Shared Raj is the founder of Scribbled Thoughts- an online platform that connects people. His debut book got published recently and is being critically acclaimed. He believes that healing through words is the greatest magic of all times. He aspires to be a clinical psychologist someday along with penning down his journey through his page. Read more about Sharad Raj as he unravels about the art of writing.
Questions and answers
Could you perhaps start by talking about poetry and its significance for you?
Poetry is something that describes every emotion of life. It is something that soothes your soul and something you can rely on in any phase of life. For me, poetry is survival.
Do you remember the first time you penned a micro-piece? Could you maybe describe it to us?
I always wanted to write a story, the novels I read fascinated me and I always thought I could write better stories. So I used to start writing little lame stories starting with ‘once upon a time’. And I always used to fail to write a story. After a few years I thought, okay, it doesn’t have to be a story, it can be anything I want to write. That was where the journey had begun; after that, I ended up writing a few micro pieces and short stories, too. As I look back now, I would say it’s not about being perfect in your first try, it’s about just starting.
You want to pursue clinical psychology. What brings you towards studying human minds?
I always wanted to heal people, I wanted to be that shining armor in someone’s dark phase. So initially, I thought that studying psychology would help me do that. When I took up psychology, I became a better person myself. My perspectives changed, my way of looking at life, my understanding of people, everything changed. Psychology is precisely that! You grow as a person, you become more understanding, and you start accepting things.
Does your will to learn psychology have any connection with your artistry with poetry?
Somewhere I feel that Psychology has helped me feel every emotion as if it were my own. When someone shares feelings with me, I understand how deep that emotion is, I know their pain or love, and then I write it. Psychology helps me express better.
There's always this precision of simplicity in your poems. Is that a deliberate move, or was it as organic?
The only thing I truly believe in, is creating magic with words. It’s never about using fancy and complicated words to create magic. I feel that everyone should be able to feel the emotion that I want to express and perhaps, magic can be created with simple words too!
Can you tell us about your debut collection, Scribbled Thoughts?
I have so much to talk about the book, but let me keep it simple. The book is divided into three chapters- Loving, Breaking, and Healing. These are the phases of life that almost all of us go through. You loved someone, and it sometimes leaves you in pieces, but you always manage to heal back. I wanted to write this to all the people who are broken. Afterall, there’s nothing that words can’t do.
The book has been gaining lush reviews by audiences, what is your reaction to such a wave of acclaim at a very young age?
To be honest, It’s heartwarming. But for me, achieving something at a young age or acclaim, doesn’t make me all that happy. The only thing that genuinely makes me so happy is when someone says that my book helped them, that they found a home in my words. It is not the fame that matters. If my book can heal a broken heart, that is all that matters.
Could you talk to us about Romantic Poetry in general, because- you're not the first to write this genre and of course, you won't be the last. How does one survive amongst these throngs of poets online?
Maybe many people out there are writing romantic poetry, but everyone has a different thought, a different style of expressing it, and a different way of putting it in words. It’s all art, and art always survives.
Who are your literary inspirations or idols, or writers and poets you admire in general?
Genuinely, I admire every writer out there because I see the emotions that flow in every piece, and for me, it is the emotion that writing carries, and every time I read a new writer’s work, it blows my mind.
With micro-poetry, similarities between many writers/Instagram-poets are found easily. Artists claim for plagiarism. How’d you say, to avoid these situations successfully?
Personally, whenever I read something really good, it stays in my mind. And whenever I start writing a new piece, whatever I read pops up in my mind. So I feel all the writers in a way or other are inspired by what they read, and sometimes we unknowingly end up writing similar content that we read. The only way to get out of this, I feel, is by creating different art every time, by writing something different, by coming up with a different idea completely.
Could you say some inspirational words for any budding writers in our audiences?
Write something that your heart tells you to write. It doesn’t have to be perfect all the time, or it doesn’t have to connect to everyone. All that should matter to you is whether you like it and if you are genuinely able to connect to it with all your heart. And If you think it’s not perfect then create more, write more and one day, you’ll be there- satisfied with whatever you write. Also, be open to criticism. Again, don’t be disappointed, rewrite and rethink if whatever you wrote could be created differently. And lastly, don’t be afraid to share or put up whatever you‘ve written, thinking that people may judge. Remember, the worst that can happen is 99 in hundred people might dislike what you write, but maybe that one person might find a home in your words; that one person might feel that there’s someone who’s thinking just like her/him. Maybe that one person will take a baby step towards healing after reading whatever you wrote. After all, you never know who you are inspiring.