We've been following Amber Burns on Instagram for some time now—eating up her travel pics, book recommendations, and inspiring posts about self-love and care. So of course we jumped at the chance to get to know this "Paris-obsessed bookworm" a little better. Check out her interview below to find out her favorite reads, where she finds motivation during this strange time, and more.
What does a typical day look like for you lately?
A bit different in 2020 than other years! I’m usually up by 6 or 7, make coffee and then try to read, meditate or journal for 15-20 minutes before jumping into work. The rest of the day is full of calls, emails, getting work done and, usually, another cup of coffee. Once the work day is over I like to wind down with a glass of wine and curl up with a book or something fun on Netflix!
Congrats on writing your first novel! How has that process been?
It’s been a process for sure! The ups and downs of this year have definitely zapped a lot of my creative energy. I’ve been super grateful for the online writing community for keeping me motivated and inspired over the past few months. I’m really excited to end the year with a good chunk of my writing done.
How have you been finding writing motivation during these past couple months?
It’s so hard. I think it’s been helpful to give myself a lot of grace, and accept that every day isn’t going to be super productive or inspired. Sticking to set routines has also helped a lot to maintain some semblance of normalcy and push through the mental fog and anxiety.
What are some important things you’ve learned about content creation over the years?
Content creation has changed so much over the past five years, and is only going to change more. It’s crazy to think that just a few years ago, there were no Instagram stories, no Reels, TikTok, and most videos on YouTube were under 10 minutes. Everything has flipped! I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned is always be ready to embrace change, but never sacrifice your authentic voice to do it.
I’m honestly inspired by so much! Life is so rich and is filled with inspiration if you take time to look. I’m always writing down notes and letting my imagination run wild, and get some of my best ideas when I’m out and about people watching.
What is your favorite book at the moment? Is there a quote that sticks out to you?
One of my favorite books of all time is The Mothers by Brit Bennett. I reread it at least once a year. It’s such a great story about young love, finding your way and the price of mistakes. There are so many good quotes in that book, but one that sticks out: “sometimes the glory was in rebuilding the broken thing, not the result but the process of trying.”
What is your most unexpected book recommendation?
Probably the Arch of Scythe trilogy. I don’t gravitate towards dystopian books often but I devoured all three books within a week and loved every second of reading them!!
Where are you most excited to get back to once you finally make it back to Paris?
Just Paris! As a self confessed planner and control freak, Paris is pretty much the only city where I feel free to wander without a plan. That’s the best part of the city. It takes you where you need to go, when you need to go there. Just point me in the direction of the nearest patisserie as soon as I land!!
How long have you been journaling? What impact do you feel it has had on you personally?
I’ve kept a journal since I was old enough to write in one! I always thought it was so cool to keep a record of your life and feelings. I think the greatest impact it’s had on me is seeing process and growth over the years when I go back and read old journals. I think it’s easy to feel like nothings changed but reading my thoughts from 6 weeks, months or years ago helps to put things in perspective.
Your journaling prompts are so inspiring––do they come from your own journaling habits that day?
Thank you!! Most of them come from inspiring things I’ve read or journaled about!
What brought you to Philadelphia? Do you have a favorite hidden treasure of the city?
I came to Philly to go to Temple University and then never left! I love the city so much, and Philly has been very good to me. I don’t know how hidden it is, but I love Shofuso Japanese Garden! Such a tranquil spot to spend a few hours.
What has been your favorite accomplishment among all of your different avenues of creating?
Building a really great community of folks. It’s amazing to see people come together, admit that they’re trying their best and that self care isn’t always glamorous. My audience is so amazing and truly motivates me to keep creating, regardless of numbers or any other metrics. I’ve met so many incredible people through creating online.
Who would be a dream member of your book club?
Mindy Kaling. She’d bring the funny moments but also those deep moments of introspection the group needs!