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A New Chapter

Hello dear reader, it is nice to meet you.

As you have probably gathered from the way it is plastered all over everything on this website, my name is Nazira and I am a writer.

I am, and have been, many other things beside that over the years (which I’m sure I will go into in future posts) but writing has been the one thing that has consistently coursed through my veins for most of my life. So this website and blog is all about my writing. My practice of it and my love of it.

As you might already have read on my ‘About’ page, I have only been calling myself a writer for around three years. Before that, people around me knew of my love for writing, they knew about my secret scribblings (but, of course, were not allowed to read them), and they knew about my aspirations to be a published author. How could they not, when for over twenty-plus years they had put up with me whispering with due regularity and reverence the words, ‘I am going to be a writer someday’?

In the meantime, they turned to me for help with their writing projects, engaged my services on a freelance basis for their businesses, and praised the high quality of my written output both in my professional roles and academia. They did this because they saw all along what I was too shy to admit: I was already a writer. And a rather good one at that. I just needed the courage to embrace it as fact.

What changed three years ago? I completed the Becoming a Writer course from The Asian Writer, which made it clear that engaging in the act of writing was enough to qualify me as a Writer (with a capital W), regardless of publication credits. And so I embraced it: the identity, the title, the capital W. And sure enough, as it so often does when we take affirmative action in the direction of our dreams (wise words from Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way), doors opened, pathways were illuminated, and the vision began transforming into reality.

Fast-forwarding to today, I find myself in an interesting position. I have grown so much as a person and developed so much as a writer, but there is still much to learn and do, and I am still working towards achieving the big publication dream (for my novel When You’re Smiling). So I have mulled a fair bit over the question of when it would be the right time to launch a website. I haven’t exactly ‘made it’ as a writer, after all, so what do I have to offer others and why would they be interested? Aren’t people simply going to look at the site, scratch their heads, and say ‘Nazira who?’

But, as these past few years have taught me, there is no such thing as the right time, there is no magic line between ‘nobody’ and ‘made it’, and there is also no hard rule saying how long you must remain an apprentice and when you get to become the master. Because, as my Qur’anic Arabic teacher once said, ‘Everybody knows something that could benefit someone else. Even if you only known one letter, you can teach it to a person that doesn’t know it.’

Well, I have been very fortunate to benefit from the teaching of experienced writers and industry experts through schemes like the Middle Way Mentoring Project, and I have also benefited greatly from the knowledge of peers in my writing groups and the generosity of the writing community at large. As a result, I have gained a lot that could in turn be of interest and benefit to others, which seems a good enough reason to share it.  

So, in the spirit of the writing community, and inspired by all those that have been so generous with their knowledge, skills, and support, I have decided that now is as good a time as any to launch my website. I am very excited to be starting this new chapter in my writing story. I hope that by sharing my work and what I have learned along the way through this site, I can make a greater contribution to the creative and literary ecology, give back and pay-it-forward, and help other shy secret-scribblers like I once was to courageously claim the capital-W and step into their lives as Writers.

If you’d like to stay up to date with the blog and other postings to the website, please enter your email address into the subscription box below.

See you again very soon.

Peace and blessings,

Nazira

By Nazira F. Vania

www.nazzirasnotebook.com

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