DU Beat interviewed the new bestselling writer on the block – Anubhav Agrawal– author of Why Not Me, on writing, reality of love and heartbreak, and the power of social media.
Writer, poet and social media influencer Anubhav Agrawal is the founder of Iwritewhatyoufeel®, an online poetry community which has over three million followers on social media. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree before embarking on a journey as a writer. What started as a hobby soon became his passion, and now he writes to heal people with broken hearts and hopes. Drawing from first-hand experience, which he shares with much empathy and honesty, Anubhav’s book is a cure for a broken heart and, unlike a fictional love story, rooted in the real. Given that the ending of a relationship is a universal, life-altering and incredibly painful experience under normal circumstances – but even more so during this pandemic – this book is a super-relatable recovery guide that can help you emerge stronger after heartbreak.
1.) Let us begin from the very start—how did you discover your love for writing? What inspired you to actively pursue it?
I always loved to express my feelings in writing. I have always expressed myself to the people I loved in the past. When I went through a breakup phase, the only way to pour out those emotions for me was by writing. So, I started writing on social media under the handle ‘Iwritewhatyoufeel.’ When I was sharing my emotions, I found that there were a lot of people who were connecting to my words, my feelings and with time a lot of people started joining my page. That’s when my interest in writing increased and here I am today.
2.) How would you describe Why Not Me to people who have not read it yet?
If it says, it’s a feeling of millions, it would be yours too. It’s a joyful rollercoaster ride of emotions that will take you on a journey where you’ll smile, cry, and feel every emotion. A must-read for people who are trying to move on. This book will help people to get answers to so many questions related to their love life.
3.) In your novel, you described the reality of love and heartbreak. What was the inspiration behind deciding to write non-fiction, and picking these themes for your debut novel?
As ‘Why Not Me’ is my debut book. I already had a story to share- my story, which has so much to learn from. I see people suffering in their relationships every day which I have already been through. Things are almost similar, and that’s when I decided to write my story as there are a lot of people out there who would relate to it. And they did as well. I received thousands of DMs in the first few weeks of launching the ebook format where the reaction of the people was ‘It’s completely my story.’
4.) You are also the founder of Iwritewhatyoufeel®, an online poetry community. What is it about, and how has it helped you find your footing as an author?
Iwritewhatyoufeel is the username of my page, which is my identity on social media, especially Instagram. I write quotes and narrate poetry and stories there. The love of the people towards my content has helped me to get 3 million followers across social media platforms. The active followers of my pages and channels were constantly demanding a book for the last 4 years, and I used to ignore it because I was not confident enough to write a whole book, but when I decided to, I finished this book in just 3 months which was quick for me as I used to think that it takes a lot of months and years to finish a book.
5.) What is your writing process like? How has the lockdown impacted it?
I write when I’m alone, in a dark room to 100% focus on my thoughts. Lockdown has helped people like me who are active on social media platforms. It has helped me to focus on my content and yes, the idea of publishing an ebook came after the lockdown. So, I can say that lockdown has positively impacted me and my career.
6.) You’re about to release your second book, Hands Down, which is a self-help book about moving on. Will you prefer to write around the same themes in the future too, or do you see yourself delving into other genres, and/or maybe even fiction?
I won’t say that I will not change my theme ever, but I would surely bring more books on love and healing as this is my genre. I will try on other genres too, but later.
7.) The writing industry is an unpredictable and erratic industry. As a person who has recently joined the crowd, what has your journey been like so far?
I’m not in the crowd, but luckily I’ve been treated nicely by the readers and publishers both, luckily. I appreciate those who have loved my book so far. People were so happy that they got all the editions and formats of the book. My experience in this book industry has been pleasant, as of now. Let’s see what my Guruji has planned for me.
8.) You are also a successful media influencer, with a super-engaged fanbase. What is the importance of social media exposure, according to you, in terms of breaking into the writing industry and gaining momentum as an author?
Social media exposure has helped me in selling the book quickly to a wider audience. The more you sell the book, the more popular it gets, and everything comes into the picture then. I got the courage to write the book because I have a huge follower base who is interested in reading my book. Social media exposure plays a very important role. It surely helps in the growth of the book.
9.) The reaction to your debut novel was a rip-roaring success. What would you like to say to your readers?
I was overwhelmed after seeing the response of the readers. It drove me crazy. Thousands of copies were being sold in a day that was totally unexpected. I just want to thank a big one to my readers for loving this book. I appreciate the response of the people. Honestly, more than 90% of people gave the book a 5-Star rating on Amazon which shows how much people loved Why Not Me. Without the support of the people, this book wouldn’t get successful. So, I owe a big one to my Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook family.
10.) Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I would like to give advice to aspiring authors- don’t worry about how well your book will perform. Just write what your heart says. Write something which people will mostly relate to. Write something which will help people to have a better perspective towards life. Write something which will help people in one way or another. Write for people, they will surely hear your voice. I never read any book in my life, this was the first time I read a book when I completed mine. I faced a lot of difficulties, I had so many questions but I didn’t waste my time; instead, I gave 100% to my book and it paid off. Good Luck!
Why Not Me? Tells the story of Anubhav, a hopeless romantic, who had been looking for the love of his life. When Zoya accepts his online friend request, he feels an instant connection. Soon, he finds himself falling deeply in love with her.
For four years, first as friend and then as boyfriend, Anubhav waits for the day that Zoya will fall for him too. It never comes. He has fallen in love with a person who never really cared about him. He had thought that if Zoya ever left him, he would be devastated. Turns out, it is the best gift ever.
Looking back on his roller-coaster ride of being crazy in love to heartbroken, Anubhav expresses in words what countless others have felt. His message? A broken heart can make you a stronger person.
Already a national e-book bestseller, Why Not Me? is a story of learning to love yourself again.
You can buy Anubhav’s book HERE.
Feature Image Credits: HarperCollins