5 mins read
Everyone has a story. People from different walks of life have a journey and experience to share. My odyssey in the writing world was something that I never expected.
When I was 9, my mother read the essays I wrote in my answer sheet of the English exam. She was taken aback with all the crap I wrote. The piece had every grammatical error that the English language could list out. She was left so shocked that the next day she bought piles of books for me to read which ranged from stories to creative writing. I found it funny because I felt she took it too seriously, though I didn’t want to read them because every child is stubborn and has a natural tendency of not obeying their parent, yet I did at the constant nagging of my mother. And I’m so glad for it today.
A year later my grandfather read an essay which I wrote about him and he was thrilled with the way I put it down. He found it to be too perfect to be true. Since that day, he always encouraged me to write. Had it not been for him and my mother, I wouldn’t have been an author today.
Years later, in 2016, I began to write professionally for magazines, newspapers, and blogs. Luckily I wasn’t restricted to a particular genre and wrote about politics, social causes, fashion, entertainment, and travel. At that time, I felt independent and was glad to be hustling at the side which pursuing my graduate degree.
Writing gave me the peace of mind. It delivered me into a parallel universe where I was surrounded by good people living in a saintly world. It had a much needed positive impact on an idle brain, surrounded by negativity from people.
Back then I never thought that I could write books. That my imagination could be so large and I would be able to write for the most imaginative and creative minds – the children. When an opportunity came knocking I didn’t have second thoughts about it and took it up immediately.
The publishing process for my debut book, ‘Beautiful Inside and Out’, wasn’t easy after all. I had a tough time finding an illustrator and getting the work done before the termination of the contract with the publisher. Apart from minor obstacles in the publishing process, I have no qualms about how the book turned out to be. I wanted the stories to be contemporary which focus on modern day issues of bullying, body positivity, loving beyond color, race or religion, and others themes, simultaneously adding traditional morals from Aesop’s times.
My debut book gave me the tag of an author and embraced my love for creative expression. The goal in all my books is to make children believe that they are beautiful the way they are, and no one can make them think otherwise. With children being exposed to different forms of media, it becomes very relevant in the 21st century.
As I wrote more I understood that my writing style doesn’t involve a plot or brainstorming. The stories are where and how my imagination takes me while writing. Though I love this way of writing as there is no plan I have to stick to, there are minor challenges. When I was writing my novel, I’d go utmost of 2 days waiting for the next line in the story. A twist, tragedy or just a continuation of the story depended on how my mind explored my thoughts in the waiting period until I sat again to write.
Today, I am three books old with Beautiful Inside and Out, Good Exists in all that Exists, and The House of Terry Atterberry solely responsible for writing, financing, and marketing. I had never known better of the things I could do had it not been for these three babies a.k.a books.
Marketing is not easy and I understand the struggle of other writers and poets. Therefore, I decided to help aspiring poets and writers by providing a platform for them on my website www.sheelamharsha.com
I used to pine over marketing the books, but not anymore. I have tried to build avenues to reach a global audience through reviews, guest posts, and blogging. In this process, I was fortunate to be interviewed by authors and book bloggers.
Albert Camus rightfully said, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”
Special thanks to Harsha Sheelam for this awesome guest post! Harsha Sheelam is a writer that concentrates on the issues of today that young teenagers face, and tries to motivate young people towards positivity. You can learn more about Harsha on her website, or you can keep up with her on Facebook and Instagram!