New Client Alert: Jessie DaSilva
- By: BookEnds | Date: Feb 25 2022
Name: Jessie DaSilva
What you Write: Personal Development
Agent: Jessica Faust
Why BookEnds? I love that BookEnds is so committed to making information about the publishing industry accessible. So much of what the agency shared is exactly what I channeled when I met with Jessica. I felt prepared because of their free videos and blog posts. That commitment to accessibility, along with their commitment to diversity, made them my top choice for representation.
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I prefer to write at my desk as soon as I get up and make coffee (almost) every morning. I don’t even change out of my pajamas. I put my phone on airplane mode, set a timer for 25 minutes, and type nonstop for the entire time, not even pausing to fix typos or read what I’ve written. I take a 10-minute break and do a second session. That’s my minimum.
I find that if I don’t prioritize writing first thing in the morning like that, I’ll get busy the rest of the day and never get around to it. And because I love to write and I think my ideas are fantastic, it gives me a really good boost of self-esteem before I start my day.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
Everywhere! I’m on all social media channels with some combo of J. DaSilva or “The Millennial Money Witch” (Twitter: https://twitter.com/jdasilva Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j_dasilva/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessie.dasilva)
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
The closest thing I have to my ritual is drinking my coffee and taking my ADHD meds immediately before sitting down to write. I get that fresh mental high to channel into writing first thing in the morning.
What do you love about writing personal development?
I love the idea that people can learn how to better their lives through the mistakes I’ve made in my own. I’m an open book (pun intended) when I write, so I don’t shy away from the cringe-worthy moments in my life that make for good lessons. I also love to distill complex information into understandable, bite-sized pieces. I have a knack for it, so I get excited when I think of a good metaphor or get the explanation just right.
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
I’ve been giving advice since I learned to talk. This was a natural fit for me.
What is the hardest part about writing personal development?
The self-doubt around standing out that can come up in such a packed section. It seems like everyone in my industry has written a book. I just keep reminding myself that there’s nothing new under the sun anyway. What makes my book different from the others is, well, me. No one else has my voice, my perspective, my life stories, etc. If my book helps one person feel seen and understood, then it was worth writing.
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
When I was manifesting an agent and book deal, I binge watched the show “Younger” on Hulu. Most of it takes place at a fictional (totally unrealistic and glamorized) publishing house. Seeing people get book deals in almost every episode kept reaffirming to me that it was easy, especially if you had a social media following.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
Honestly, my ADHD is so bad that I would probably still choose my desk with my phone on airplane mode. I couldn’t handle the distractions of a new location!
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
What was the most important question you asked when interviewing agents?
“What’s your vision for my book?” I have big dreams for my writing career. I wanted to make sure my agent had the same big dreams for my work as well.
How did you know your book was ready to submit?
I had four solid chapters and I knew exactly where I was going and how they fit together. I felt so prepared to talk about any and every topic within the book. It felt very clear to me. And I couldn’t stop talking about it to everyone I met!
Photo of Jessie DaSilva by Antonio Hunt, Jr.