I've loved books since I was a little girl. I have no natural talent in terms of music or sports, and believe me, I've tried (violin, piano, recorder, tennis, soccer, football... the list goes on). But loving books required no talent, no natural agility, all you needed was a library card. By the age of 12, I was a fully bona fide loner, but I surprisingly didn't mind. Books taught me that there were no minor roles, every role is important, every point of view is worth exploring, and a well-written story is diverse and dynamic. In all narratives, even high school, someone had to be the loser, and I took that responsibility on my chest. I found acceptance in the dystopias of Orwell, the lush villages of Tagore, and the English countryside of Austen. I did not judge the characters and they did not judge me.
In the past four years, I found myself revisiting the loner persona of my childhood and for some reason, I forgot how much solidarity fictional characters can provide. But I recently found myself rediscovering my lost love, like meeting a lost lover and knowing that this time, you're ready to go all in. But I have also grown a lot, learned who I really am and who I really want to be. Not simply the shell of the person I thought I should be, so not as to make other people uncomfortable.
I grew a backbone and discovered that there is nothing more debilitating to human growth than trying to be liked by everyone. It is exhausting and futile and, spoiler alert, you won't die if someone dislikes you. And while it seems like a reach to say that I have come into my own because of books, it has given me, on occasion, more solace than people have been able to. Probably because happy people don't write meaningfully and honestly, there simply isn't a need. It is with angst and the irreversible complexity of character that comes with that friction that gives the authentic grit to fiction, something by definition that is completely and utterly false.
To me, that is the most stunning aspect of art. And from this art, I have received a lot; in a certain way, it has saved me and redeemed me. And now I want to give some of that back into the universe. Not because I believe that I am somehow an exceptional writer or I believe I can find fame and wealth and become "successful" as a writer. Rather, I have serious doubts about whether I'll ever be published, just because the industry is so rough and tough and inherently pessimistic, but I want to put out into the universe the fables I have imagined and reimagined over two decades.