With nothing else to do, many have begun to pursue their passion in lockdown and this student duo created a platform for people loving the written word. Taran Malhotra and Nishtha Agarwaal founded Inked Stories in an attempt to bring recognition and appreciation to undervalued writers. Here they share their challenges and achievements in making Inked stories.
MEET THE FOUNDERS
A twenty-one-year-old, Nishtha Agarwaal is an undergraduate student and a published author residing in Ahmedabad, India. Throughout her art, she engages in the themes of happiness, nostalgia, loneliness, love, heartbreak, and hope. She loves to share her work with the entire world as a means to create a protective cover for healing in the dark phases of life. She has published two poetry collections – “On the Edge of the Cosmos” and “Fruit of Paradise” which are available on Amazon and Notion Press. Her inspirations drawdown to Rupi Kaur because of her subtle way of expressing things through writing. She aspires to become an entrepreneur and create a safe and creative place for writers like her providing them a platform where they can share their emotions and feelings.
A nineteen-year-old, Taran Malhotra is pursuing under graduation and is residing in Ahmedabad, India. He is a self-motivated person who believes in spreading happiness and smiles. He believes that it is our own motivation and self-belief that keeps us going. He has a creative mind and has interests in music and photography. Exploring new places and learning new things is his daily grind. He possesses leadership qualities and wants to become a good leader to guide individuals to give their best. He aspires to be an entrepreneur who wants to raise the voice of millennials in the country.
Here is Nishtha Agarwaal in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) How did you start Inked Stories?
We started out with nothing in mind, with an Instagram page that invited under viewed and under-acknowledged writers to share any forms of writing. That was in May 2020. We just wanted to pass time during the lockdown and keep ourselves busy and do something productive for ourselves and for the budding and aspiring artists, but we didn’t know we would be coming this far. Co-founded by Nishtha Agarwaal & Taran Malhotra, today, we are a strong community with almost 500+ writers.
2) What were the challenges you faced while setting up Inked Stories?
The first and foremost challenge we faced was deducing our USP. With so much of competition already prevailing and so many communities flourishing, we had to get an edge over them, we had to be unique. The second challenge we faced was gathering our target audience, understanding their tastes and preferences and developing a bond with them so that they relate to the work we put up. Basically, establishing a presence of Inked Stories. The third and the last challenge we faced while setting up Inked Stories was ‘accepting the new normal’. Working from home right in the beginning of setting up a startup is pretty difficult, but we overcame it pretty well, thanks to the technology.
3) What makes your platform different from other writing platforms?
When someone thinks of the term a “writing community”, words like ‘solitary’, ‘peaceful’ are likely to pop up. But that’s not the same with Inked Stories. We at Inked Stories try to create a little family with each and everyone who is a part of it. Before developing their writing skills, we try to help them develop themselves into better individuals. For us, they are just not interns, but they are someone who we can count on for a lifetime. And this is something that makes us different from other writing platforms.
4) Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Further down the line, we are planning to launch a few campaigns related to raising voice for/against social stigmas. We are also planning to collaborate with a few indie bands for the same. We really want to support the society for a good cause, and that is what we are trying to do since the very beginning. Apart from this, we are planning to support local and budding artists and talent who don’t get a platform elsewhere. We are also planning to have more of publications, more of merchandise, and the rest remains a surprise!
5) What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Our advice to aspiring writers would be to ‘never give up’ and ‘never stop hustling’. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve what you wish to. There’s a hidden writer in all of us, if you cannot find it, let it unfold. Writer every day, let your emotions and feelings out. Every idea starts somewhere, it can be at the most unusual places. Don’t let anybody steal your aspirations. You just need to have a positive mindset, breathe in, and the rest will find its way!
6) What is your favorite genre?
Our favorite genre’s include mystery, horror and thriller, crime, travel literature, motivational & inspirational themes and humour.
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