I knew I wanted to be a writer as I penned poems as a child. There was something magical about being able to convey the things I imagined within the rules of poetry. Over time, I experimented with other forms of writing as well.
I figured out what kind of a writer I would be when I was thirteen. That summer my parents dropped me at my uncle’s house. Upstairs, in a room with a glass wall, I found a shelf of books. For some reason, I was drawn to one title “Disappointment with God”. I read Philip Yancey’s book that week, captivated by the heart-breaking stories he told, the candid questions he raised and his honest portrayal of our feeling that God has abandoned humankind. I clutched the book in my hand thinking, one day, I’m going to write like this. I decided that I would write creative non-fiction that inspires people to think.
Although I wanted to study writing, when I was seventeen, I joined medical school at my parents’ request instead. It was a surprisingly difficult period for me. I found it challenging to witness people in pain. I cringed at the site of blood and wounds. I felt intense discomfort in performing invasive procedures on people. And it was so busy that I rarely stopped to think and nearly never managed to write. I felt I had lost my voice. And I could no longer see meaning to my existence.
But around that time the Voice within me that had been silenced for years spoke again. ‘Ann. Be a writer. Medicine is not the path for you.’ It urged me day after day to examine who I really am. Filled with apprehension, I dipped my toes back into the literary word. I started working on a non-fiction book, a project that helped me understand people better and rediscover myself.
Writing rebuilt my sense of self and restored my will to live. So, in 2018, after five years of training and three years of practice, I gave up being a physician to become a full-time writer.
When I switched careers, however, it felt like I had entered a new realm. It took me a while to regain my bearings. I was writing a lot, but I didn’t know where to send in my work or how to make a living from it. I ate through my savings while desperately trying to keep my morale up.
Just when I was beginning to question my decision, a friend invited me to a writing workshop. It was about creating a beautiful and believable world for the characters in our stories. I enjoyed the session so much that I decided I would join a longer programme to learn writing.
In 2019, I joined the Creative Writing Programme, Brighton, UK. Our wonderful teachers, Jac Cattaneo, Hannah Vincent and Bethan Roberts, taught us how to write riveting stories, edit our manuscript and get our work published. They helped me find my way.
Today, I’m a writer for Highly Sensitive Refuge and Our Daily Bread. And a non-fiction book is in the works.
I also run an online writing community where I help people who want to heal learn to introspect, understand themselves better, and retell their stories in ways that empower them.
The journey though long and tedious has been worth it. I’m happier today than I’ve ever been. and I know I’m doing meaningful work.
Would you like to work with me?
Would you like to read my writing?
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