Being a female author can come with its own set of challenges, especially when one is trying to juggle a career in the demanding field along with a personal life. From burning the midnight oil to pursue writing to managing multiple roles, budding authors share how they used writing as a tool for empowerment.
‘Four Dances of the Moon’ author Shikha Rinchin Tiku explains how every journey is different and so are the challenges. “I got my inspiration for writing from my father, who wrote poetry in his spare time. I wrote my first poem when I was just eight. It was only last year when I was about to become a mother, I felt this urge of fulfilling my goal of becoming a published author, and I embarked on the journey of publishing my first ever poetry book. As they say, it’s never too late. There were a few challenges that I had to overcome during my publishing journey.
“Writing a book requires immense discipline and time management. I am a full time working professional, so setting time aside to create and edit my work was a task. I spent all my weekends working on the book, so that I could get it published by the target date. It was the time when Covid-19 had just hit us, so keeping myself composed was also something that I had to do. I kept myself emotionally resilient to keep at it. I was soon going to be a mother, so managing work, my health, and my book was a challenge. But when you have a burning desire to fulfill your goals, you always find a way,” she told.
There has been an interesting rise in the number of young and empowered women authors who are using the power of their mind and pen to put their thoughts out in the world.
For some authors the journey is more important than the destination. Author Subhashini Prasad, who wrote ‘Not Really Indian’ has this story to tell: “Three years ago, I sat in my office in a commercial bank, running through financial analysis and numbers, when I thought: ‘Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?’ The answer as you see today was obvious. Since I was 11, I wanted to be an author. Days of reading Enid Blyton and Harry Potter inspired me to create stories of my own. When I was at the crossroads of choosing between a stable job and writing, I chose the latter. I decided that if I don’t act on my passion now, I will always regret it. That was the kickstart to my writing journey and has led to my debut book: Not Really Indian. I have also written my first kids book, titled Hoo and Hau, on Storyweaver.”
Challenges, according to Prasad, of becoming an author were aplenty. “Self-doubt and learning to view failures as stepping stones have been the toughest challenges. As women, we have it tougher than the rest. Society expects more out of us and we expect the impossible out of ourselves. So, when I first decided to pursue writing, I always thought I was not good enough to be an author. As a mother of two, I also feel torn between spending time with the kids and finding no-distraction time to write. But as I read other women writers, I realized believing in one’s work is of utmost importance and key to success. And that it is always possible to find time for doing what you love.”
Tanya Walia, Author of ‘Forever’ shares that she had that “writer’s bone” in her from the word go. “I used to keep a journal and I used to write plays for class projects, one time I wrote a poem for someone else and he was appreciated. But I never pursued it from the fear of people’s opinions. Then at 23, I read “The Diary Of A Young Girl’ by Anne Frank and it blew me away how in such a situation she had dreams and hopes of becoming a writer,” she told.
“When I started, I was preparing for a government job and there was a lot of pressure, managing both wasn’t easy. But I think the biggest challenge for me was finding the right publisher because I was new and I didn’t have anyone to guide me. Don’t let the pressure around you break your spirit. If you are happy write and if you are sad write more. Start finding the right publisher from the beginning and not when the book is complete. It can save you a lot of time.”
Young author Anamika Mishra, a motivational speaker and author of ‘For The Sake Of Love” says she was obsessed with stories and storytelling since childhood, and has been writing from school days.
“I remember once when I was a kid, after completing a novel (‘David Copperfield’ by Charles Dickens), I was so inspired by it that I immediately told my mom that I want to write books. I think this kept on hitting my mind. I read more, I wrote more – poems, stories, articles, shayaris.”
Spurred on by her parents to pursue writing as a career, Anamika finds inspiration to be an author in their words even if they’re not here anymore.
As the writers conclude, authors are rarely made overnight, so be patient and persistent until hard work bears fruit.