Long-time writer for the youth Sabrina Fatma Ahmad published her first book, Sehri Tales, in August 2018. The book is filled with poetry, haikus and prose written over a period of three years. Sabrina started the tales as a self-challenge during Ramadan in 2016, to try and get out of a writer’s block. She wrote a few lines after having her sehri, the early morning meal before Fazr prayers, every year during the month of Ramadan. These lines were reflections of her own thoughts, fun poems on the food that she had cooked or just things that she experienced during the day. Discovering that the challenge did wonders for her writing and her mental health, Sabrina felt that it can help other people too. Last year during the month of Ramadan, she partnered up with Litmosphere, a prominent online book club, to open the challenge up to its members, providing them with interesting prompts daily. As of now, the challenge is open to the members of Litmosphere only, since it is easy to keep track of the entries that way. In a candid chat, Sabrina tells The Daily Star what her process of writing looks like, and more.
Tell us a little about your techniques and preferences for writing something.
Whenever I have an idea, I write it down and then come back to it after a few weeks. If the idea still feels fresh, I try to flesh it out. Over the years, I have realised that when it comes to writing, editing is key. Ideas that I initially thought of go through many changes by the end.
Are you planning to publish another book any time soon?
I think the publication of my first book was quite rushed, so I want to wait a while and take my time with writing a second one.
With Ramadan starting, you, along with Litmosphere, will be arranging the second round of the Sehri Tales challenge. How will it be different from last year?
Last year, the Sehri Tales challenge received an overwhelmingly positive response from the members of Litmosphere. It was nice to see people getting inspired by each other’s writing techniques. However, some people were submitting their tales quite late. So, this year, we will be stricter in terms of timing and we will also have a limit of 250 words on the entries. If someone is not into writing, they can submit artworks or doodles based on the prompts.
What do you want people to take away from the Sehri Tales challenge?
With the varied pleasures of social media today, a lot of people vent out their feelings and frustrations through long posts
online. Although this practice is good in a way, it can also perpetuate negativity. I hope the Sehri Tales challenge allows people to take their unpleasant feelings and turn it into something artistic. I wish everyone a happy, hydrated and stress-free Ramadan!