Thoughts Alight by Kawtar Elmrabti is a collection of poems divided into four sections – love, hope, self, and meditation. Through each poem, the author weaves a magical scene and meditates upon it to create a surreal impact on its reader.
In this interview, the author has given us a chance to know her. Here, she talks about her inspiration to write, writer’s block and much more. So, let’s dive in.
- Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hello, dear readers, my name is Kawtar Elmrabti, I’m a recently published author of my poetry book ‘Thoughts Alight’. I live in Paris, I’m 25 and I’m an English teacher.
- When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?
That’s an interesting question but quite inherent for my part! I always wanted to become an author. I’ve always been an avid reader since my young age and I always wanted to see my name inked on the cover of a book I wrote. I also wanted to help heal the soul of the world through the healing power of words.
- What inspires you to write books? What are the things which catch your attention?
I always wanted to put my words out there in the world, to write a dedication page that someone will read and say: “wow that’s deep.” Also, for a long time, I have been guided by the sole ambition to spread love and kindness in the world and into people’s lives. With the power of words, you can accomplish magical endeavors. Writing books is about sharing a figment of our souls and it’s such an endeavor filled with noble-mindedness. Some stories I’ve read left an endless powerful mark on my life. I believe books have a soul, books are a form of magic we have to fetch for ourselves.
- Tell something in brief about your book ‘Thoughts Alight’? How did the idea of coming up with this book strike you? What amount of research you did for this one.
My collection of poems is mainly about self-love, love, hope, and meditation. They are thoughts that I nurtured and cherished my whole life. They are petals that have flown around me my whole life.
I have always carried a notebook wherever I have gone, and I have always made sure to write down whenever inspiration struck. I believe that inspiration is a flowing, beaming entity coming to us. It reaches out to us in the most unexpected of moments. The magic of these moments is to fully engage them and to write them down.
As the title suggests, my poems are thoughts that light the path toward love, hope and the will to meditate and let go of the surrounding tensions. I want my poems to inspire people, to have a soothing power when they feel down.
- Do you see books as a carrier of an important message or a medium of entertainment?
Books are so much more than entertainment. Books are the summit of a life long accomplishment. Obviously, I do believe that books are meant to help people escape or to find a safe haven in a sort of way. Books are meant to move, uplift our hearts and minds. So, yes books have to convey an important message about the facets of life.
- Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Definitely! Writing and reading is the very root of my faith. I was greatly inspired by my faith and the waves of my spiritual meditation when writing this book. I believe that no matter our faith, we all have to look up to a greater force in the universe, something greater than all of us. That’s why my poetry is filled with stellar imagery. It’s all about seeing above the soil of our daily lives. It’s all about escaping to greater horizons be it in a spiritual way or not.
Overall, I think that when one engages in the act of meditation, it is a form of spirituality.
- Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?
Not really no. I’m definitely the type to write whenever they feel inspired. I strongly believe that inspiration is flowing energy, an entity on its own. It comes to us in the most unexpected way and we must catch it. I envision inspiration like beaming moths in the night sky, you know. It’s all about embracing spontaneity.
- Have you ever faced writer’s block? If yes, how did you overcome it?
When it comes to poetry I never had a writer’s block. But when I wrote my Master thesis on American Literature I definitely faced a lot of writer’s block. In my creative writing, I never faced writer’s block. I also have a peculiar vision when it comes to writer’s block. I think that there’s no such thing as writer’s block. We comfort ourselves in the idea of writer’s block to take a break from writing because maybe we aren’t in the right headspace to pursue the act of writing. Writer’s block is easy to overcome, you just have to fetch the sparkles of inspiration in your daily life, in nature itself for example.
- When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or a full-time profession?
Well, that is surely an interesting question! I think that writing is a passion above all. It is a career for a lot of people. Not everyone can have the luxury to turn writing into a full-time profession because the publishing world is a tricky challenge. We can’t live off our writing immediately. First, you have to write a lot, publish extensively and work on the right promotional strategy. It takes a long path to be able to make writing a full-time profession. I myself am an English Teacher and whether I grow big or not as an author , I’ll always teach. Writing is a career, a creative space, a safe haven, a place where we can endlessly explore our depth and inner-strength.
- What does literary success look like to you?
The general consensus makes literary success the moment when your book turns into a movie, a whole franchise. I think that literary success has multiple definitions. Literary success is when your work is perfectly aligned with your creative ambition, when you wrote something for yourself and not based on what ‘people’ would enjoy. It is when you realized your ambition by staying loyal to your roots, when you gain a loyal and supportive readership. When your book inspires people. I reached literary success in my own way, a few days ago someone told me ‘your book made me reflect about life and that’s the power of a good book’. Seeing people being inspired by my book is a great literary success at my personal scale. To finish on this insightful question, literary success is like an ever-blooming tree with multiple leaves. Some focus on the leaves of social media success, some on best selling success, others on personal achievement success. In the end, it’s all about diversity.
- How would you describe the contemporary scenario of writing and reading?
Another lovely question! Writing is a personal experience so it is an ever-changing entity. Reading is a whole different experience, I think that readers should be more put forward in books. In my book there is a special poem written for the reader at the end, it’s something I always wanted to do, to get the reader fully invested and acknowledged by the author. I’m currently working on a new scenario of connecting with the reader through a book. I’ll make sure to keep you posted about this ambition of mine, it’s something I’ll make happen in my upcoming works.
- How important is marketing a book in the present conditions when every day we see new titles coming up? Any tips to share?
Well, promoting is a journey I just embarked on these past months. I found that promoting a book is a journey of constant challenge that must be balanced with a certain level of resilience and self- belief.
I am still navigating through this challenging journey. I do believe that Bookstagram is the place where everything can happen for an author’s journey. First of all, I always said that a reader is a lighthouse to an author’s journey. Reaching out to avid readers is the main key. Also promoting is about conveying a certain message about yourself and your life’s story. Social media is the main place where everything flourishes in terms of book marketing. To all the authors promoting their books, I want to tell you: Never give up, keep on reaching out, talking about your book. It’s all about hard work and belief. Believe that you can make it. All the best selling authors we look up to, all have been through that same path. Never forget 🙂
- Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? What is your favorite genre? Your favorite book/s?
I’m an avid reader, my whole life is based on adding books on my TBR! Reading is my safe haven as much as writing. I read all kind of genres but lately, I’ve been into a lot of Colleen Hoover, she became one of my favourite authors! I have so many favourite authors due to the fact that I’m a literature lover, I have a masters degree in American Literature so I had my share of classics and contemporary novels. My favourite books, wow I have so many but the book that made me fall with literature is The Catcher In the Rye by JD Salinger, also a bit of Poe and so much more!
- Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
The endeavor of putting your words out there in the world is the most soul-warming emotion one’s heart can experience. Since my young age, I always wanted to see my name inked on the cover of a book and now I finally kissed this dream of mine and made it my reality ✨ To all the Aspiring writers, know that you are gifted and your journey with life can give birth to mesmerizing waves to look up to. So if you want to inspire people’s heart go for it! Don’t shy away, be yourself, be authentic. Make your art a unique footprint in the world.
Whether we are an author, an artist, a painter, a dancer or a singer. Our creative waves are rooted in the sole purpose of expressing our emotions, feelings and inner true self. There is no art without pain. All shapes of art are based on mountains of bravery and hardships. My poetry book traces my path as I encountered the wonders of self-love and self-belief. My inspiration flows from years of meditating and most importantly from my faith.
- Are we going to hear more from you in the future?
Yes definitely! I aspire to write a lot more books and to become a best-selling author just once in my life. I’m also currently working on two other books.
A poetry book named ‘Jars of Bliss’ and a fiction novel entitled ‘Willing Skies’. When you are walking on the path of your dreams, just hold to it dearly and work even harder with a happy and passionate heart.
You can discover more about my journey on my Instagram page @inkoflight. You can purchase my book on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Book Depository. Until then, I send you much love and keep on nurturing this inner light of yours, it will take you to beautiful horizons. Always let your path alight with hope, love and self-belief. These are the seeds you need to bloom happily on this fragile treasure called life 🙂
*We wish Author Kawtar Elmrabti all the best for her future endeavors.*