My Writing Journey by Raashida Khan
‘I am a writer.’
It took time and great effort before I could say those words out loud. I’ve only been voicing them since last year. I’ve been saying that I would write novels since I was a teenager, but I only started about three years ago.
What an incredible journey this has been. It took me more than a year to finish my first novel, which I began seriously a few months after completing the ‘How to write a book’ course hosted by Mia Botha (Writers Write).
I’d like to tell you that the hardest part is getting started, and that’s once you’re past that hurdle, the rest is easy. While it was a huge breakthrough, the struggle is to persevere and to show up every day. It certainly does get easier, but there are still days when I fail to reach a target, even if that target is only a few hundred words.
As part of one of the practices taught in the courses, I was encouraged to write poetry. This was particularly enjoyable as it was a chance to tap into my feelings and emotions and express them with the freedom allowed in verse.
I opted to self-publish and chose Kwarts Publishers to bring my dream to fruition. My first collection, Happy Birthday, Raashi will be launched on 7 March 2018 and is already available on Amazon. What a rush!
I plan on publishing two novels, Mirror Cracked and Fragrance of Forgiveness, in 2018 as well. These have been my labour of love. It took several re-writes before I was happy to share with a professional editor, Robyn Veary. After a few rounds of editing, I’m thrilled to say the stories are exactly as I dreamed them. I cannot wait to see them in print.
Last year, I won a short story competition and another of my short stories was selected to be included in an anthology that raised money towards world literacy. My writing has yet to bear personal financial reward, but I live in hope.
‘Write what you know,’ we’re told, so my stories are based in the South African Muslim community. The stories may be considered controversial, but they are tales that had to be written. I love all of my characters intensely and there is a part of me in each of them.
The other not-so-small challenge has been to practise the art of patience. To understand that things will happen in their time, and that the end result is always worth the wait.
If you’re considering writing, I encourage you to dive right in. It’s not easy, but then nothing worthwhile ever is.
by Raashida Khan
Raashida is a content creator, author, poet, wife, mother, and friend. Happy Birthday, Raashi will be launched at Love Books (Melville) on 7 March 2018. Please visit Raashi’s blog: Raashi’s Reflections