Once upon a time, back in my school days, I used to be, for the lack of a better word, a creative writer. Blissfully ignorant of things like plausibility, and originality, and all those subtle little markers of quality, I was a prolific writer. I read voraciously, and tried to imitate my favourite authors. Poetry, fiction, plays -- you name it, I dabbled, and how!
And then I grew up, and discovered what “good” writing was, and just how woefully inadequate my own work was in comparison. The steady flow slowed down to a trickle of painfully self-censored pieces, not written for public consumption. Fiction gave way to reporting and technical writing, so that my own pitiful words could be backed up by fact and structure. Poetry was packed up and boxed away for good.
And then, hoping to “fix” the problem, I decided to go abroad and study Creative Writing, and even the little trickle dried up in the face of all the superior writing I came into contact with. This Ramadan, I decided to stop being stupid and wallowing in self pity. Maybe I’ll never be as good as the writers I admire, but I don’t have to be. I wanted to tap into that kid who wrote because she loved the shape and feel of words, and that’s what I’ve tried to do with these sehri tales, one written each night.