I’m Ana. I’m 28 years old and was born in a small town called Jorhat in Assam — a hilly Indian state nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. English is my fourth language, but somehow the love for the language is rooted deep in my heart.
When I was young, my friends had dreams of becoming astronauts, movie stars, or pilots. I always wanted to be a writer.
There wasn’t even a single doubt in my head. It was my one true love.
I wrote my first poem when I was only four-years-old. When I was ten…
Since March, I’ve been on a writing streak. I spent the first two months of self-isolation working on my novel and finished the first draft (87,000+ words). I was also writing a few articles here and there, but then, once my novel was complete, I started writing one article daily.
Aside from the blog posts, I was also writing regular newsletters and working on my upcoming collection of short stories.
I was born in Assam — a state in the northeastern part of India. Aside from Assam, there are six other states in this region — Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Tripura — that are collectively known as “the Seven Sisters.”
Ethnically, the people from the northeastern part of the country have different features from the people in the mainland. We have fairer skin, straight hair, more slender build, and epicanthic folds in our eyes. As the book North-East India: Land, People and Economy makes clear:
“While the original settlers were the Mongoloids, the Indo-Aryan and other groups…
Life as a full-time writer is hard.
There are times when I lie awake until 2 AM, wondering if I’m doing justice to my life. The fact that there are people decades younger than me earning 10x more than I do make me wonder if I made a mistake by quitting my full-time job.
The incessant posts on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter celebrating success don’t help. Sometimes, I get sucked deep into the abyss of comparing my achievements with people who are ahead of me. Before I know it, I start questioning my potential and second-guessing my life choices.
I read my first full-length novel when I was ten (one of Enid Blyton’s Five Find-Outers and the Dog).
After that, I was bitten by the book-lover bug and haven’t looked back since. I’ve read more than 800 books in my life, but when I look back, some stand out more than others. Of the ones that stand out, some do because of the outstanding plot, others for the beautiful language, and yet others for how they made me feel or what they taught me.
In this article, I’ve listed my 15 favorite fiction books of all time. …
As a writer, a newsletter is among the most powerful resources you’ll have.
It’s platform-independent and gives you a convenient way to directly talk to your most loyal readers. You have full control over what you publish and don’t have to depend on an algorithm for delivery as your readers will receive your newsletters straight in their inboxes.
On top of it all, a newsletter can also be optimized to become one of your most reliable income streams. With Swapstack launching Plug & Play, you never have to publish a newsletter without a sponsor again.
Control, monetization, what about audience…
I didn’t believe in affirmations until last year.
To me, they sounded like fancy pish-posh made up by the self-improvement gurus to trick an entire generation of youngsters into spending money on something that doesn’t work.
But then, my friend Dipanshu Rawal pushed me to read Rhonda Bryne’s The Magic — a book that changed my perspective. It introduced me to the Law of Attraction and the transformative power of positive manifestation.
Since then, life has taken such a positive turn.
I didn’t know the concept of having a “side hustle” in college. All I knew was that I loved writing. And so, I started posting one answer per day on Quora — the online Q&A platform.
There was no money in it, but this was the first time my work was exposed to so many people all over the world. The upvotes, comments, and shares gave me an adrenaline rush like nothing else. It pushed me to keep writing.
I recently quit my job to be a full-time writer. In the first month as a self-employed person, I used to work every day, not even taking the weekends off.
Every hour I spent on my laptop meant I could be earning more money. Taking breaks started to feel like I was cheating on myself.
Work was fun, and I loved being in control of my life.
The irony here is that whenever someone asked me what I was doing, my answer was always the same: “Working!”
The odd hours shocked my friends, but I was ready with a joke…
Trigger warning: This post contains mentions of depression. Read with care, fearless community.
I’m sorry I didn’t text you back.
Things have been hard of late. One moment, I’m laughing and reading a book, and the next, I can barely breathe. I try, but my lungs seem to have forgotten how to work. My chest feels so tight I worry it might be a heart attack.
But I’m still alive, so it was probably nothing.
You know how life gets.
Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother. Is it worth it?
Am I worth it?