A famous quote by Maya Angelou describes her perfectly ‘Nothing can dim the light which shines from within’. She exemplifies inner strength, determination & extraordinary courage. Her medical condition or inability to get the conventional education couldn’t impede her. She achieved what she desired. Her words are true reflection of her impressive personality, real & power packed.
She doesn’t need an inspiration as she is an inspiration! A woman with phenomenal talent, author of two novels (Dream’s Sake & Lemon Girl), flamboyant personality & above all a wonderful human being. We take immense pleasure to present to you ‘Sweet Talks with Jyoti Arora’
Tell us a little about yourself. We will love to know you more!
I’m Jyoti Arora, by name.
Indian woman, by birth.
Daughter of very loving and supportive parents, by my good luck.
Sibling to two beautiful sisters, by their good luck, I insist.
Author of two novels (Dream’s Sake & Lemon Girl), by lot of hard work.
Owner of three blogs, by whim, fancy or whatever.
A lover of nature, by instinct.
A devotee of books, irrevocably under their spell.
A fan of technology, and slave of it.
A believer in the Almighty, call Him what you will,
A non-believer too, by remaining careless of rituals
I love old books, music and movies, I guess I have an old soul,
I love the latest gadgets and technology, I have the modern habits and handicaps!
I’m traditional, because I still believe in things like respect of elders
I’m modern, because I don’t believe in blind following of ancient dogmas
I am me, and I think I’m awesome,
But I won’t say anymore, because I don’t like talking about myself.
Describe yourself in one line.
I’m a Solitary Reaper, reaping and singing by myself but hoping that someday my melody too would reach the ears of the world.
What inspired you to take you writing & blogging as your career option?
Blogging is not yet a career for me. As of now, I blog only because I enjoy it. As for writing books, that passion resulted from my love of reading. And then, of course, there’s my desire to become famous. Not famous just in the sense of becoming bestseller. But famous like the immortal stars that are glittering in the galaxy of literature since ages. May God help me!
Coping up with Thalassemia Major, correspondence studies & finally becoming a writer with two novels in your kitty, yours is a tremendous story of courage & conviction. Where do you get such strength from?
I guess God has bestowed on me a very sanguine temperament. No matter how tough the situation, no matter how sad it makes me feel, pretty soon I start seeing the silver lining in it. I have learnt by now that nothing really matters, except the love of family. I have learnt that things never remain the same. That if you just keep on moving, sooner or later the dark alley would end and the illuminated path would begin. I try and stay strong while in the dark alley. I try and keep my thoughts focused on happier things and the happier times that lie ahead. And I enjoy to the fullest while on the illuminated road, because I know none of them would last forever.
I also know that there are people in the world whose problems are far worse than mine. God has always been very kind to me and given me all that I need, except good health. My loving and caring family is a sturdy support behind me.
So where I get my strength from? I guess God put it in me along with Thalassemia because He knew I’d need it. My family’s love and support nurtured this strength, my education re-enforced it and my dreams keep on adding fuel to it.
What motivates you to chase your dream?
A dream is a motivation in itself. The world is being propelled forward by dreamers, I believe.
My dreams give me something to look forward to with hope. There are numerous shining stars
In the galaxy of literature. I am only a speck as yet. But if I stop dreaming of rising higher, I would remain where I am. But if I keep putting one step after the other, I might one day reach where the world might see me shining.
The journey is not easy. Sometimes it feels as if I’m digging my way out of a cave with no more help than my own fingernails. But I’m moving on and I’m ahead today than I was yesterday. And my parents are proud of me. I’m proud of myself, determined in my efforts, confident in my abilities, respectful of my dreams and hopeful of my future. And that’s all that matters. That’s motivation enough.
Recommended Read: Book Review – Lemon Girl By Jyoti Arora
How has been your journey so far?
Tough. But life is not easy for anyone. I have one kind of hardship, others have other kinds of problems. One can just accept it, deal with it the best way one can and move forward.
My set of problems has been dominated by a disorder called Thalassemia since I was born. It kept me out of school till I was about seven years old. And it pulled me out of school much too soon too. I was not able to go to school after class seventh. Fortunately, I was able to continue my studies through correspondence courses. It was tough and lonely having to study on my own. But I managed to acquire two post graduate degrees and also managed to establish something like a career for myself.
For long, I was only Jyoti Arora, a patient of Thalassemia Major. Today I’m author of two novels and a blogger who has won many blogging competitions. My road hasn’t been easy. Sudden dips on it almost tumbled me to the very brink several times. But God has been very kind so far. He loves teasing me often, but has always helped me when I most needed Him. And He has given me a very loving and supportive family. And holding their hands and holding His hand, I’m moving on.
What’s the three myths about being a writer that bother you the most?
Good writing is all you need to become a famous writer: Not correct. You also need a hefty dose of good luck and bag full of money and marketing skills.
Best Seller: The Best Seller tag is becoming some kind of a myth as well. I have seen books by first-time writers become ‘best sellers’ on ecommerce website on the very first day of their pre-booking. No, that is not on the strength of friends and family. Friends and family don’t buy, they demand free books. This instant bestseller zooms up on the power of money and bulk-buying of copies. Fake reviews is another shortcut that is employed to increase the rating of a book. All this makes other writers who are trying to promote their books with honest means feel bad and inferior, even if the know well the truth of the book before them.
Self Publishing is an easy road to literary success: No, it isn’t. It is in fact much harder.
Many new writers rush to self publish their books thinking they now have the power in their hand and their book would become famous once it enters market. But the truth is, a self published book is harder to sell and to make readers aware of it. Many writers publish a book without bothering about its editing or cover design. That actually harms what little scope of success the book might have had. So if anyone is intending to self publish, do so with full awareness that ensuring the quality and success of the book is entirely your responsibility and that it is going to take a lot of hard work and time.
What’s the most enriching experience of your life as a writer? Share it with our readers.
Every time my parents proudly show off my books to their friends, that puffs up my heart with pride too. I am happy and satisfied that I have been able to make my parents proud of me.
Also, I think my life story has managed to inspire hope and aspirations in the hearts of some other Thalassemics as well and they too are now looking forward to future with hope instead of dejection. That makes me happy too.
Any word of advice for upcoming writers & blogger?
Never decide to become a writer or a blogger thinking it would lead to easy money with less work. Writing and blogging requires a lot of hard work and is full of difficulties, disappointments and frustration. Become a writer or blogger because you want to, because you love writing and because you love having your writing read by people.
Also, beware of parasites. Writers are very vulnerable people. They want to become famous as soon as possible. And many people have devised many dubious ways to benefit from this vulnerability. So beware of them and don’t give away your money to anyone without fully examining and understanding the legitimacy claims being made and the fairness of the means to be employed.
What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
Five years from now, I hope to see myself able to dedicate more time to writing. And I sure hope to be enjoying greater successes as a writer!
(And now I am helplessly imagining what sort of smartphone I would be using five years from now. Technology is moving at such rapid a pace. What might not we have in our hands five years from now! Just imagine!)
If given a chance, what’s one change that you would like to see in this world & why?
I would like to see the hearts of the people cleaner and the hearts of the cities greener.
If you ever write an autobiography, what’s going to be its title & why?
“Leaning Against the Sun” because I remain leaning against the sun of my hopes and dreams and they keep my path illuminated.
Recommended: Do check out the extraordinary stories of some amazing people here at ‘Sweet Talks’