I never knew that one day I would become a freelance writer, had it not been for my father’s encouragement and belief in me. I was first published at the age of seven in a local children’s magazine. It was a small poem, with my photograph published alongside it.
One evening at the age of twelve, my pen flowed and the words spilled out on their own to form my first short story, “A Terror called Katy”. From nowhere I decided to send it to the same magazine. It had been a year and I had forgotten all about it.
One day while I was reading the magazine I happened to read a story that seemed very familiar, when my eyes caught the byline. I just couldn’t believe it! A story that I had actually written was published! Imagine my excitement when I received a cheque a month later as payment for my story. I was extremely delighted.
Another one of my stories was published at the age of fourteen. Later after high school I went on to enroll in a reputed comprehensive creative writing course that honed my writing skills incredibly. My tutor was always impressed by the material I churned out, and I appreciated the valuable constructive criticism he so generously bestowed on me.
All along my father staunchly supported me. He had been an ex-editor himself and, through the years, advised me to never stop writing. And it is his guidance coupled with my interest that keeps me writing to this day.
Successes keep pouring in and now, whenever I get the time our from work at the office, I sit down at my PC and keep writing. And thanks to the Net and all the lovely writers’ newsletters out there, I have a generous flow of writing assignments paying from $400 for 400 words to $100 per page! It is my burning ambition that one day I will be known for my writing, and will make my father very proud of me.
Humera Abdul Basith is a freelance writer based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has been writing since the age of seven and her articles and letters have been published in leading publications in the UAE and in India. Humera has also won a number of awards in writing competitions and credits the course, “The Writers Bureau,” at Manchester for doing “wonders to my writing skills.”