I am a teen and write for tweens. Tales of Twinkling Tweens authored when she was 9 yo.
"Teenagers are vulnerable to negative remarks. They get easily offended and hurt when words are thrown on them like pots and pans. The effect of people's comments on them is astronomically huge. Teenagers are emotionally sensitive with precarious thoughts and capricious moods. They succumb to circumstances and shed tears in times of little adversity." - This is the widespread outlook that people have on teenagers. The increasing number of mental health cases and the growing cases of suicides among teenagers, along with the alarming reports on teen criminals are providing strong support to the line that teenagers are impulsive. But no, not everyone. There are still numerous sensible teenagers who are optimistically growing in their lives. They are empathetic, recognise and understand the ongoing problems, come up with unique solutions and are making the community and nation proud. Risha Chaurasia from Madhya Pradesh is one such teen who is advocating the importance of reading among children. This teen author is sure to be an inspiration to many children out there who are sticking to the gadgets ignoring the treasure gifted by books.
If They Can, Why Can't I?
Born on 2nd May 2007, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh to Dr Pratibha Chaurasia and Amber Chaurasia, Risha is studying Grade 9 at Daly College, Indore. While her mother is a CA and Co-founder of Aprari solutions, her father is the Regional Manager and Co-founder of Aprari Solutions. Ever since her girlhood days, Risha had a good taste for literature. She loved reading and wrote avidly. One thought that always struck her neurons while reading books is that "If this author can write, why can't I?". She thus started to ink her thoughts at the age of 9. "I’ve loved to read ever since my childhood. It was this love of books and words that got me into writing", she told BOA. Also, when Risha was in her fourth grade, she wrote an essay that impressed her English teacher to the sky. She spoke to Risha about her exceptional flair for writing and encouraged the girl to keep writing. "She said that she couldn’t believe that I could’ve written that piece in an exam hall, within a few minutes. She told me about the flair I had for writing, and this ultimately boosted my confidence", said Risha.
The Germination Of An Author:
Risha, who loved to ponder over all kinds of novels irrespective of their genre, cultivated the zeal to script her thoughts when she was just 8. "It was this early love of words that led to me being a teen author", said Risha. She began with writing plays that were performed in her school. By the time she was 9, Risha started to make her presence on Facebook under the name Risha's Corner. Eventually, this little girl wanted to publish a book. With the emboldening from her parents, Risha went ahead. Few months after she turned 10, she started the manuscript and her first book Tales of Twinkling Tweens was published on 16th May 2019 by Notion Press. The response received for her first book boosted her morale and she began to work on her second release. Coupling the aspects of friendship and self-discovery, she weaved her second novel, TRUCE. This came to breathe on 29th December 2019 when Risha was 12 years old. "Writing TRUCE was a surreal experience and the book finally came out on 20th January 2021", she said. 14 years old now and Risha is working on releasing two other novels.
What Made Risha Write For Tweens?
Risha Chaurasia noticed that the kids between the ages of 9-12 are overlooked in terms of literature. She says that there are books for kids, teenagers and young adults while there are not many books centred on tweens (kids between ages 9-12). "I wanted to bridge this gap and thus decided to write my first novel Tales Of Twinkling Tweens at the age of 11", she said. This is how Risha ventured into book writing with her target audience as tweens. "So, my love of reading since childhood, the scarcity of relatable books for tweens and kids my age, and my parents’ and teachers’ belief in my writing led to me being a teen author", Risha explained.
An Advocate Of Literature:
The release of Tales of Twinkling Tweens made Risha participate in various author visits and promotion events. It is then that she noticed that youth are slowly moving away from books and literature having been inclined towards digitalization. OTT platforms, e-books, and audiobooks have increased the distance between individuals and books to infinity. Reading lost its prominence and students prefer to watch animations and videos every time they want to learn a new concept or open a new chapter. Risha recounts how reading changed her life and feels sorry for those individuals who are alienating from this amazing activity. "Now, reading and books have changed my life, and seeing kids drift away from these magical objects broke my heart. So, I decided to shoulder the task of bridging the gap between the youth and reading.", she said. She wanted to encourage the habit of reading and for this, she used her blog posts as a weapon. She made numerous public appearances and gave speeches on the importance of cultivating the habit of reading. Through her work, she says with pride, that she has encouraged and inspired many kids to read. "Seeing people drift away from books and getting lost in this busy world prompted me to encourage them to read. I want to spread the joy and magic of reading to every corner of the world and to make them realize the benefits of reading. This makes me immensely happy", she shared.
Mocked By People But Didn't Lose Heart - Thanks To Mom:
Though Risha was a young girl who has been doing amazingly well in her field of interest, though she had the support and backup of her parents and a few teachers, she still faced challenges and this is where she stands tall in our minds. Lack of belief in her work, lack of recognition and appreciation, and being made fun of were some of the biggest challenges she faced. Talking about and recollecting all that was thrown at her, she says, "My journey of being a teen author has been pretty challenging. Beginning from people not believing in the quality of my work and deeming it kiddish to struggling to make myself heard on platforms, it was tough in every phase. My first novel didn't get the response I hoped it would as people didn't believe in tweens writing, saying that it was weak. People undermined my achievements and literary abilities saying that I was too young to write. I was also made fun of in school by some of my peers and they called my books a JOKE. Apart from this, people refused to keep my books in their stores and numerous websites and publications said that my story was quote ‘not good enough. "
Initially, all these deeply scarred Risha and she spent numerous sleepless nights. She always questioned herself if she would make a good writer. Then her mother pitched in and help Risha stay motivated. "My mother said these words to me- ‘You write for yourself, Risha. Not for the world. Not for us, not your friends, not the publishers, YOU WRITE FOR YOU.’ These words stuck by me and I started believing in myself and my work. I overcame all my challenges with the help of my family and my self-belief", said Risha who is now a confident teen author.
The Constructive Noise Made By The Teenager:
At the age of 11, when Risha published her first novel, Tales of Twinkling Tweens, she emerged as the best author. This teenager, who won several awards in college for being the best essayist, also bagged awards as a Quiz wizard. She won the Eco-Achievers Quiz Contest in Central India in 2019. Risha's blog "Straight From My Pen" on Instagram has gained 3700 followers so far. She also won the Best Short Story Writer Award and was the Runner Up in Writer’s Association Poetry Contest held in 2020. For her second novel TRUCE, which was published in 2021, she won the Best Script Writer Award and she also spoke at the Indore Literature Festival.
The Road Ahead And Her Words Worth Noting:
Risha, who is currently working on her 3rd and 4th novels, says that she wants to become a bestselling author one day. "Every day I am striving to achieve this dream", she said. To all those who are aspiring to write or who are aspiring to do something with life, Risha advises them to keep going without fearing about what's next. "Every journey is challenging on its own, but the sole difference between failure and success, between ordinary and extraordinary is that of perseverance. Don’t give up on your dreams and your dreams won't give up on you", she said. She also advises everyone to have self-belief. Telling how self-belief can be a big asset, she says, "If you believe in your work, in its quality and authenticity, then the world will believe in it. You are Amazing! You are the best! If you don't forget these words, the world will not forget you. Believe in yourself and the journey is automatically easy"
Young Risha is truly the epitome of thoughtfulness and empathy. She clearly depicts how tweens and teens are optimistic and ambitious. She also spreads a message that failures and insults are inevitable and that it is the duty of one, to keep crossing them without giving up.
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