Reading is what made me a writer
by Malika Gandhi
Ever wished you had a time machine? I’m sure, like me, everyone has wished for one at many stages of their lives.
I wanted to be a writer at a very young age, at the age of eight or nine. At that time, something triggered an unconscious thought into my brain of wanting to be a writer. Was it the obsessive reading I did as a child? Perhaps so. The long hours I spent reading words, book after book hadn’t gone unnoticed within my family circle who would tease me about it (I had a tendency to curl up in a corner, take my book out and read, ignoring the activity before me. I always got lost in my book world).
I loved the library. I made several, glorious trips to the big building which contained the published works of those successful writer people! I would rummage through the isle looking for those perfect reads. We were allowed to take out eight books at a time and that is what I did when some would only take out two. I took out my cherished library card and had my eight books scanned into the library system.
My friends would look at me in amazement as I would stash them away in my small satchel and I would smile back at them. When home, I would read them one by one and love every moment. I think I may have broken my own record once, when I read eight books in a matter of eight weeks!
At junior school, we were told to write reviews of all the books we read. That was probably my first real try at writing and I wrote my reviews with enthusiasm. I received many stars and house points too!
I would look at book covers and see the names of the authors and think to myself, one day, I want my name on a book cover. I want to be an author! But what I didn’t know what how hard it was to get there. As years passed from childhood to being a teenager, I kept on reading. Then, at seventeen, I thought I would try my hand at real writing. I bought a typewriter – remember those? I began to write short stories and kept them in a file. I wanted to write articles and sell them to magazine companies; I wanted to see my short stories appear in those magazines but that didn’t happen. This is the time where I would have taken the time machine back to because I never did write those articles nor did I submit my short stories to be published.
Many years turned their pages and I went to university. I began to research plots for my book and I even wrote a few chapters too. Then life stopped me in my tracks. I concentrated on university, my family, my marriage and my children. During those reality stops, writing ‘something’ and beginning my novel again was always on the back of my mind and when I got free time, I would do some scribbling.
Something amazing happened after a short while – the Internet came about! I saw articles on various sites and read them widely as possible, especially the ones which inspired writers like me and advice on how to write the right way.
With my research done, I sat down the final time to write my novel Freedom of the Monsoon – a story of the lives of five individuals, struggling against the Quit India movement in India, 1942.
I think one thing to remember, of which I learnt, was that once you have written a novel, it doesn’t stop there. Write anything and often. One day, that could be your next book.
About the author
Malika Gandhi is a mother of two boys and lives in Leicester, UK. She is a home-maker during the day and spends time writing late at night, when the house is quiet. For more information on Malika and her book Freedom of the Monsoon, please visit her sites:
About Freedom of the Monsoon
It’s August 1942, Mohandas Gandhi calls for immediate independence and the Quit India Movement begins. From the birth of the Movement to the fall of the British Raj in 1947 and the rise of two new nations: India and Pakistan, Ashes of Hope follows the interwoven lives of five friends as they strive to survive these often cruel and murderous times of change.
- Al Jazeera’s Webby Award-winning The Stream at one (journalism.co.uk)
- Reading A Passage to India (maimoonamayrahman.wordpress.com)
- For Sightseeing, There is Gandhi’s Birthplace (socyberty.com)
- Reading ~ nurturing the writer to be (zaraawritingstory.wordpress.com)
- Sometimes Writing Short Stories Pays Big (amhartnett.com)