Zuhaib Remembers…

Hey there,

So in the last post, I said maybe I’d talk about my writing past in a future post. I thought I’d do that here. Like I said before, it is long so bear with me if you would. ūüôā

Okay so unsurprisingly a writing past is interwoven with a reading past and one of my best¬†childhood memories goes back to when I was very young, under 10. My dad used to be on night shift and me and my younger brother Waqar used to sleep in my mum”s room. Before we went to sleep, mum used to read us these stories from an Urdu magazine and, though I don’t remember what the stories were about, I remember I used to love hearing them. That’s one of my earliest memories of being read to. At this time I was in primary school.

Eventually I went to secondary school. Here I became an avid reader and it was here I discovered ‘Harry Potter’, my favourite book series, and became a Potterhead, something I remain to this day. It was ‘Harry Potter’ that started my writing journey. I was 13 and wanted to write something like ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ or ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ for those of you guys in the US.

So the book I wrote was not many chapters long at all and because I got bored I ended it on a very, very,¬†poor cliffhanger. I think I’ve gotten better at writing cliffhangers since then. Anyway, that book that I wrote 13 years ago¬†and another when I was a little older, this time co-written with Waqar, both remain uncompleted. Both were inspired by ‘Harry Potter’. JK Rowling herself has said that writers go through a phase where they imitate their favourite writers.

I’ve still got those Harry Potter inspired book¬†attempts.

While I was in school, despite the fact that I didn’t consider writing as a career and¬†contemplated being other things- a teacher, a photographer, a businessman- writing was a constant in my life. I created and ran my own school magazine which ran for 4 years and I was writing other stuff too. English was my favourite subject and creative writing time, where we got to write our own stories, was my favourite part of those lessons in the early years because later on we didn’t get to do it.

When I was in 6th form, I decided to write a novel. I was pretty happy with that novel. I planned to write 2 more and have it be a trilogy. I wrote the first draft of the first book. Like I said, I was happy with it. And I started to  consider making my livelihood by writing books.

From what I can remember, I mustn’t have been too serious about it or thought it was achievable because, some time on, when I went to university, I was thinking about becoming a counsellor.¬†So whilst I was studying Health and Social Care,¬†one day I remember watching an episode of ‘Friends’- a sitcom I thought was awesome- and thinking that I could probably write an episode of the show myself.

I tried it, thought it went okay. Truth be told, I really enjoyed it, so much so that I started wanting to be a scriptwriter. I wrote more ‘spec’ scripts i.e. scripts for shows that already existed and then I went original. I created sitcoms and dramas and wrote scripts for them, and I also wrote numerous film scripts.

Then, while I was still studying for my H&SC degree, there came a day when I was thinking about writing another script. I looked through the documents in which I had listed possible future ideas but couldn’t find anything I wanted to work on. So¬†I happened to look back over that first draft of the book that I had planned as a trilogy some time ago. I found myself editing it and as I did so, I rediscovered what it was that had once endeared me to novel writing. I began to consider novel writing as a career again.

Then, some more time on, in late 2010, ‘Harry Potter’ inspired me once more¬†and I began a new project, a project that I have been working on ever since. And that’s all I’m gonna say on that for now.

So to conclude, on that rollercoaster where I considered a variety of different careers- something that’s not unusual for a teenager-¬†I have been fortunate ¬†enough to experience writing in many of its forms: novel/fiction writing, scriptwriting, comedy sketches, magazine reviews, song lyrics.

I remember it’s been great, I remember it’s been challenging.

I’m so grateful to be where I am now, so grateful to be doing what I’m doing. And here’s hoping that one of the next times- perhaps even¬†the next time- I write an ‘I remember’ post it’s about looking back on published success.

Are you a writer? If so, do you have any cool writing related ‘I remember’ stories? If you do, leave me a comment if you wanna share!

Until next time,

Zuhaib

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