On Writing

I was recently informed by a professor that if I write regularly and enjoy it, that makes me a writer. She then asked me to write a note on my experience as a writer. Here goes:

My name is Shrey, and I am a writer.

I serve as the editor for a magazine, a consulting editor for a journalism portal, and maintain a blog (6 years and going), and a journal (10 years and going). And yet, I have never had the courage to call myself a writer.

This feels strangely liberating.

I am passionate about my work, and my first gig was a summer spent with an education company. It was a wonderful and fairly unique experience for anyone in my peer group. I narrated my experiences to a bunch of my classmates, but felt an unsatisfied desire to share what I saw, what I realised, and what I felt, with everyone that I could. And so I created a blog, my first one.

Since then, I have attempted summing up much of my work and experiences in writing. That includes publications in journals and magazines, and also those 140-character chunks of information we call tweets.

Lately, I have started exploring more controversial/bolder topics, ones that I feel more strongly about. Some of these pieces, published in newspapers and news portals (occasionally under a pseudonym), attracted controversy and criticism, and at one point resulted in some serious threats. But I also received some support from like-minded souls, and everything turned out fine.

I continue trying to bring awareness to issues of social justice, and try to write compelling evidence-based pieces. It is a process that still brings the same exhilaration that I felt when, at the age of 8, I saw my name in printed letters for the first time, in a children’s magazine. Writer seemed too grand a title then, as it does now. But the sentiment was similar:

This feels strangely liberating.