Put Yourself Out There and Watch the World Change.
I started writing at the age of six and, since then, all I’ve ever wanted to be was a writer. I found a home in words and poetry, a kind of music that touches the deepest corners of my darkest parts, a touch that set ablaze all of me. Writing became my passion. I knew it was my calling.
But it wasn’t an easy start. When, early on, I started writing for my school newsletter, I was bullied and forced several times by my peers to quit. Everyone around me told me I wasn’t good enough. At a very young age, I learnt what it felt to be vulnerable and because of it, I felt shy and was socially awkward. Little did I know that I would be the same girl who’d soon go on to win international awards, speak at a global platform in Australia, and introduce a movement and writing platform in India.
I didn’t stop contributing to my school newsletter because something within me ached to be heard. My voice wanted a platform, and despite the criticism, I wanted to do justice to the voice within me. I wanted it to be heard. So I started looking for opportunities beyond my school. I spent hours every day mailing editors and pleading them to take a look at my work. Oh, the rejections. But I couldn’t let them deter me. I told myself that every rejection that comes my way will only make me work harder. It helped to have extremely supportive parents, who’ve always urged me to pave my own path and chase my dreams relentlessly.
Soon enough, I was being published in various magazines in India and abroad. The real breakthrough, however, happened when I won an international award for my poem, ‘After I die’. I was invited to New York University to collect the award. My trip to New York and my interactions there with various editors, publishers and filmmakers changed my life entirely. Performing my poem in front of thousands of people widened my horizon and perspective in ways I could not have imagined. I realised the power of simply putting yourself out there and chasing your dreams, no matter what the obstacles are.
My career has taken me many places and given me the opportunity to do wondrous things. It has also presented before me great struggles. But every struggle is a learning and every learning makes for a wonderful story.
Follow your inner moonlight and do things that feed your soul. Find the inner voice that plays with your demons and seduces your angels. Discover the depth of your being. Cultivate your weaknesses into something solid, and then work on that base.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt it is that, truly, the world is our oyster. My greatest life lesson has been this: You can do absolutely anything. You could move mountains if you wanted. Every day, the world offers us endless inspirations and opportunities. Simply believing in your dreams is half the battle won. Just throw yourself out there.
What an enchanting read! Beautifully written, Niti.
Very well framed…