Her debut novel “The Tales of the Crucifies Blunt” got published in November 2015. In conversation with AimzFolio, Areesh Fatmee, the youngest Pakistani writer, a youth activist and a motivational speaker walked us through her journey from being asked to leave the stage to paving her way back up.
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Tell us a little bit about you.
“I started writing short stories about 6 years ago, just to get them out of my head. Although I had never been amongst the top graders, I always knew I had to do something big in my life. I became a writer because I knew I wanted to stand out from the crowd and that was pretty hard for me. Publishing a book wasn’t easy; surprisingly there aren’t many English publishing companies in our society. I searched a lot and came to know about Erum Zahra’s publishing company “Beyond Sanity Publishing” and Alhamdulillah my book was published when I was 17. It will be now available in 12 countries worldwide.”
Can you walk us through your writing process?
“Actually, when I was writing, I wasn’t writing a book. I was just penning down what was inside me. I believe every fiction is a non-fiction.
I only used to write from my own life experiences which make my writing organic.
So, there are some hours or sometimes even moments in my day when I have that urge to take out a pen and paper and write my heart out.
It’s interesting to add here, that whatever I’ve written, I’ve never taken a second look at them, no proofreading. I just forwarded all of my writing for the publishing companies to review.”
So, are the characters from “The Tales of Crucified Blunt” taken from real life?
“The tales of the crucified Blunt is a compilation of short stories and poetries based on my own emotions. There are different characters in each story.
I won’t say the characters aren’t real. Like I said; “Every Fiction is a non-fiction”.
Would you say your imagination is more powerful than others?
“I think it’s not about your imagination rather the yearn inside you that makes you a good fiction writer. I‘ve said this before and I would say it again that my writing is organic. The stories were already written somewhere in my mind, all I needed was to put them down on a paper.
I give credit to a lot of people in my success, especially J.K. Rowling; her “Harry Potter” played a huge role in my case. A lot of people throw this book in the “children’s fantasy book” but when you really see it, just imagine a person like us, whose imagination is way more powerful than most of us.
I did a research and came to know that only J.K. Rowling but a lot of big fiction authors draw characters from real life experiences.”
Your book got published at the age of 17, which is quite impressive. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
“I always knew I was an artist. And the fact of not being amongst the top graders at the school, I kind of had this spark inside to do something for a change in my own life and someone else’s. I used to observe matters differently than usual people. I do consider myself blessed to have my book published at this age but I think age doesn’t matter when it comes to achievement.
Never in my imagination did I think I will be the youngest Pakistani author, but I knew there was a reason for me to be brought to this world. And I believe we all do, we just need to find the purpose of our life.”
How do you overcome writer’s block?
“I wanna quote Charles Bukowski here;
It took a lot of time to actually understand but it’s quite simple. When you don’t know what to write, don’t. At times when your mind if full of ideas or stories or questions that are the moment for you write without any interruptions.
Get rid of all the distractions around you. And the moment you ask yourself what to write is the moment to stop writing.
As long as your writing is natural that is it comes from your heart, it will bloom. Let nature take its course.”
Do you have a daily routine of writing?
“No. I just write when I feel like.”
What inspired you to become a writer?
“Everything around me. My parents, family, friends, speakers like Umair Jaliawala, Qasim Ali Shah, Muneeba Mazari.
Biggest inspiration; Me, I’m living; I’m surviving that’s enough to be inspired. We see people struggling, falling down and getting back up again, they’re inspiring.”
Would you like to suggest some books that may have inspired you in your life?
“There are amazing writers in our country and worldwide. But usually, I avoid recommending books to people because everybody has their own state of mind when it comes to reading.
For instance, people consider Harry Potter as a bedtime fantasy story book but honestly that book has taught me so much from little situations. J.K. Rowling is truly an inspiration and I would wish to meet her someday.”
You mentioned earlier that you write from personal experiences, can you share such incident that impacts the way that you write?
“I would love to share a story:
It’s the time when I was in grade 8 and I participated in a school debate. Despite my grades, I was great at speaking Alhamdulillah. I remember I was the senior amongst the team members, but when it was my turn to speak, the mike was taken away from me. On the stage……. in front of the audience……
I didn’t understand, “Did I go somewhere wrong?” and they said “no, you said your part” I mean, nobody even gave me a chance to speak.
I was asked to step off the stage and it was that moment that I decided I have to go back up myself. And Alhamdulillah, I’ve been interviewed twice but Pakistan Television. I sat their proudly amongst the top graders and scholarship holders.”
What is your ultimate goal? Continue writing?
“I want to become the most intense speaker and writer of Pakistan.”
Artists and writers are often underestimated in our society and this is the reason most of us fear of joining this field. Do you have any advice for the newcomers?
“First of; believe in yourself. No matter who you are, where you from, what you do, you are way better than a million.
Second; explore your capabilities, find your expertise and then struggle as much as you can. You will fall maybe more than once and that’s OK. Get up and keep going.
Third; take an initiative. It’ll be hard to see the results and even if you don’t see a single follower, you’ll be amazed to know that you are or will make a change in someone’s life somewhere.
Lastly, be confident. You’re an independent soul. Don’t let people carry away your identity. Be humble and work smarter.”
You can buy her book “The Tales of Crucified Blunt” here: (AMAZON)
Aimz dreams to travel every inch of the globe and works hard to achieve it.