Thursday, 3 August 2017


*picks up mic*

*taps mic*

*clears throat*

I've been absent for 8 months, and I have no real excuse for it. January - May was certainly a busy period, as it was the last few months of my degree, but what about after? Why not post during Ramadan? Why not post about my month-long adventures in Pakistan? What about after Pakistan? Why not post about graduation? Or the weeks that have followed since graduation?

Why not - at the very least - post about books?

I have little excuse other than a lack of motivation and poor time management.

Speaking of a lack of motivation. I started working on my novel over a year ago, and I've yet to reach 20k words let alone 40k or 50k. I know everyone works at their own pace, but why must my natural pace be so slow? I've come across writers who complete first drafts in the matter of weeks and maybe it's because I'm such a painstaking perfectionist but I am so aware of how much I am holding myself back. Being one's own worst enemy is exhausting.

As for not posting about books, I guess I do have a decent excuse for that. My Instagram is more of a bookstagram. It's dedicated to books. The bookstagram community is my favourite corner of the internet. It's like one giant, universal book club where book lovers from all over the world can read, review, discuss and rant about books with one another. I'm pretty active on there, and I guess I used that as justification for being less active here.

I considered deleting this blog at one point, and making Instagram my primary platform. But as wonderful as Instagram is, it is restrictive (*cough* word limit *cough*) and I knew that a day would come, sooner or later when I craved the freedom and flexibly of my own creative platform once again. So I let this space sit for as along as I needed it to.

Uni's over, graduation is over, I've collected my degree in English Literature and am expected to move on to the next phase of my life.

Trying to figure out what that next phase should be is the hard bit.

I'd always thought I would begin my Masters this September, the September after completing my degree. Yet at some point during my third year I started to rethink this plan. Why not postpone my Masters for at least a year? This was a rather terrifying prospect as one of the positive aspects of doing a Masters was postponing the inevitable adulating that follows after our years spent in education. I spent MONTHS agonising over this, and I never found a clear answer. In the end, I had to go with gut instinct, and after months of inspecting my gut I felt that a Masters right now wasn't right for me, for multiple reasons.

1) I felt mentally exhausted, and the thought of doing another dissertation in exactly a year's time was shudder-inducing.

2) I knew I wouldn't complete my novel any time soon if I did a Masters straight away.

3) I was dissatisfied with the Postcolonial courses I was researching across the UK. I also realised that I would LOVE to study African American literature but no where in the UK offered a decent programme. The University of Edinburgh was the only institution I could find that claimed to specialise in African American literature but after researching it as thoroughly as I could I discovered there was a high chance the modules I wanted to study wouldn't be running this year. So I crossed Edinburgh off the list. (Ideally America would be the place to study AA lit but I'm just not ready to take that step, mainly because American terrifies me. Thanks Trump. )

4) I couldn't afford it.

So I didn't apply.

Yet despite all these reasons I still wake up every day wondering if I made the right choice.

The Postcolonial & Global Literatures Masters at Queen Mary (where I studied these past 3 years) isn't my ideal choice, but it's better than most. Plus, one of my good friends applied for the postcolonial course at Queen Mary and got accepted. I imagine another year of education with her by my side would've been pretty nice.

But I had to do what was right for me.

I had to see what I could accomplish outside of education.

I had to work, and save money.

I had to give myself some time to figure things out.

And I had to give the novel I'm writing and believe in with all my heart a real chance.

People will always have their opinions about how you should live your life. Most of the time it's because they love you, and genuinely want the best for you.

My parents were disappointed with my decision, and my uncle has been trying to convince me to study International Relations at postgrad level for years. Maybe he's right, maybe it is a better subject to spend my time and money on. But at the end of it all I am the one who has to live with myself and bear the consequences of my decisions. Therefore, I have to do what's right for me, and I am not one to pick practicality over passion.

So yeah. This is the beginning of my gap year. If all goes well, I should be embarking upon a Masters next September, hopefully at a University that's right for me, studying something that really excites and interests me.

This time next year I hope to have:

1) Completed and edited the first draft of my novel.

2) Worked and saved enough money.

3) Travelled, at least a little.

4) Read a diverse range of books, and lots of them.

Four, pretty achievable sounding goals right? I hope with every part of me that I use this year productively, and wisely. I hope I let it make me better through every welcome and unwelcome surprise. I hope I look back at this post in a years time and smile at my needless anxiety. I hope I don't let myself down.

*a point at which a crucial decision must be made which will have far-reaching consequences. 



  1. Aww this was blissful to read. Whatever you do, may Allah bless every step of the way. You're going to rock your gap year!

    1. Thanks so much Rima! You're the sweetest <3


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