Interview by the Editorial Team
Today we are conversation with a young author, who has been writing ever since she was five years old. She is cute, articulate and a very good writer. Here’s our conversation with Anoushka Sabnis.
Hi Anoushka! Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indspire Me.
Hello, my name is Anoushka Sabnis. I am eleven years old and live in New Delhi. I study in class VII in Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan. I love to read, write, sing, bake and play football. When I was 5 years old, my mom created a blog (www.kiddylane.blogspot.in) for me and I used to occasionally write my stories there. Then, one day I also wrote my first poem.
At the age of ten, I got my first book published, a collection of poems, called “Once Upon a Verse – because poems tell stories”. I started writing these poems as part of a new-year resolution and then realised how much I was enjoying it. By the end of the year I had written 52 poems (over each weekend) which finally got published as my book.
What does it feel like to be a published author at such a young age?
Being a young author feels… just absolutely marvellous! I feel a great sense of happiness and joy in being able to put my ideas and thoughts into words not just through prose, but in a poetic way, that a lot of people find difficult to do. Ever since my book has been published, I have had countless new experiences; it’s been incredible. The recognition I’ve received, has been overwhelming and I am totally humbled. Being interviewed, writing for magazines, being invited to conferences, events like the Jaipur Literature Festival, everything has come with such a rush. My interactions with publishers, interviewers, founders of inspiring initiatives, famous personalities have all been wonderful. My horizon is widening and I am learning so much; it’s fabulous.
Do you think your mom has played a huge role in your creative development and achievements?
Of course, she has! The whole idea, the starting spark was ignited by my mother. She has motivated me throughout this journey, given me ideas when writer’s block overpowered my brain, given me determination when I felt tired. She has always appreciated my work and yet is my most honest critic. She helped me recognise if and when my compositions seemed incoherent and then I would work upon them. Once my book was published, she helped me spread the word, she helped me with my publicity. She still stimulates me, urging to keep on going, now that my new book is in progress. Love you, Mumma!
What do you like to do for fun or to let off steam?
My most favourite thing to do is to snuggle in a corner and read a book endlessly… Apart from that, I really enjoy singing, painting and baking. I learn Indian classical vocal music at home along with harmonium and I love it. I am also part of my school’s senior choir. Besides, I am also interested in art and craft – sketching, painting, drawing etcetera. I love watching DIY craft videos online and trying them out. On most weekends, I can be found baking a cake or pretzels or different sorts of breads, which is almost like a stress-buster for me. Also, every evening, I have a non-negotiable play-time with my neighbourhood friends!
Do you have any tips for children or teens who want to start their own book or start a blog?
If someone wants to write a book or blog, my first advice to them would be to ‘read’. The more you read, the more ideas you will get, the more topics you will be able to think of. You should read any kind of book – fantasy, horror, comic, magazines, newspapers, anything actually! It will do two very important things – it will increase your vocabulary and enhance your imagination. You will then be able to express your thoughts in words. The next step, is to know what you want to write: poetry or prose, fiction or non-fiction. And then, just write what you can. Don’t think whether people will like it or not, if it’s up to the mark or not – because it will definitely improve with practice. All you need to have is will power, discipline and an undying love for literature. You’ll be on your way to achieving great success. So I would say, ‘start writing, start young and start NOW’!
What’s the topic or idea for your next book?
Currently I am working on my second book which is the story of a girl with certain aspirations who meets an enigmatic companion on her journey. The book is about how both have different dreams and purposes but when they come together, they end up doing something incredible in magnitude. I hope to complete my book over the coming few months. I then hope to find a publisher for the same.
Please share an inspiring message, for children and adults alike, who wish to follow their dreams but have fears holding them back.
I think you should enjoy the process of doing something. If you focus on the outcome, it will scare you. It’s like saying to an aspiring author “You will be successful if you sell your book” as opposed to saying “You will be successful if you write a book”.
So, just follow your dream & explore your hidden talents. Don’t fear failure; everybody fails sometimes, and come on, once you go down, you should know that the only way to now go is upward! If you’ve dreamed without fearing, get up and do it with the same dose of fearlessness & you will find success!
Editor’s Note: If you liked this interview, and would like to read more such fun pieces, then check out our section on Inspiring Interviews!