An avid reader, a blogger and a writer, Archisha is a high school student who has cultivated writing as her passion at a very young age.
A believer of positive disruption, she aims to break stereotypes through her writing and bring about a positive change in society. Archisha is also a huge animal lover and enjoys travelling, art, gardening and Model UN. She finds strength in her ability to see past the judgements of society. Take a look at what the teen had to say about her passion for writing
Questions and answers
Talk to us about your experience of having published a book at the young age of 17?
For me, writing a book is not about age. When I started writing, I had decided that whatever I write, I do not want to keep it bounded within myself. I wanted my writing to impact others, too. Each of my poems is written such that the reader would connect with them.
How did you come up with the title for your book, 'Yellow Windows'?
I got a lot of positive feedback for my poetry, and the title too. I came up with the first word ‘Yellow’ as it is connected with positivity and good vibes, and happens to be my favorite colour too! And my Papa came up with the second word ‘Windows’, which symbolized opening windows to hope, change and optimism.
Can you take us through the process of writing a poem?
I do not have a designated time to write poetry, as inspiration is fluid. Most of the poems that I have written were after midnight! I write at 2-3 am because that is the time when I feel at peace and ease, and when I’m able to compose my thoughts. And then in the morning, I show my parents what I have written, and get their feedback. Writing is not homework- we cannot just open our notepad and start scribbling away. It just happens on its own when you feel the urge to write and explore yourself.
How do you cope up with writer's block?
When I first felt the writers’ block, I did panic a little. Earlier I wrote when I felt lonely, but gradually writing became a part of me. I wrote because I wanted to. My mentor, my Grade 7 English teacher, recognized my talent. She told me to never stop writing. With her encouragement to ‘never stop writing’, I got over my writers’ block. She believes that I was born to write.
You have created illustrations with your bestfriend, Maanya. How did you encapsulate your ideas on it?
Maanya is really my best friend. I knew that she loves to doodle, so when it came to connecting visually with readers through my poems, the first person I thought of was Maanya. I asked her, and she was excited to do it. She was patient with everything. I used to send her a couple of poems at a time, she used to illustrate them, and then I gave her the next ones. I wanted her illustrations to be fresh and display her emotions and talent. I was trulyhonoured to have her illustrations in my book.
What are some of the challenges you faced while putting this book together, and how did you overcome these challenges?
Writing came to me naturally, and helped to make me a very confident person, so now I no longer fear judgements, as I did before. My parents and family are extremely supportive of my writing. So I didn’t face any barriers, thankfully.
What was the process of making your book available as an ebook?
I opted for self-publishing. I wanted to be in control of what I’m serving to the readers. There are a lot of benefits of self-publishing as I can research it right off. In the publication process, my team was very supportive and cooperative, and they also offered me a scholarship because of the quality of my writing. I opted for ebooks because I wanted my book to be available in all possible platforms, in every part of the world. I didn’t want people to feel that my book is inaccessible. You can have ebooks on your phone or use it as an audiobook too, so it is pretty convenient.
What are some of the promotional strategies you used to market the book?
I promoted the book on my blog. I have a blog and I started an email campaign for my blog subscribers. My friends and family promoted it, too. Even the people I’m not close with said that the book was excellent, and shared it further. The additional promotion was done through Amazon ads, promotional videos, my Instagram posts, reviews by online reviewers and the result was getting positive feedback.
Tell us something about your blog, 'Afterthoughts'?
I write very candidly and emotionally. I wanted a platform where I can post whatever is in my mind. I started to blog to write limitlessly. It is a space where I write about my thoughts, usually concerning with societal barbarism. The essence of the “Afterthoughts” is about everything that I feel should be addressed. It’s because I believe in the positive disruption, that is, disrupting the prevailing wrongness to make things right and bring a change. There is a lighthearted section too, where I recommend and discuss about my favorites!
What according to you makes a good poet?
A good poet is someone who’s not afraid to address and express. If you’re writing, don’t just keep it to yourself out of the fear of society. People’s judgments should not stop you. The day you upgrade your conscience from “Oh, people will judge me”, to “Oh, people will judge me, but that won’t stop me”, that is when you become an excellent poet.
Can you tell us about your favourite poem from your book?
My favourite poem is the first poem in my book- Euphoria. It’s a poem about finding your joy in the chaos. One should not be influenced by negative surroundings. Create your habitat and be positive. The second poem that I really love is “To Archisha”. I’m addressing my old self in this. I was very meek and shy, and extremely insecure. I wrote it to address the fear of judgment by society. I wrote it because I knew there are a lot of people who feel that way, but shouldn’t. I’ve outgrown that self of mine and I’ve become confident and mature, and that is the message that I want to give the readers, especially those who feel that same way. I’ve been there, and I want to motivate them that they can become the self that they wish to be, too.
What advice would you like to give young poets?
You just need to begin. If you’re writing, don’t stop. Don’t take others’ negative judgments seriously and take criticisms positively. Remember the difference between who is criticizing you and who is demotivating you, and improve accordingly. Writing is limitless, so don’t feel you are bound to a particular genre or style. Be candid, and keep exploring yourself!
a. Favourite author – Veronica Roth &Sudha Murthy.
b. Stories or poems – Poems.
c. Writing or reading – Writing.
d. Toughest poem to write – Reviving Her Hope (it was quite emotional).
e. Guide throughout your journey – My parents and all kinds of books!