In the last six years of my writing career (as of 2019 end) I’ve been asked this questions now and again so I thought that I’ll write up a post on it as I am better at writing than verbally explaining my feelings and thoughts.
It always irks me whenever someone, generally an old friend or acquaintance, pings me or sends me a random DM and begin the conversation by saying “I never knew you liked writing” or something on the same lines. It bothers me because it reminds me of how I let someone else’s expectations get the better of me and forgot, for the major part of my life, what I really wanted to be. It irritates me because I never ever told anyone what I wanted to do, not even my own self. I think I simply didn’t dare to dream about it because it was something unimaginable as no one around me was doing it. So I thought I’d finally answer this question once and for all.
How I Started Writing
Unlike most writers, I was not a child-writer (children who start writing beautiful – or shitty – stories from an early age.) Though I did love reading, or to be more specific, I loved stories. Cinderella was my ultimate favorite, not because she ends up being a princess but because, unfortunately, I was able to relate to the first half of her life more than I can still relate to anything else. I belong to a dysfunctional family and suffered from dysthymia from a very early age so I knew how being unloved and unwanted felt. I used to think that I was living in Cinderella’s life.
I used to spend almost all my time in pretend worlds. I used to line up all my dolls and bears and other toys upon returning from school and pretended to teach them whatever I learned in my classes that day or play with my dolls and barbies cooking food with my kitchen sets and feeding my deal mute friends. I was an introvert and was scared of letting people in my life openly so I have barely any friends. Not to mention, I had no best friend. So, I used to pretend that my 1.5-acre tree-covered property was a long-forgotten island where I lived alone. My father was either busy with his business, or friends or drinking and my mother with her special friends, so you see I had a lot of time to myself as I was barely ever in their company.
I had a very elaborate and distinct imagination and as a result of spending most of my time in my own imaginary worlds and being busy talking to either with myself or my toys, I was rarely sad (which might seem odd if you belong to a normal family but I developed a very complex defence mechanism at a very young age.) I used to share my sorrows with my dolls and never real people. My dad loved me but had barely any idea what I was dealing with and my mum simply didn’t love me (she has gone through some bad stuff in her life because of which she has detachment issues.) And as far as I remember I was okay, if not happy, being that way because it was normal for me to be this way.
So I knew that I loved stories and books (and movies), but I found out that I wanted to be a writer on a very special day. I was in 6th grade and as per my school’s curriculum, we had our 1st ever library period in the very first week of starting of that school year. I was completely mesmerized because my school library was very different than my local library – it was my school library (you know! SCHOOL LIBRARY!)
Of course, the first thing that I wanted to read was a good book, but our Sister Principal gave strict instructions to our Librarian to let us pick books from a particular shelf only. That shelf had some educational mags and some similar uninteresting things and I hated the idea of being restricted. And by that point, my enthusiasm for being in the school library considerably dropped and I began missing my local library.
So like everyone else in my class I picked up whatever I could get my hands on and began leafing through it when all of a sudden I came across a poem. It was named something like The Tree (I’m not sure now), but I was so impressed by that poem that I wrote it down in my new ‘Library Notes’ notebook. Which was huge for me because until that day I never really cared for poetry.
After that I read it again and again, switching between the mag from which I copied it and my notebook, for the entire period. After that whenever I used to go to the library (once every week) I used to copy down the poems or articles I found interesting. The thing was I wanted to write so badly that having no idea how to write something on my own, I started to copy whatever I thought was good.
And so on I kept doing till finally, I had to give up those mags for studying references. That was the first time when I actually contemplated becoming ‘one of those people who write all this’ and I remember thinking, after all, there have to be a few dedicated people who wrote stuff for these mags and books? You see, for whatever reason, I was simply not aware at that age that writing was an actual career option.
After that year I lost my normal library routine because I got caught up in studying to fulfil my mum’s dream of becoming an engineer. And thinking that writing was simply not a career option for me, by any stretch of the imagination, I never ever told anyone about it (mostly because I buried this dream so deep inside of me that I barely thought about it again.) That is until I started reading again (and that was after my parents’ divorce at the age of 16.)
I started reading and my grades started dropping (much to my mum and step-father’s annoyance.) Still, I kept on reading because that was the only escape I had. I read most of Sidney Sheldon’s books and then started reading Nicholas Sparks. After that, I read Twilight and a few other books. Due to the scarcity of time, I used to read only at nights taking out half an hour or one hour out of my study time which would always end up in 4-5 hours of reading.
After that, I never really left reading, no matter how my grades were affected (and this is something I’m really happy about and proud of.)
Then I got into Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering and finally coming to my senses, I rebelled against my mum and step-father in my 2nd year of engineering and dropped out of it, and married Vishal. And after that, everything changed forever because I finally started thinking about what I really wanted to do. Still, it took me some time to finally realize that I can become a writer and start writing whatever I wanted to. So after I did 3D Animation Film Making I got straight down to it. I created The Reading Bud and thought of starting with baby steps by writing reviews of books I read.
And then later I started this blog to see if I could write something original, and here I am 6 years down the road with a published novel of my own and working on another 3 books.
Don’t be afraid of dreaming because that is the way you let the Universe know what you want in life. Dream, imagine, believe and work towards it with all you’ve got and soon you will have what you had dreamt of.