Bloggers Can't Be Trusted: How Career Burnout Led To Writing My First Novel - GangStarr Girl : GangStarr Girl

Bloggers Can’t Be Trusted: How Career Burnout Led To Writing My First Novel

[ 22 ] February 8, 2016 |


I started writing Bloggers Can’t be Trusted as a way to cope with my very first magazine job, where I worked under someone I’d like to refer to as Bellatrix Lestrange. It started as a series of morning journals I began writing (via Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way) for therapy (because my work environment was that toxic because of said individual). I didn’t plan to do anything with the journals except for sort out my feelings and calm my soul, but even after that magazine job ended (I got laid off), I continued working in toxic environments and with toxic people, and the journal began taking a life of its own and turned into the book I am about to put out.

I decided that I was serious about becoming an author at some point in my career when I was in college. Back then, I imagined that the occasion would be celebrated with a massive book deal with a major publishing house. I held on to that notion for a long time because I felt like the ultimate props for a writer was to get a book deal. It’s still an amazing concept, I mean, I’d love to be like one of these mediocre reality stars, or a white girl with a blog, who gets a million dollar book deal just because, but I digress. Reality doesn’t always work that way, so I let go of exclusively wanting to get published by a major about two years ago. By then, life happened, I was burned out, near nervous breakdown (or maybe even in the middle of one, in hindsight), and I decided that I wanted to self-publish because I didn’t want to deal with anyone else’s bullshit.


Bloggers Can’t Be Trusted, once I realized that it would be my novel (because I have scrapped it and restarted many times), is a parody of many of my experiences in entertainment media. I have encountered so many unreal people and situations (good and bad), that I really should have written a tell-all, but tell-alls aren’t my style.

Surprisingly, despite the fact that that BCBT is basically an eff you note to everyone for all the burnouts and near nervous breakdowns (I was actually diagnosed by a therapist as having work-related PTSD), it still turned into a love story. The main character, Nyela, falls in love with Olu Major (we’ll get to that in a second), but she also learns to love herself again. Here’s the synopsis from the back of the book:

Nyela Barnes is a respected entertainment journalist who seemingly has it all, but the luster of her once fulfilling career has started to fade. With pseudo writers and social media stars continuing to water down the art of real reporting and her boss at Spark magazine micromanaging her every move, Nyela is desperately in need of a change.

The idea of chasing a new dream of becoming a screenwriter reignites Nyela’s fire, but her world gets turned upside down when she starts a romance with Olu Major, the hottest actor-turned-rapper in the game. Overnight, she goes from being the one telling the story to being the story, as her name becomes the source of gossip blog fodder.

Supported by her talented, zany friends and quirky family, Nyela is determined to figure out the identity of anonymous blogger Chatty Abernathy, who seems hell-bent on destroying her reputation and budding relationship.

The frustrating nature of her career became more of the underlying theme as you read and often want to strangle her for being smart, but not always finding herself in the best situations. My goal is to release BCBT at the end of the month, but I have no team to help me since I am self-publishing, and I find that the book just hasn’t been ready. I’d keep setting a date and then pushing it back. I hate to be vague about it, but do know that it’s coming soon.

In the meantime, I do have more posts planned around the book that will hopefully pique your interest (and yes, the title will be explained), so check back in with me every so often for updates. Also, I’m not saying that I’ll never at least try to get a book deal, but this time around, self-publishing just feels right at the moment. I will eventually break that down too.

Feel free to sign up at the Bloggers Can’t Be Trusted mailing list below for occasional updates: 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Tags: , , ,

Category: Pop Culture, Reflections

About the Author ()

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a recovering journalist who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine.

Comments (22)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Nki Sawyer says:

    Love what you are doing, keep inspiring!

  2. tuttifrutti3 says:

    In the words of some rapper and me, your mother… keep your head up! I am very proud of you and know that your grand-parents; Vergie and Warren are beaming down on you!

  3. Andreas Hale says:

    You know I’m going to spend my money with you Starr!

  4. Nichole Nichols says:

    I can’t wait to read this, Starr! You are so inspiring : )

  5. Sanaa Brooks says:

    I LOVE this, especially because I too write morning notes in my phone while commuting because sometimes I just need to vent and I’ve also thought of turning them into a book. Looking forward to it!

    ~ Sanaa

  6. Redhead says:

    You’re amazing! But you know that already.

  7. Emerald112 says:

    I can’t wait to read this! As a black writer, I have encountered all types of ridiculousness. When your book hits, I’ll help you promote it via Twitter! Love to see my girls shining! 🙂 My handle is @pinkkballoons 🙂

  8. Kristen says:

    So excited for this Starr and deeply inspired. I can’t wait to read it, and yep, I’ll wait 🙂

  9. Yay, can’t wait for this book to drop!

  10. Mia Hall says:

    Go Pirate! You’re so awesome. i can’t wait to check this out – getting a printed copy and I’d like it signed please:)!

  11. Sallome Hralima says:

    Just purchased mine!

Leave a Reply