Every writer you encounter will have a story of rejection from publishers, to narrate. Getting a book published has always been a Herculean task for the aspiring writers. Though the paperback book may still be a distant dream, now they have a different book, a ‘Facebook’ to showcase their mettle. Nobody can deny them their chance of publishing their thoughts on the Facebook wall. There is a pool of writers in the social media who use this free space. Some write poems, stories, articles, whereas a few use it as a diary to scribble their thoughts. We catch up with a few popular Facebook writers and upcoming talented authors and poets to know how Facebook liberalised their thoughts.
“Facebook changed my life. I realised my dream of becoming a writer,” says Akhil P. Dharmajan, a native of Alappuzha, a popular online novelist. Like all beginners, he too was rejected by publishing houses. But, the determined Akhil started sharing his stories on Facebook. “First, I posted stories in my account. Once it became popular, I started the page ‘Kadha’ where I published novels. My first novel was Oujoboard. I posted 37 chapters at a regular interval. All my well-wishers requested me to publish the novel as a book. But, I was not financially sound and could not do that. And, my readers came forward to help me. I am so excited that the hard copy of Oujoboard is now set to hit the markets. I have already got more than 100 orders through Facebook,” says Akhil, who is currently writing the series — Mercury Island.
Cheviyil vechappol, kurachu pere kandullu. Mookil Vechappol Kaanan Kure perundayirunnu. It is a short poem on Panji (cotton) written by Ajith Kumar R., an advertising professional from Kochi. He is one of the most popular writers in the haiku short poems group on Facebook.
“Not just haikus that are restricted to a few lines, I write long poems too,” says Ajith whose poems have broken traditional concepts. “I don’t believe in the traditional concepts of poetry. I write on objects, look at them from a different angle. Sometimes, I treat subjects with humour. Even if I write about universal concepts such as a mother’s love or death, I try to bring a twist. My years in advertising have helped sharpen my thoughts,” he says adding that Facebook lets young writers avoid clashes with biggies. His one poem Thadavu was shared by celebs like Aashiqu Abu and it will soon be made into a short film. For Shifnah Muhammed Shukkur and Donita Jose, Facebook is a space to share their thoughts on current affairs or people they meet. “Feminism is my favourite subject. If you approach a newspaper to publish your article, you will have to jump many hurdles. With Facebook, we can say what is on our mind in simple language,” she says.
According to Shifnah, who maintains a diary on Facebook, people wouldn’t have noticed her writings, if she hadn’t published them on Facebook. “In my diary, I talk about people I meet or my thoughts on things happening around. The best part of Facebook writing is that we get immediate feedback,,” she says.
The popularity of social media has become so high that, even mainstream publishers look to it for upcoming talents. Ravi Dee Cee, of DC books says that it is a good trend. “It is a good platform for them. There are some brilliant people out there on Facebook. And sometimes, we include exceptional works in an anthology of works based on certain topics,” says Ravi.
Writer Paul Zachariah too concurs with him. He believes that Facebook is an area of freedom. “Printing is sustainable for some time. But, writers on Facebook will grow in parallel. They will get a good fanbase. And, after a few years printed works will slowly adapt to the digital medium,” he says. Pointing to one of its dangers, he adds, “It is the best medium to spread a thought. There is no censorship. So, there is a chance to misuse the platform. We must learn to avoid them.”...