Writing is a feeling

The growing interest in the art of writing and publishing is encouraging but not enough. Now, more than ever, writers must exploit their talents to benefit communities globally.

Victor Hugo’s words, “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” is a huge reminder that if we have the power to share ideas that promote wholesomeness, we MUST. Whether we are journalists, poets, novelists, bloggers, or photographers, we all have the power to spread ideas that demonstrate who we are. The question is, how do we know when the time of an ‘idea has come’ and how should we exploit it?

Inspiring ideas

Contrary to popular belief, writers don’t always wake up dripping with words that flow onto pages of creative gup-shup.  In my experience, the time of an idea has come when there is sudden enlightenment. I mean, poems like Rise, or Exceptional Authors are Authentic, didn’t take shape or form because someone asked me to write it. What it really was, was a feeling deep inside that something ‘important’ needed to be communicated.  The inspiration behind the poem Rise is a case in point.

One day, I was at a park, enjoying my first day off from editing after a long time. The anthology I was working on consisted of the stories of women who had risen above their challenges. Deeply involved with their stories, I thought about each of them as I went back and forth on a swing. Out of nowhere, the words began to flow rapidly in my head.

I didn’t know where the inspiration was coming from and honestly, I didn’t care. What I really wanted was to capture my thoughts before I lost them. Jumping off the swing, I located a restaurant a few meters away. Running in, I paid less attention to what I was ordering and more to the paper towels I was using to write the poem. It must have been a good hour later that I realised that my food lay uneaten and cold. I still remember the look on the faces of the waiters who watched with concern as I furiously scribbled and then pocketed a wad of paper towel as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened.

Ideas have an obscene way of coming when you are least prepared. If you miss the opportunity to record ideas that are ‘fresh’, you stand the risk of losing the essence of an idea. Do what you can to make that happen for you. 

Meaningful conversations and life experiences

Take note of the conversations you have with people. If you listen carefully, they give us important clues.  Exceptional authors are Authentic came from a coaching session I was having with a writer. I was talking to her about being authentic, among other things. She said that I had a “bank of knowledge that needed documenting.”

I smiled when she said it but the word ‘AUTHENTIC’ began to take on an acrostic in my mind. Random words began to flow and as we worked on her book, I wrote random words that could become part of the larger discussion of the book. Simple stuff, but the book took two awards for being… you guessed it: Authentic.

Similarly, an upcoming book, Tuqburni – Bury me softly, is based on someone’s true story and is being written with the aim of helping couples to understand that everything is not always as it looks and that if we turn to Allah in all matters, we will find the answers. Knowing I had to write it is a feeling I had – a hard hitting realization that the material for the novel I always wanted to write, had landed straight in my lap.


This will raise eyebrows but this is my story and I’m sticking to it. Nurturing your spirituality and asking Allah for help on ALL matters, including the ones regarding your book is perfectly acceptable. 

I don’t remember my dreams but when I do, they are usually specific and result in a feeling I have. Titles like Pearls of Noor, Mothers Know, Mothers are coaches in motion, etc. all arrived just before Fajr in my dream. The decision about whether to take what your dreams reveal seriously is entirely up to you. For me, it’s a feeling I have that what I have seen or heard, is the answer I have been looking for. 

The feeling that you have when an idea comes to you is no accident. Whether it is on a swing in a park, during meaningful interactions or clarified dreams, the ideas that come arrive on purpose. Rise continues to inspire and motivate women to reach within to change the course of their lives, Exceptional authors are authentic opened up other doors for me that I never knew I’d ever have. Fellow authors, through their books, continue to influence communities to grow and Tuqburni – bury me softly (in the early stages of editing), will, Inshallah, change the way people think about the way they conduct their married lives.

It’s just a feeling I have!

About the author

Nasreen Variyawa

With multiple solo and co-authored best-sellers to her name, Nasreen Variyawa prides herself on Nasreeniology Pro Authoring, a little consultancy she manages from her home in Bursa, Turkey. Her philosophy is that everybody is born with a best-selling story within and that everyone who tells it, positively contributes to humanity. Storytelling is the most powerful form of connection and when we connect, we motivate and elevate people globally. An author coach, ghostwriter, and editor she currently assists aspiring authors to turn their dreams of becoming published authors into a reality. Nasreen is an award-winning author who has helped many authors to achieve the same.

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