Success made my sixteen even sweeter. – The journey of becoming a writer
One does not have to be heartbroken to become a poet- Being a young author, people think I have a bed of roses set for me. I’ve been writing since I was 13. My mental health has been questioned so many times as to what went wrong with me that I am into writing poetry. Little did they know, words were my only love.
THE DOPAMINE FACTOR:
An inquisitive kid, who wasn’t afraid to talk to anyone. I loved knowing people, their ideologies, their way of perceiving any given piece of information. Indulging in any sort of conversation, I believe is an opportunity for more self-awareness and growth. You, as an individual perceive things differently, and having someone tell you the other way of doing so, opens doors for more questions, which means an addition to your existing knowledge.
The stage has always been my best friend. The time when I stand behind a podium, speaking the words I penned, releases an abundance of dopamine which no other activity is capable enough of doing that for me.
HOW IT ALL STARTED:
By the time I was in the 5th standard, I started writing a lot more than before. Took part in a number of essay competitions, be it inter-class, inter-school, national, or international level. I took part in all and secured one of the top 3 positions in most of them. I was awarded internationally for writing as well.
Entering 8th grade, my seriousness towards writing was increasing now. There was this one time, I vividly remember, all the students from classes 8th-12th were given to write short poetry, it was a talent hunt. My poetry, out of all my seniors and my classmate’s poetries, was the only one to be selected. I was almost on a cloud 9 kind of situation. I was now on an inclination towards taking up writing as a serious profession.
MY JOURNEY AS A WRITER:
Now I was aware of what I liked and that I was actually good at it, I began indulging in serious writing of poetries and pieces. Writers are generally considered to be sad, with some of the other real-life experiences. But I have been opposing this generalization of perceiving every writer to be associated with some of the other sorts of trauma, in order to be good with words. I have always said ‘you don’t need heartbreak to be a great poet’. The world is your inspiration. It’s basically your visualization and how you talk with a non-living object.
I never let any kind of grief or sorrow influence my writing. My way to go about it is very positive and witty. I have always tried to inculcate more positivity, adding more irony to my pieces, challenging and questioning society’s mentality and social belief.
I WROTE BOOKS, OH BOY YES I DID.
I co-authored my first book at the age of 16. Just last year I turned 18, and I authored my first book, ‘Betwixt the Pink Mountains’. I had just begun writing, so I reached out to the top 7 publication houses in India, as I knew it would take months for them to revert. To my surprise, the publication house which at my topmost priority had reverted with a positive response within 7 minutes. I was about to live a piece of my dream.
They wanted the manuscript ready within 5 days. I start day and night working on my draft. Had cut down on major sleep, no social engagements, locked inside a room just writing, at an age where most children turned adults just study, eat, play, and sleep. I was there working towards my dream.
HOW DID I MANAGE IT ALL?
My journey hasn’t been long as you can imagine, but getting a book published is a trip in itself! When we work on something we love, something we are passionate about, time reduces itself to become just a number. I worked on my debut book- from graphics to editing everything in under a month!
I don’t think you need to be of a certain age to reach your goals. All you need is courage, confidence, and a certain sense of humbleness. I inherit all of it from my lovely family. My parents would keep making me coffee late at night so I continued working round the clock. I think coming from a traditional Gujarati culture helped me stay grounded and in touch with my values- I am proud of my culture. My parents have always been the number one supporters. I am blessed, I know it.
MY BIGGEST STRENGTH IS I KNOW:
There is nothing I have feared since my childhood, my parents didn’t let me. So my biggest strength is that I pen down whatever I strongly believe in, irrespective of what others might have to say about this. I never let anyone’s judgmentṣṣ hinder my peace or influence my writing.
Because as a writer when you get criticized, some of them change their genre and try to serve what the audience wants rather than sticking to what they want to. This is what has been differentiating me from the others. I am proud of my content and the fact that it is relatable to all.
There’s another secret to my success story. I write under the name of Aakruti. This pen- name is a tribute to my later elder sister Aakruti didi. Everything I write is in her name. She is my charm.
The Instagram handle of Dhiti Shah.