It’s the little things that inspire me: a pause between each breath, the syncopated moments of life. I try to stay present because life unfolds in moments, revealing the most beautiful and tragic things in ways that often get overlooked. My passion is to capture those unnoticed moments in words. But doing that is not easy. There are times when I stare at the computer screen for hours with little to show for it. I might feel inspired but can't get anything out in writing. The challenges are plenty. I have a full-time job and personal responsibilities that take up my time and energy, leaving little room for writing. Then there are my internal fears of failure, of not being good enough, which often block my creative flow.
So why have I stayed committed to writing despite all the distress and frustration it, at times, puts me through? It's more than just my love for words and for storytelling; writing brings meaning into my life. It brings a deep sense of fulfillment. And so I accept my challenges. I find ways to move through the blocks, no matter how difficult. I set goals, create schedules, organize myself to make time to write. Because if I want writing to be more than just a hobby, if I want to share my words, tell my stories, I have to do whatever it takes to hold myself accountable to writing. It’s the only way I can do what I love in a consistent way.
It’s important to know yourself as a writer. Know your writing habits, your challenges and your strengths. Know that writing is often a lonely process where it’s just you, your thoughts and the computer screen in front of you for hours on end. Know never to fall in love with your first draft, that even your greatest piece of writing has room for improvement. But also know when to be content with what you have. More importantly, know what your needs are as a writer in order to get your words out to the world.
Mentorships, as well as reading a lot and taking writing workshops, have been key in shaping my journey to becoming a writer. Mentorship programs, such as the one with Diaspora Dialogues, have allowed for experienced writers to engage with my work. Their valuable feedback has helped strengthen my writing voice and pushed me towards becoming the writer I want to be.
Learn more about Shadi here