurship, I was ready to start  writing them. Although, I admit that I have been dabbling in writing for years, every since elementary school like any good, book-loving bibliophile, but I have never really pursued it. I have decided to take another journey in the crossroads of my life into publishing. This is where things get tricky.

See in order to write books, I had to exchange one type of obsession for another. I mean, you would think that writing books is the same as reading them. It isn't. It's not even close. One requires you to peer into another world and adopt its surroundings. It's a glimpse into another realm, while the other forces you to create one. To create people and situations and problems and heroes and beast; to create the Monsters that we all fear, the love that we all crave and the heroes that we all want to come save us from our on begrudgingly little lives. So, the hardest part of becoming a writer is that  I had to stop reading books. Not completely, I'm an addict, but definitely not as much as before.

I know that sounds weird, but it's so true. To start writing books, I had to sacrifice reading them. I had
to make time to fill the books with my stories, and to share my ideas with the world, so that other bibliophiles could enjoy my work. See, the biggest problem with becoming a writer is having time to write books, especially the kind of books people want to read. Time is truly of the essences, which is something that you can ever have enough of. So, I had to sacrifice my love of reading books for my love of writing books. In fact, last year around this time, I made a profound statement. I said and I quote, "The next book I read, will be my own" and I refused to buy another book until I had finished my first novel.

It was a novel ideas (pun intended) that eventually paid off. I was able to publish my first work of fiction in 9 months in the same amount of time it takes to have a baby (the symbolism is definitely not lost on me). Thus, I had to change my obsession and my passion from a hobby to a full blown profession, which takes a lot of sacrifice, research and time. Time from your friends, your family and even from your precious books. However, it's doable and that is my advise for every bibliophile that wants to become a writer. It's doable, but you have to be willing to make the sacrifices. You have to be willing to make the time, and you have to be willing to take a break from reading someone else work to create your own.

Regardless, that is why I'm starting this blog. This blog is meant to share my passion with the world in a unique way. Not only do I want to share my love of books and reading, but I want to share my love for writing. I want to give you a peek into my crazy life, and hopefully you come back with useful tidbits and information for yourself, so that you can create your own stories. As of today, I am more than just a bibliophile, I am a bibliophile turned writer.

Work Cited
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Dawnell Jacobs is the author of The Shade of Devotion, Brains Not Included, Black Magic, and The Monsters of Within: Heart of Darkness. She has also published a self-help book Your Story Matters: Leaning How To Be The Author of Your Destiny. You can find all of her books on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, and Barnes And Noble. She is also a motivational speaker to young audiences. She uses her personal journey to inspire hope and change. All pictures and entries in this blog are subject to copyright laws. ©Dawnell Jacobs 2018. 

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