Blogger, Midlife Influencer and Writer are just some words to describe this amazing lady, Jane Chelliah. Jane is also a Mum to 21 year old Maelo and a wife. Jane is my older sister whom I have always admired and looked up to from a very young age. Jane has taught me a lot about living life and making the most of it. I am glad to share her thoughts with you today about achieving what you aim for in life.
1. How has 2021 been so far for you?
I accomplished so much in 2020 that you would think I would have started 2021 with a bang. In 2020, I was signed up by a well-known literary agent based on 3 chapters of an unfinished novel. I finished writing the novel in September and felt great. I was promoted at work in September. Then in 2021, I developed imposter syndrome and became a damp squib because I was afraid of failing. Fear of failure is a huge internal obstacle. I am gradually starting to realise how debilitating negative beliefs in yourself are.
2. When did you discover your interest and talent in writing? What steps have you taken to develop this?
In my teenage years, I started writing interesting essays in school and loved English Literature for the stories. I wanted to articulate myself better through the written word. I studied creative writing at Lancaster University and took various courses. My advice to anyone who wants to write a novel is to study the art of it. The learning journey is a creative process.
3. Blogging and social media engagement is a totally different talent- how did you develop this?
Both require strategic thinking about how to get your message across. Your message comes from your beliefs and values. Synthesising these into messages is how you get your beliefs and values across to others.
4. You have written a new book-how much can you tell us?
It’s a novel about inter-generational relationships in an Indian family. Most of the protagonists are female. I want to explore how Indian women relate to each other within a cultural structure which is very patriarchal.
5. How has Covid affected you- negatives/positives- anything you have learnt about yourself in the last year
Covid has taught us all the meaning of fear. We live in fear of something that we cannot see but, yet, which is a threat to our lives and the lives of our loved ones. We put on our masks to protect ourselves from something that we cannot see. It’s like a horror movie where the threat is something invisible. I have learnt the meaning of fear but, also, resilience. All of us are finding ways to cope with this and we will emerge stronger people.
6. Tell us about your family.
I have a lovely sister, Janet Chelliah author of this blog, who encourages me to keep writing. My daughter encourages me too and believes in me. Janet and I have a sister-in-law who encourages us too. Support and encouragement within the family is what keeps us moving forward.
7. Who inspired you in your childhood?
Tamil Movies inspired me because of the drama that goes on in them. There is conflict and resolution against a background of singing and dancing. All these make up our everyday lives.
8. What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?
To be able to retire and carry on writing full-time.
9. Tell us about your TV appearance in 2019? How do you think you contributed to the programme? What did you learn from it? Would you like to be On TV again?
I was on the Channel 4 reality TV Show, Mums Make Porn, which aired in 2019. Filming the show and watching the finished product on national TV was one of the best times of my life. Taking part in a reality TV show skyrocketed my levels of courage and self-awareness. When you put yourself out there you must have tremendous belief in yourself or you won’t enjoy it. I would love to do it again.
10. What advice would you give young adults trying to achieve their dreams and ambition in this pandemic?
Look for new ways of doing things. The pandemic has disrupted traditional ways of living. More and more people are turning to the online world to further their ambitions. Can you do something else instead if the avenues that you are pursuing aren’t reaping results? Is there another way to achieve your dreams?
11. What advice would you give women in their mid life?
Keep pursuing your ambitions and dreams. Age is never a barrier. These do not just belong to your younger self.
Please follow Jane on Twitter @ambitiousmamas , Instagram -ambitiousmamas and https://amidliferinlondon.com