The confusions & fears of an evolving writer

Survive them to get on the other side

Neha Pant
The Post-Grad Survival Guide

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So once you’ve decided to be a writer, you need to keep up with that thought.

It IS STILL a thought.

I had been struggling with or rather plagued with this thought for more than a decade.

Starting out with an education primarily in the Science stream, I always dreamed to be a fighter pilot (I don’t even drive regularly anymore!) After I graduated as a Bachelor of Science, I appeared for the Air Force Selection Board exam of India. Going through to the final selection stage, I failed to make it. However, that wasn’t the reason I didn’t apply a second time. It was because I wore specs and I could only get to being ground staff. That wasn’t really where my love-affair with writing began though. In fact, I wasn’t yet an avid reader.

After that, I started preparing for my MBA exams and proudly made it to one of India’s top communication management institutes. Reading slowly started becoming a more regular activity. I even started a personal blog, but only friends could read it.

The seed for the desire to be a writer was slowly sown then when friends appreciated my writing. The year was 2007.

For many years from then, even while I was working as a planner in advertising, I dreamed of being a writer. Quite foolishly though, I didn’t have the guts to make that switch right then. Despite being in the hub of so much creative activity.

I would get kicks out of writing creative copy when one of my copywriters would falter or fail to deliver on time. I loved it even more when I saw the copy I wrote on the client’s blog or website. Despite that, I failed to realize that writing was what I really wanted to do in my life. I did not have the confidence to make that choice.

When one of the senior planners shifted to the creative department as a copywriter, I secretly wanted to follow suit. But I felt she was more gifted. And that I was not quite as good. I lacked the courage to follow my heart. Moving to copy-writing might have also meant a pay-cut, I wasn’t prepared for that (ludicrous, I know!!)

That was a baseless fear because soon after that I quit my job and shifted to my hometown after the passing of my mom.

I would keep reading and keep writing on word docs and notepad on my computer. Nervousness engulfed me whenever the thought of posting something online flashed through my mind.

A couple years later, just as divine providence would have it, I read an ad in the classifieds section of the newspaper — “editors and writers wanted for an academic support agency.” Somehow, a little voice in my head told me to go ahead and contact those people. And this time, I paid heed.

After a short telephonic conversation, they asked me to send in two sample write-ups on prompts they had sent. I complied. The result? I ended up getting paid for the two samples!! And I was on-board as a Writer.

Working with this agency helped me improve my writing several times over. I worked with them for about 2 and a half years. After that I wanted to write for myself. That is when I created my Medium account. During this time, two of my poems, one short story and quite a few articles got published. I was accepted as a contributing writer for publications on Medium. Now, I am working as a freelance content writer and creator.

The journey is still only at its beginning. There is a lot more to read. A lot more to write. And, a lot more to explore. Transcending the fear of exploring the uncharted is the key. Taking that first step and then every incremental step takes one far.

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Neha Pant
The Post-Grad Survival Guide

Published Author/Writer/Spiritual seeker/Traveler/Digital Media enthusiast/Interested in Yoga, Dance, Music/Devout Shiv Bhakt/Pranic Healer.