Q1) What are your other interests/hobbies besides Writing?
AIJA– I love watching TV shows, films, reading, listening to podcasts, music. I love being outside in nature – biking, hiking, and going on little adventures whenever I can.
Q2) When did you write your first poem for dear girl and when did you think that you wanted to share your words with the world globally?
AIJA-The first poem I wrote for Dear Girl is called “The Truth About Being A Girl” and it’s since become one of my most viewed poetry videos. When I wrote that poem about 3 years ago, I knew I wanted to share it with the world. I didn’t know how or when, but it was something I needed to say.
Q3) How would you describe your Writing process like, based on personal experience or things happening around you?
AIJA-I am a creature of routine. I have a specific morning routine and writing routine that helps me get in the zone. Other than a routine, I try to keep my eyes and ears open to all that is happening around me and in the world. I write morning pages almost every day which allows me to be more in touch with my thoughts and feelings. And whenever I have a call for inspiration – I just got to it. I think the most important thing for me as a writer is to just write every day. Even if I don’t like what I write, the routine of it helps me not struggle with procrastination.
Q4) From your Instagram profile, I could find that you are reader too!❤️ Which is your favorite book of all time and your favorite poet ?
AIJA-My favorite poet is Rumi. My grandmother passed down her “Essentials of Rumi” book to me and I bring it with me wherever I go. My favorite book is probably Night by Eli Wiesel.
Q5) How do you deal with the universal human emotions like stress or doubts ?
AIJA -It’s a part of every day life for almost all of us. I try to remind myself that we all have these struggles and with each day there is an opportunity for a new beginning. I also practice meditation, I go on walks, exercise, and do whatever I can to keep balance in my life.
Q6) when writing do you believe in finishing a poem in one go or do you take time to complete it slowly?
AIJA-I don’t have a belief with this sort of thing. I wrote “The Truth About Being A Girl” in one go. I made minor adjustments afterwards but it was a piece that poured out of me. On the other hand, I wrote “Dear Girl” (the poem) over the course of weeks. And I still made changes to it up until I published the book. I think you must go with how your gut is guiding you for each particular piece.
Q7) Would you like to share your audiobook recording experience? Or any incident from the recording.
AIJA-I loved recording the audiobook. I am a performer and I love performing. Recording the audiobook for Dear Girl was a beautiful experience and I loved getting to add some music to it, as well.
Q8) What would you advice or suggest to the aspiring writers and poets of the world?
AIJA-Write the thing you are afraid to write. Play with styles, voices, themes. Don’t throw out any writing. Write as if you are the only one going to see it. And write as often as you can. Self doubt is your greatest enemy.
Q9) We see your power filled performance clips on social media which shows confidence in every single atom of it, how would you advice people to get over stage – fright ?
AIJA-Take it step by step and ease out of your comfort zone. Perhaps speak in front of your family, then a few friends, then a few more friends, and allow yourself the space and time to face your fear. It won’t happen overnight and that is totally okay. It’s all about the constant practice of stepping outside of those fears, of facing them, and one day you will stand on stage and feel more at ease.
Q1O) Do we see more poetry books by you in the future? Could you please tell us something about it.
AIJA-I would love to! My dream is to write for film and television, to continue writing books and poetry, and perhaps even plays!