I hate the word hook – in writing, in Peter Pan, in building a brand. There’s such pressure to get it right, have an angle (not the selfie kind), bring a unique spin on otherwise ordinary happenings. That’s why it took me near four decades of being a writer before I managed to say so proudly on a blog. I don’t know that I’ll ever only have one angle. If I do, I’ll have stopped growing.
I have Austin Kleon to thank for this blog, for writing the book Show Your Work ‘for people who hate the very idea of self promotion’. He asks creatives to not be afraid of amateurism and to commit to learning something in front of others. Share the process, not the product, he advises, and people who love the same things you do will find you. If you’re reading, thank you for finding me!
Below are a selection of previous attempts at sharing my work, including URLs I still pay for. I call them failures in the title, but they’re iterations that got me here:
- A fully completed illustrated book of 21 short stories for young adults that remains unpublished
- Dipped in Dust, an unpublished blog tying the imagination of children’s stories to theories unbound by scientists to find a transformative way to think. I wrote on the home page: There’s extraterrestrial dust from exploding stars that settles on our ocean floor. ‘Can blind people see in their dreams?’ a child once asked me. In both the expanse of such an innocent question, and the glorious universality of a scientific fact, I’ve uncovered the same promise: wonder never fades.
- South Asian Parent, a magazine I founded, the first for South Asian parents of the Diasporic community, a resource for families caught between cultures and identities. Still up and running, though no new articles have been published in years, I revisit our mission often and consider its revival: Our aim is to remove shame by talking about the very things South Asian society labels ‘taboo’, and raising a future generation who will choose honesty over pretense—not having to hide their life choices just to fit into a pre-approved mould. We are a platform for awareness, a space where information, both shared and glared at, becomes the very tool by which we broaden narrow thinking.
- wordonthestreetart – pairing street art encountered on my travels with words from novels or poems they remind me of. The pandemic arrived just as I began, and there ended both the travel and my husband’s hope that 2020 would be the year I’d make something of the URL he’s been renewing for years