My journey with writing has been complex. I was initially drawn to write because of a magazine called Young Times (YT), which would get delivered every Tuesday to my childhood home in Muscat. My sister and I would rush to get our hands first on the copy.

YT, at the time, had sections dedicated to fiction and non-fiction, horoscopes, events in the area, and quizzes. I was always drawn to the cover spread of fiction, usually penned by a teenager from a school in the region. I would remain lost in the story for days. 

I marveled at the creativity and ingenuity of those authors. I wanted to be one of those people, who could weave tales and let readers get lost in a different world. 

This led me to write minor short stories and poetry while I was a teenager. None of my work got published at the time I expected it to. I later realized that the magazine was so inundated with entries that articles would sometimes get published years later. 

I was in the 11th grade when stories I had once written in 6th grade started getting published. By grade 11, I was so steeped in academics, that ‘getting published’ in a relic felt like a childish win. 

My goal at the time was getting accepted into dental school and in that journey to fixing people’s teeth, unfortunately, a lot of other hobbies fell by the wayside. This included sports, painting, writing, and reading. When I think about it now, I feel a twinge of regret because I know some of those stressful years would’ve gone easier had it been otherwise.

I got back to writing after my 2nd year of dental practice. I was in Seattle then, and experiencing my first (and luckily, only) cycle of burnout. I was in a job I thought I’d love and that was paying very well, but instead left me overworked and unhappy. I started taking disciplined ‘breaks’ on weekends, where I’d purposely try to wander into libraries hoping to re-connect with my passion for reading. 

Through sheer coincidence, I found my now-coach, Paulette Perhach’s, Welcome to the Writer’s Life, and instinctively picked it up. The book got me back to writing and almost saved me. Writing made me realize I needed to quit my job and focus on being happy.

That was nearly 2 years ago. Since then, I have been writing every day and playing catch up. I attend a daily writing accountability group session, where we meditate for 15 mins and then write for the following 45. I launched my own website and blog once a week. And yes, I am about to publish my first book!

The biggest thing that stands out in this journey so far, is the importance of following the dreams one had as a child. Those dreams, though innocent, carried a lot of wisdom and clarity. And why should we not, continue to experience ‘rest and play’ well into adulthood?

Find that thing you loved growing up. Try to bring it back into your life and see how much joy it brings you!