Aanish Ayaz’s story on publishing his first book

“Agar loug rokta hai to chupp ke karo, ek din apna time ayega!”

These words defined the life-altering ideology which Muhammad Aanish Ayaz Farrukh embodies and urges others to as well. Aanish is a 19-year-old novelist, musician, student, avid astrology enthusiast, and much more. After completing his primary and secondary education from Lahore in Pakistan, he moved to the United States for his undergrad from Ithaca College. He successfully published his first novel at the tender age of 15 and has since then published a total of 3 books, with his fourth currently in the works.

Having been intrigued by computers and machinery, Aanish decided to pursue a degree in Computer Sciences, as he believes the realm of opportunities linked to the field are endless. However, simultaneously along with this passion, he had another skill instilled within him from a very early age, which was writing. As he explains, it is partly due to his parents who incentivized him to write by procuring his desired gifts for him, given he wrote a story to earn it. Soon enough, it became a hobby that needed no incentive to practice, and he became unconditionally immersed in writing. Story writing for him became an exciting escape. When he started, it would become too tempting to leave. Around the age of 13, he began writing a story that later developed into a proper book ripe to be sold internationally.

His first book was documentation on a difficult phase his dear friend was going through and how that documentation became a full story on suicide prevention. He further comments that he never thought he would become a published author given his impressionable young age and the lack of precedent. Still, his friends became his driving mechanism who urged him to GO BIG, convincing him to take a leap of faith and
begin transforming his story into a good book. The journey of finding a publisher to take a chance on a 15-year-old was extremely demotivating, as Aanish explains. Some publishers utterly neglected his book due to his age and shoved the idea aside. He, having then even compromised his academics, found the situation tough to cope with. Again, his friends played a significant role in keeping him going. He then found an international publisher in the United States, who believed in his work, and it was published. Talking about the support from his academic mentors, he mentioned that even being from a British education-based school, his instructors and mentors debunked his vision and hobby. This negativity consequently made him question what he was doing. He further even quotes examples, how the same predicament led many of his peers to drop out of their passions due to the pressure and societal perceptions, which he believed is why many possible prodigies within our youth get silenced. He was passionately vocal about if this was to change and a more supportive environment nurtured the students, people would rise to the occasion and make it big in the world.

Another major key takeaway, Aanish mentions, is how he struggled with his academics when he was writing his first novel. However, he believes if something drives and gets you up in the morning, it’s justified to take some time off from other obligations and test yourself to avoid any future regrets. Aanish followed this ideology at the time, as he took a step back from his academics and worked on his novel, which he believes helped him become a successful novelist. Still, at the same time, one needs to be cognizant when to dedicate your time where.

In his learnings, he mentions how he was an avid reader all his life, where he consumed everything from a novel to the newspaper and learned different techniques. However, when he was working on his first novel, he faced a total lack of avenues to help and guide him through it. There weren’t any outlets for him to consult and get help from, which he wishes to change in the future.

Being someone who believes one’s work stems from the surroundings one is in, he agreed that there is currently a lack of proper avenues or resources that would motivate and complement an artist’s creation. He believes the academic fraternity needs to start bridging this gap. Be it from the help of entrepreneurs or the government, the perception of individuals who like to pursue different pastimes needs to change from neglectful to supportive and nurturing.

Towards the end, he acknowledges that pursuing such opportunities and pastimes can be difficult and a burden for many. To such individuals, he advises waiting it out. Maybe a more supportive governmental structure is achieved and people’s perception to change; however, he strongly encourages everyone to keep going, even if it takes hiding it from everyone else. He urges everyone not to disobey the norms of the family ones brought up in, but to do it on their own time, never letting go. He believes times change and slowly, the white noise that might hinder you from pursuing your dreams today one day Apna Time Ayega.

He ended his discussion with us with a message to the parents of Pakistan. He urges the parents not to demotivate their children for the sake of societal perceptions and support their children regardless of what people may think. He vocalizes how society owes nothing to you; they are part of the white noise stepping on countless dreams, which he believes need
change.