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Friday, 24 January 2020

So, here we are.

My name is Zarina. It's a Persian name, originally, meaning 'golden.' It also means 'queen' in various translations. Common in the Arabic, Indian, Russian and Middle-Eastern parts of the world. Not so much in the UK.

I've self-published five books. I remember 2015; sitting in my room, crying and drinking alcohol, feeling like I was going insane. Perhaps we're all insane at seventeen.

Sometimes I'm amazed that I'm still alive. Thoughts of suicide crossed my mind so frequently aged sixteen-to-twenty. One may wonder why. Perhaps it's hard for another person to understand, just like most people don't understand my panic attacks. But I understand it to a degree, and maybe I need to stop feeling like I have to justify myself to others.
Pretty much how I constantly felt as a teenager.
The only thing that's ever made sense to me is my writing and music. I know it looks incredible -- ooh, wow, you've published so many books at such a young age -- but these have saved my life. If it weren't for my artistic ambitions, I'd have killed myself a long time ago. The thing that stopped me from being dead at nineteen was alcoholics anonymous. If I hadn't gone to AA, then I'd have died some time in 2017. Or ended up going to prison.

I remember sitting in my room in 2015, working on Anne. I always imagined how I'd feel when other people read my work; stories, poetry, and when people would see me playing music on a stage. When I was actively gigging with my band, I remember looking around and thinking; this is what I dreamed of when I was ten. How is this real?

Honestly, it's all very humbling. And I'm still so early on in my journey. There is so much more to come. It feels rather natural to me, almost effortless. I feel like I was made for this. But I don't feel like I'm 'owed' anything at all, or that I'm somehow better than anyone else. Truly, I'm just filled with an ocean of gratitude. To not only have achieved so much, but to be building my dreams, and living through my art.

The world is crazy and chaotic and confusing. But a song won't change; printed words on a page in a book won't change, and a movie won't change. Sure, some parts may be edited, but the essence of the work remains forever. And that is beautiful. Whatever happens, art will remain. Art will prevail. Shakespeare's works and Mozart's symphonies are still enjoyed today.

In my darkest, most hopeless hours, that is what I hold on to. That is my 'god.' Of course, in a
'spiritual' sense I do believe that everything is connected and we're all part of a great universal energetic force. But my personal strength and hope comes from art. It comes from books, music, movies, poems. Stories.

I'm blogging less nowadays. Partly because I've been given more time and energy to other writing outlets, like freelance writing work on PeoplePerHour. I'm working on a story that I want to submit to agents later in the year. It's a clean YA fantasy story that I've been working on for many, many years -- way back from my childhood. It's grown and continues to evolve and I'm sure that my other work will make a nice portfolio.

I want to return to doing music later in the year, but right now it's too much to juggle both that and all my writing. Getting established in one field makes it easier to skip over to the next.

If you have a dream, and a passion for something, I say do it. It's not easy, but it's oh-so worth it my dear. You owe it to yourself to be happy, or at least try. We only get one life (that we know of). Might as well use it well.

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I've published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: