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MY STORY: How I Became a Published Author at the Age of Eight

11-year-old Adhya Bhatnagar writes about her experience of self-publishing a book named My Little World – a compilation of her poetry.

I am Adhya, author of My Little World – a compilation of my poems published when I was only eight years old. In my book you will find questions like, “Who painted the morning skies? And those pretty butterflies?” and “What if we had more than two hands and legs?”

The book got rave reviews from magazines and newspapers. One review says, “If you want to understand the wonderful world of kids then My Little World by Adhya Bhatnagar will give you a good glimpse. Here you will find the imagination of a child which will introduce you to various facets of life including bulbs, butterflies, dolls as well as appreciation for food cooked by mothers”.

Children enjoy my poems and they also suggest more subjects. Adults ask, “How could you write such poetry at such a young age? How do you get ideas for poems?” They think writing poetry is tough. It needs imagination, rich vocabulary and also good expressions. How I learnt all these things?

Today, let me tell you how it all happened–

Adhya Bhatnagar Little Author

I am a home-schooled kid. So I study at home. One day my parents donated our TV to an orphanage. Even without TV, it was fine in the mornings because I study, paint, do Bharatnatyam practice, and other activities. But evenings became dull, because other kids were going to school, tuitions, and then did homework. No one played in the evenings.

I was cribbing about it one day when my father gave me Horton Hatches An Egg! – a hilarious poetry book by Dr. Seuss. It’s about Horton, the elephant who sits on an egg to hatch it. It fired my imagination and I became an avid reader. Authors like Sudha Murthy and Ruskin bond became a part of my life. I became an ardent fan of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Reading these authors enhanced my vocabulary and imagination.

Dr Seuss’s funny rhymes had an interesting effect on me. When I spoke to people, sentences came out rhyming. Like — “Maa! Your daughter wants water! Not full glass, only a quarter!” One day I asked my mom, “Isn’t that like a poem?” She smiled and gave me a notebook to jot these things down.

After a few days, my grandfather, a published author himself, visited us in Mumbai. He read my notebook and blessed me, “Beta, keep on writing, you too can write a book.”

His words sparked a desire. Then I sat down to write poems everyday. Soon I had a collection of many poems and I thought my book could be published now. But that was not the end!

Adhya with Gundecha bandhu

My father explained, “Not every poem can be published, a good poem should make you laugh, feel sad, or amused.” Together we selected only 12 poems. My mother was a pillar of support during this time. One day I was wondering how many different kinds of greens are there in nature, and she suggested, “Why don’t you write a poem about it?” My questions about a wall clock became a poem about time. All my queries and observations were now poetry subjects. After some months, I had about 100 poems. We chose 40 for the book. Then I made illustrations and puzzles to accompany the poems.

And after some time, there it was – the book! I felt so happy when I held it in my hand. I am 11 now and I am researching and writing a book about inter-planetary journey. I also dream of opening my own school. My friends often lament about their homework and the burden of exams and tests. In my school, studies will be a joy for children. They will learn the importance of money, caring for the nature, yoga and pranayam. There will be exams too, but these will be fun; there will be no need to rote learn each and every sentence. They will have freedom to write according to their own opinion.

I am saving my pocket money to make that school. I think books are great gifts to us children. So, I also run a free library every Sunday where I share my large collection of books with my friends.

Adhya's free library for kids

So this was my writing journey
How I went on a writing spree
How I wrote a book of poetry.

From watching TV to reading books
Illustrating my own poems
And writing in my own little nook
Finally it is here, my own little book!

I made my own little world
And my dream came true.
I quite enjoyed the ride
I hope you did too!

(By Adhya Bhatnagar)

You can buy my book here.

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