As you all know I recently released my South Asian Fiction Adventure novel titled Chasing Kismet.
Along with many messages of congratulations and praise, also came a few offhand snide remarks along the lines of, “oh WOW I can’t believe this is actually good!” Or “did you seriously write this all yourself?”
Over the last few years I have developed a thicker skin than my insecure young adult self had (dang, when did I leave the YA zone)? And I’ve learned to take the negative with a grain of salt just as I don’t allow the rave reviews and soaring sales get to my head. Because no one falls quicker than a person whose head gets too big to carry, or someone who just can’t phase out the haters.
None of that is what I really want to talk about here, though. What I really want to explain is that there was no magical shortcut way for me to have produced this book and have something to forever be proud of.
Really – what it took was a big ol’ balancing act of keeping all my priorities and responsibilities straight. It wasn’t easy “keeping all my ducks in a row.” And that’s why they weren’t most of the time. Usually, when you take on too much – certain things suffer while other aspects of your life flourish. The secret to keeping it all together is learning what to put on the back burner and when to switch it up before you totally eff up the “lesser of your pressing priorities.”
For me, what I have to balance is my professional obligation to my husband’s family business, my role as a mother, my personal writing goals, and taking care of myself too.
Now I won’t lie – if I’m kicking ass at one or two of the things mentioned above, I’m usually sucking badly at the rest of it (typically my personal health and appearance takes the biggest hit).
But I still consider it a win if my son’s happy and fed, and if I manage to stay on top of my office work on a weekly basis.
But if you step back from this all- and really think about it, it’s quite funny that men never really have to struggle to find a balance between personal and professional aspirations. Usually, they’re one in the same and quite in sync with one another. For some reason only women have to conjure up some serious inner strength and mental stamina to pull off this seemingly impossible balance act called – having a family AND a career.
The ultimate responsibility of child rearing DOES always fall upon a mother, so any hopes, dreams, and aspirations outside of that role, usually fall by the wayside unless you try your ass off to make sh*t happen.
If you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to make it all work. I knew from a very young age, pretty much at the age of 11, when I read my first real novel “The Underground Railroad to Canada” that I wanted to have my name embossed onto a glossy cover one day too. The immortal lasting effect of literature was something that just mesmerized me. As did my passion for wanting to create social change, or atleast sparking the mind of the individual who would do so.
So there you have it, a dream was born – one to be a real, actual, “big time” author.
Of course it took longer for me than most to publish this book and I have by no means “made it” in the world of literature. Not to
mention that having a child does throw your whole existence for a loop, and of course I faced countless instances of fret and worry about how I would be viewed as a married woman writing fiction about taboo subjects in my culture – but once you release your own demons, there’s nothing holding you back.
All that’s left is to put your pen to the paper, or in my case fingers to the screen, and let your heart bleed out your truest desires until your dreams become reality.
Purchase Chasing Kismet here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1540886131
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