I believe that I was born to be a writer, but since I was so good at it, I made nothing of it. Stationary was the best gift I could ever get. I wrote for fun and I filled more diaries than I did school notebooks. I won several awards for writing ever since I was a child. In the eighth grade I was disqualified in a writing contest at the national level because the examiners refused to believe that ‘this’ was the writing of a thirteen year old. My teachers protested the disqualification and I was asked to write another essay on the spot ‘the autobiography of a book’. That essay won me the first prize, all India and I got my first cheque of twenty one rupees, which I framed and never banked.
Imagination, communication and speed are my greatest strength. Self-critique is my greatest flaw. I made nothing of my talent and wondered what was such a big deal about what I wrote.
It was in 2008, that Vishal Jodhani, who came to work for me briefly challenged me to write some short articles on topics he had suggested. The next day I gave him nine articles, for fun. Little did I know that he submitted my articles to MidDay and they were instantly picked up. That started my career as a columnist and I wrote for five years for various publications on success, motivation and personal growth.
Vishal persuaded me every single day to write a book. I thought he was out of his mind. I wrote my first book in 2007, which I never published though Vishal insisted that I put it out to the world.
It is in 2009 that I was doing a radio show on Fever 104 FM. In an offline interview RJ Maheck asked me what my plans were for the next six months and I told her than I was ‘planning’ to write a book. She misunderstood and announced on air that I have ‘written’ a book. Not only that she ran a contest all week before my interview and announced that the winners would get a copy of my new book. When I arrived for the show I was shocked that there were 35 people who had won my book, a book I had not yet written.
RJ Maheck unknowingly took over from Vishal Jodhani and was instrumental in my status as a best selling author today.
Since 35 people had won my book, I ran to a printer and printed a book which was a collection of all my articles. It was hurriedly named “Koffee with Priya Kumar”. I felt extremely bad about sending this ‘ridiculous’ book out to ‘winners’ and that’s when I decided to write a book.
I wrote “I Am Another You” and the first 35 copies went out to the winners of “Koffee with Priya Kumar” with an apology note. I Am Another You went on to become (and still remains) a best seller.
Almost every day my inbox would be flooded with emails from readers and their response brought a bigger sense of responsibility. That’s when my publisher urged me to write my second book (License to Live), which went on to win an international award.
Thus started my journey as an author. Though I still don’t make much of my writing, I have had the greatest fun in conjuring up stories that inspire, uplift and empower.
Speed is my greatest strength. Fast, is my alternate name. I write books within a week but my publisher wont publish more than one book of mine in a year. So I started to write for others. I can write ten books in a year and I began to take up writing, as a ghost writer, writing for people who have the idea but not necessarily the articulation of expression.
I have learnt to believe that the thing that we love to do, comes easiest to us. And in that, we sometimes take that talent and skill for granted. Love like talent must come naturally. No one can force you to be a writer as no one can force you to be a singer, or a painter… And when one puts pressure, that skill and talent becomes an effort. Enforced effort is a clue to struggle and disappointment. It is effortlessness that hints towards passion and love.
Even today I am my greatest critic, but I have recognized the fact that writing is my calling. In knowing that I am responsible and I am committed to churning out fun, inspiring and inspirational stories, stories that compel you to be bigger, stronger and happier.