If you follow my Twitter, you may know that I’m a bit of a fan of Bianca Bass. Her blog is one of those gems that just keeps on giving.
Bianca writes expertly on all things motivational, from starting a business to better self-esteem and self-belief. She’s a huge inspiration to me and I was over the moon when she agreed to interview for This Stuff Is Golden!
When did you realise your passion for writing?
It all began with my love for storytelling. I’ve forever been fascinated by stories – real, human stories. As a child, I was so much more interested in listening to the adult conversations than playing with the other children. The human condition fascinates me – I always wonder what drives us? What makes us? What breaks us? So, as an extension of this curiosity, I’ve always loved writing about the things I’ve seen, the things I’ve felt and the things I’ve experienced.
My earliest writing memory is aged 7, using an ancient version of Microsoft Word to create my very own magazine! It was called Heroine, and I used to interview the women around me and feature their stories. As it was the 90s, I definitely think it was ahead of its time…!
What is your favourite thing to write?
Interesting question. I started my career as a copywriter, working for some of the biggest names in publishing and e-commerce. In my first roles, I wrote everything from product descriptions for Selfridges, to marketing copy for John Lewis. But as my career has grown, I’ve learnt that anything with a more emotive element is my forte. I love writing brilliant marketing communications that get people’s attention and entice them into action.
Overall, though, my favourite thing to write is my personal blog posts for BiancaBass.com. I love writing that is raw, honest and leaves me feeling afraid to hit publish. That, for me, is writing at its best. When the words are coming through you, not from you.
To any writers reading this, my advice is simple: if you wouldn’t read it yourself, don’t publish it. That’s my litmus test when coming up with new ideas: does this excite me? Would I click on this? Would I share this? There are a lot of people creating content out there. Make sure yours adds value to your readers’ lives.
What does your normal day look like?
I’ve recently been promoted to Senior Copy and Brand Manager at TripAdvisor (yay!), so during the week, my days are spent there. I could be reviewing design guidelines, coming up with a new branding campaign or editing a piece of content from one of the writers in my team.
Then, in the evenings and weekends, I work on my blog, BiancaBass.com. To stay inspired, I make sure I never travel without a new podcast or book on the go. I consume a lot of ideas, and then I share those ideas with my audience.
What was the turning point of your career (so far)?
At 23, I was headhunted to lead a team of copywriters. I was COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone, but it was the best thing ever. Why? Because it taught me that I love to coach others. I learnt that I feel most alive helping other people live their best lives.
I’m now setting up my own coaching business (!!!) and am incredibly excited about the year ahead. If I can help other people not only believe, but reach their potential with their writing, careers or otherwise, I’ll be truly happy.
Have you ever felt like giving up? If so, how did you overcome that?
Of course! On the regular. Everyone you’ve ever admired has felt like giving up. Often. Plus, it doesn’t go away once you’re “successful”. It’s part of the human plight, so I think it’s all about how you manage your insecurities. With my blog, for example, whenever I feel frustrated that things aren’t going how I’d like, I take a step back, I leave my laptop behind and I go for a walk to clear my head.
Being kind to yourself is so important. Knowing when to take a break is so important. You learn all these things with time, but the earlier you realise that success isn’t linear or ever simple, the easier everything becomes. I only ever focus on the step ahead of me, as I trust that it’ll guide me to the next. Your speed doesn’t matter. Forward is forward.
What are you most proud of (professionally)?
In the corporate world, leading great, high-functioning teams and being respected for my femininity and emotional intelligence.
Creatively speaking, building a space on the Internet where thousands of people can read and connect with no-bullshit career content.
What do you think makes a great blogger/writer?
Curiosity and being unapologetically yourself.
Have you ever had to self-teach yourself anything that has helped you with your career today?
Every day! I plan to be a student of anything and everything for the rest of my life. Most of my career has been based on Googling, figuring it out and making it happen.
Do you have a book that changed your life/favourite book you’d recommend to everyone and anyone?
For self-help and general inspiration: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero.
For an example of excellent, excellent writing: The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa.
What is your favourite genre to read and why?
Honest books filled with heartfelt, thought-provoking essays.
Any favourite bloggers?
Jen Carrington, Alexandra Frazen, Sarah Von Bargen, Marie Forleo.
Do you have any other creative outlets/hobbies?
Film is my favourite storytelling medium. In fact, I grew up wanting to be a filmmaker. Maybe one day I will.
Biggest supporter of your career?
In my personal life, my mother. She was the first fan of my writing and has been feeding me ideas and encouragement ever since. But also my readers. People like you, who share my work and are my inspiration to keep going.
What helps you get through a stressful day?
Eating well, taking deep breaths and only ever focusing on the 24 hours in front of me. Oh, and admitting when I need help. That part is important.
What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?
Keep doing things before you’re ready. Trust the timing of your life and know that you will live many lives.
Any favourite quotes that particularly motivate/inspire you?
So many! Too many! The first quote that ever really stuck with me is actually from a Jay Z song! I was a teenager when I heard him rap, “nobody’s built like you, you design yourself”. I’ve been designing and reinventing my life ever since.