I still remember the day when, as a kid, I picked up a book for the first time. My teacher had informed my mother that my English reading wasn’t quite up to the mark and had hence the emphasized the need for me to put in more efforts.

That evening, I went to the market and bought an adorable Barbie touch-and-feel book. I read it over and over again until I was sure I could read it flawlessly. Whilst this endeavor was initially inspired by my resolve to prove my teacher wrong, I remember how easily this newfound love for the language outdid my wish to prove myself.

Poesie et la vie, a collection of French poems by Mehak Walia

A few years down the line, when I was in the tenth standard, everyone seemed excited about the stream they were going to opt. The only thing I felt sure about was that I didn’t want to give up on English and French.

Tenth grade also has another memory associated with it. My grandmother had recently passed away and, being an emotional girl, I needed to find a way to deal with my grief. I signed up for a poetry competition and ended up winning a prize therein, which further motivated me to hone my creative-writing skills. Even though I had a decent writing habit, I seldom shared my poems with anyone. I decided to submit a few of them as the entries to the competition so that I would at least get a chance of having them published in an anthology. It turned out to be a lot, lot better than that.

I won the competition. It was a dream come true for me. While my family didn’t seem half as excited as I was, it was a surreal sensation.

After my twelfth standard, I had a fairly hard time deciding upon what I wanted to do next. That’s when my parents suggested me to make a career in English. I had managed to score 99 in it, after all. Although it felt weird, I decided to go ahead with a course in English and it was, by far, the best decision I ever made!

During my first year in college, I decided to give short-story writing a try. Even though it was an entirely unexplored genre for me, I ended up winning the competition and had my story published.

That’s when I started working on my first novel. While some people may downplay the difficulty in writing a novel, I literally had to visualize the entire plot. I kept myself motivated with the fervent desire to get it published. Today, as I write this, I’m about a week away from having my third novel published. Time flies, doesn’t it?

Bound of Blood, a novel by Mehak Walia

Even if they won’t say it, I know that my family is proud of me, and so are my friends. I, for my part, take immense pride in calling myself a writer. I have realized over time that there is nothing that makes me happier than these three magical words: I’m a writer. On second thought, finding my book in somebody’s hand, signing copies for my readers or receiving royalties for my works are equally rewarding feelings.

If you too are working hard to become a writer, trust me, you can do this. I won’t sugar-coat it or paint a rosy picture before you – it does take a lot of hard work, efforts and, of course, luck. However, I can assure you that it will be worth the pain when your manuscript ends up on the shelves of a bookstore after making its way past several sleepless nights, countless rejections and numerous changes. So, do yourself a favor and don’t give up!

A NOTE TO OUR READERS

For all those who would like to know more about Mehak, make sure to check out her blog here. If you too are an Indian reader with a story to tell, we are all ears. Getting your story published on Ameya is pretty straightforward, actually. Just click on the button below, fill in the applicable fields and start typing. Once you are done, hit ‘submit’. If you don’t quite fancy the idea of filling random contact forms on the Internet, relax – we’ve got all bases covered! You can simply email your story to us at support@booksameya.in. Once we’ve received your story, our team will get in touch with you and apprise you of its publishing status. Yes, it’s that simple!

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