Women Interviews-Bailey: Bridging the Gap Between All Things Digital and One’s Passion for Literature

Moving here from a quiet town in California, Bailey is managing an often hectic work schedule while pursuing her true passion of all things literary. Although she works at an online company, she has sworn against products like the Kindle and prefers to read books the old fashioned way.  Bailey is not only an avid reader, she is also a writer and in this interview, she shares with us a familiar struggle: should she keep working at a job ‘like a robot’ or take a pay cut in order to pursue more creative interests.

Age? 26

What Cities Have You Lived In? New York City for almost three years.

What Cities Do You Want to Live In? I can see myself living in New York for a long time, but I would also like to live somewhere Spanish speaking maybe Buenos Aires or Barcelona and I would also like to live in Paris.

Where do you work? I work for an Internet company that specializes in downloadable applications

How much of your news do you get online versus in print?

I’d probably say 90% online. Every morning I get up and read the NY Times. I subscribe to a bunch of magazines, but by the time those come around it’s not really news any more; it’s more of an analysis.

Do you think you would ever invest in a kindle, nook or iPad?

I actually wouldn’t because I am a bit too much of a purist. Part of what I love about reading is actually engaging with the texts. I don’t think I would ever buy any of those products. That’s the one thing that is sacred to me, I am like religious about it; I am not changing.

What projects are you involved in outside of work?

I have become really involved in a blogging community and I started a literature themed blog. Keeping a blog has also led me to different interesting lit-related events. I also hold monthly book swap meetings. There is sooo much going on in this city that like if I still lived in a small town outside of Napa Valley, I wouldn’t meet any writers out there.

I recently had the chance to watch you at a Tumblr event perform one of your writing pieces, which was about a relationship that went sour. How often do you write about relationships or personal issues you are going through?

Sometimes I am inspired by events or people in my own life, and clearly that is the point of view I am most familiar with, but above all I write fiction and any details borrowed from reality are minor, disguised and placed in a different context.

Do you find it easy to meet people here?

I think it’s pretty easy to meet people, but meeting quality people is difficult.

What pisses you off?

Oh I don’t know if we have time for this! Flakiness, liars, people who have a huge sense of entitlement, lots of things, slow walkers, people who stand too close to me on the subway. Oh and people that let their dogs poop on the sidewalk.

What do you envy about others?

Creativity and ingenuity. I wish I were more of an idea person.

Do you feel like you need to do certain things to stand out or do you feel like you are being viewed equally?

Out here on the east coast, I am the only female in my group. I feel like I am viewed pretty equally. I do joke around with them [male coworkers] a lot and give them a lot of sass and attitude just to keep them in check. My boss now is also extra sensitive because I am the only girl.

Do you think it’s harder or easier for a woman to be independent in New York?

I am sure it is tougher but I don’t think remarkably so. I mean a lot of my guy friends can’t walk home late at night, but I always take a cab. Just safety and then also guys in general have more career opportunities out here.

What is your ideal job?

I would like to do something involving books. I am interested in creative expression.

Why not jump in to that field now since you are still at the beginning of your career?

At this point, it would be choosing an entirely different life. I would basically go back in time, re-enter the job landscape and accept an entry-level job (if I could get one) after spending the last four years climbing the corporate ladder in a different field. There would be a huge pay cut involved and a lot of uncertainty given that the publishing industry is going through changes, to say the least.

What is something you are proud of?

I am just really proud of being able to support myself. At my age my mom was already pregnant with me and relied completely on my father. A lot of the time when I bring issues to my mom she is like “that is actually difficult and I never had to do with that because I was married.”

What is one thing you would like to change about yourself?

I would really like to capitalize more on my skills rather than just showing up at work and doing my tasks like a robot. Finding a more fulfilling way to make a living.

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