Author, lifestyle blogger, A TEDx speaker, entrepreneur, singer, filmmaker- the titles are plenty for Nihara Hareesh. Currently the author of 4 amazon bestsellers, she aspires to write a novel that turns into a movie someday. In this interview, she talks about everything from sexism to her depression episodes and her future plans.
Blogger, author, entrepreneur- how do you manage all the titles together?
You make it sound fabulous. I am blushing. Truth to be told – all of them were things I was passionate about from the get go. My passion was always into writing and media. Over the years I managed to chase my passions and build a career out of it that I am truly happy to wake up to everyday.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have been writing since I was 8. Scribbled my first set of poems in a scribbling pad when I was just 11. And published my first short story in a National magazine when I was just 14. So you can say it was always part of me growing up.
Who inspired you to start writing?
I am an extrovert now but I wasn’t one as a kid. The book that actually inspired me to write my own short stories was Agatha Christie – Hound Of Death. Followed by JK Rowling of course.
How do you manage writer’s block?
My writers block can be pretty intense. I can go months without writing and sometimes finish a chapter in an hour. I usually deal with it by reading some good novels and watching some cinematic masterpieces.
You have been very vocal about your health as a whole on social media, especially mental health. How has this shaped you as a person or an author?
I had depression for about 3-4 years in my teens. I had taken counseling and therapy for the same but very few knew about it back then as it was still a stigma to talk about mental health back then. I was quite fine for a few years after that but unfortunately relapsed again back in 2019. So when I got back in therapy again I realized how I had been looking down upon myself the past years and how important it was for me to be accepting of who I was – with all the flaws and fabulousness. Writing helped a lot during this struggle. My third book – Letters To My Soulmate was a letter to myself and a sweet release of sorts.
How are you keeping up with a male-dominated business sector in UAE as a female? Have you ever faced any difficulties as a woman?
There isn’t a single field out there that isn’t male dominated if you ask me. But yes I have faced quite a number of sexist remarks over the years. But the joy in proving them wrong and establishing equality has been fun. And I will continue to do so. Things in the UAE have been changing and I am hoping to see more amazing women in the field.
Apart from all the above titles, do you have any other hidden talents that we don’t know?
I come from a family of performers. My parents are professional singers and that always ran in the family. I am a singer and dancer too but that’s more of a hobby.
What are your future projects?
I aim to write a novel one day that can be turned into a movie. That’s my all time goal. I am hoping to achieve that in the years to come. Wish me luck.
Your favourite author and favourite books/novels, which we should read.
Jenny Han – To All The Boys series
Agatha Christie – Hound Of Dealth
Jeffrey Archer – A Twist In The Tale
Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist and 11 minutes
Any advice to upcoming female entrepreneurs, authors and bloggers?
Don’t let fear get the best of you and don’t ever try to run the rat race. No one wins there. You are good in your own lane as long as you are moving forward.