NEXT GEN: Spotlight on Sadaf Ayaz /December 18, 2017
Meet Sadaf Ayaz – the author of two bestselling books and the CEO and Founder of Rev Media, her heart for storytelling has enabled her to connect with hundreds via the written word.
You’ve authored two books now. What is your advice to someone who wants to start writing one but doesn’t know where to start?
Plan it out and stay persistent!
Writing a book is not easy by any means but my sisters and I were all able to hack the process to publish our first books before the age of 15. In fact, my younger sister, Huda Ayaz, published her first book in 4th grade.
I wrote my first draft of 80,000 words within a month, however, my sisters took a span of 4-6 months to complete their drafts. Everyone has a different process and you should explore yours.
I’m a super detail-oriented person so without a proper layout of what I will be doing, I get lost. I create extravagant charts with details of all the scenes, characters, and themes I will be dealing with in my book.
My sisters, on the other hand, write and plan as they go and enjoy the process in that way.
If you don’t know where to start, I would recommend you to plan it out and write whatever comes to you–even if that’s the last scene/part of the book, the climax, or even the filler chapters necessary to connect ideas together.
People often find themselves frustrated because of a “writer’s block” which often comes in parts of the writing process where you either don’t know how to proceed or when you’re not feeling particularly passionate about what you’re writing. In those moments, just write whatever you do find inspiring and come back.
Again, everyone has their own process.
Find your own and experiment!
But remain persistent.
Tell us about the inspiration behind REV 21. What has been your favorite part about running it?
REV 21 Media is a passion project of mine as well as a business that is very close to my heart.
After seeing the countless moments in which minority groups, and especially within millennials and Gen Z, the youth is misrepresented in so many aspects of society, I decided it was due time to change that. So much of the content aimed at youth often doesn’t hold anything particularly productive in its content. While for minorities, there’s often little present to represent them and their voices. I’ve also noticed that often whatever is out there for both youth and minorities doesn’t represent them and their passions at all. They present preconceived images in a stereotypical manner.
For a long time, I remained silently upset over the conditions.
But after a while, I realized I was wrong in remaining silent and immobile about the manner. Change comes when you demand it. And actual change comes when you sit at the table that makes the decisions.
In the case of big media companies, the people who sat at the table were often white old men who come with their restrictions and preconceived notions.
REV 21 Media is an attempt to change that. It’s high time minority youth get on that table and become the torchbearers of our realities.
Over the past year of running REV 21, my favorite parts have been being able to meet and learn the stories and manner of thinking of so many youth. I have constantly been inspired by the people I’ve met on this journey and have found myself restructuring my mindset and reflecting on myself because of the incredible I get to work with.
How do you juggle ALL that you do? Any advice for time management?
Ah, time management is very difficult as a student by itself and an entrepreneur by itself so the two put together create a very chaotic life.
To navigate through that, I use several tools to keep me on top of my work.
I use Trello to keep my projects and responsibilities separate but recorded in a detailed manner so I don’t miss anything. I love to-do-lists and live by them.
I also love google calendar and put everything on that so I don’t forget any important dates.
I also try to schedule out my days 2-3 weeks in advance so I can make progress on all of the things I am working on.
Prioritizing is very important. Sometimes I have to prioritize school over work and other times work over school. You have to know when to do which.
The word “no” also helps. It sucks but you have to say no to short-term desires for the long-term goals.
I will say I don’t get much time to myself and often am not able to make a lot of time with friends, but I definitely do try to make sure I’m not lacking in any aspect of my life.
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