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When we knocked the Instagram's doors, Kajree Gautom was one of the first Bookstagrammer to welcome us with open arm's. From teaching us gently the ways to increase our follower's base to providing us feedback on our initial posts, she has been there all the time. When we asked her to lend her time for an interview, she readily agreed.
So we asked her a few questions about the world she lives in, how she manages to accomplish so much and what are the things that drive her all the time. Read on and we assure it is going to be a fun read with lots of sage.
Bookstagram Handle: Kajree.g
Favourite Author: Leigh Bardugo & Meg Cabot, hands down. Will buy their books with my eyes closed.
Favourite Book: The Six of Crows duology, Holding up the Universe, The Sun is also a star, The Book Thief. There are lots to write and remember, honestly.
Favourite Quote: "You don't always get what you want. Sometimes you have to learn the art of letting go." This quote is from one of my shirt stories on Wattpad and I know it might make me look a little narcissistic but I absolutely love how brutal and honest this quote turned out to be.
A Brief Bio: A sixteen year old who’s stuck in this fictional reality, believing in the fact that her words could maybe make a change someday and that she could live and be lucky enough to meet her idol one day. A hopeless romantic at heart, she’s someone who can move you with her relatable words and stories and make you weep silent tears after realizing the harsh truths about life. She’s not someone you really end up loving, but she’s someone you’ll never really forget.
Well, I used to read a lot since a very young age. My mother used to buy me books from the book fairs and I used to love them. As I grew up, they became a part of my life. Books helped me with my anxiety and it helped me pass through the bad days. It was like finding happiness in something that you knew wasn’t possible at all.
Initially, I had no idea about Bookstagram. It was only after I found out about book boxes that I was introduced to this whole new world of love and colors and pages. I skimmed through many Bookstagram accounts on Instagram and even Googled to know more about it. Of course, it was a new thing to me and I was curious. So it was decided. I’d start on with my own Bookstagram after my boards. And I did. Although the idea was really scary and skeptical at first. I too wanted to share my love for books, find new ones and meet people who were alike and though alike.
As for blogging, I always wanted to do it – have my own personal blog, that is. Bookstagram was one aspect that gave me the required push.
So that’s how it all began. And I’m pretty sure it was a great decision.
Where do you get your inspiration from? And how you overcome the days of non-inspiration where you cannot get anything done?
Honestly, everything. I try to pick up little bits of inspiration from everything I see and feel around me. I believe that little things in life matter more and that’s what helps me. Whether it is in writing or clicking pictures for Bookstagram. Also, there are other people who inspire me a lot.
Almost all days are those when I’m lacking inspiration. I cannot write or think of better settings or even click photos. On such days, I prefer to sit and do other work rather than forcing my mind to think of that particular work because I know it won’t be good or up to the mark. Inspiration hits me when I least expect it. And yeah, I often look through popular writing and Bookstagram accounts on Instagram or read a book, you know, which also helps me during those non-inspired days.
What are your views on the Instagram community? How supportive are they? How has been the response so far?
As I had mentioned before, starting this Bookstagram account on Instagram was really scary. I was always paranoid before posting a picture or my review because I didn’t know how others would view it, if they’d like it, if they’d let me in. But being a part of this community for almost a year now has proved me otherwise. Everyone is utterly welcoming and supportive of whatever I do or not do. I love how they all come together as one to tackle a certain issues and how they stand by each other as families.
I’ve made a lot of friends on Instagram who have become really close to me now. It’s better and beautiful because I don’t have to be someone else with them or feel neglected because I feel like they can really understand me and my fangirling tendencies, unlike my non-reader friends. We have the same love for books and fictional characters and that’s what binds us together.
Of course, not everything is perfect and I won’t say it is either. There have been bad days for me where I’ve been discouraged a lot due to bad engagements and losing and there have been rude people too. But a good comment makes everything worthwhile, and I absolutely love this community and the people and I wouldn’t change anything about it.
What tools do you use for your blog and bookstagramming?
A little bit of magic potion. Haha. Just kidding.
For Bookstagram, I keep things simple. A little bit of sunlight, a milky white bed sheet, some colorful books and a few props. Simple and elegant and aesthetic, but I’ll leave it up to my followers to judge 🙈😛
As for my blog, I usually write there. Book reviews are less compared to my fiction pieces and I don’t intend to change it soon. The tool for blogging? My imagination and a little bit of grammar and words.
Which are your favorite Genres? Also which book(s) are you currently reading? And which are the books you would recommend everyone to read?
I mostly read Young Adult fiction, contemporary and fantasy; contemporary being my favorite. Although I try and expand my reading genres. I’m reading nothing at the moment because I finished one book yesterday and I also need to give some time to my studies.
But if you ask me, I’d recommend the Six of Crows duology to each and every person who wants book recommendations from me. It’s one of those books I think will be liked by everyone. Also some other books like Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, The sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon, The Hate you Give by Angie Thomas, Just Listen and The truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen, The Abandon trilogy by Meg Cannot etc. are some that I’ll recommend to others on a daily basis.
Apart from the blogging/bookstagramming, what else you do? How do you manage your time and energy juggling between all of them?
I write and eat and sleep a lot. 😂
I must say that I’m extremely bad at managing time but I’m slowly learning how to. I manage a journal now a days where I write down certain to-do tasks for the month and I try to keep up with them as much as I can (of course I fail most of the time but let’s ignore that fact).
I usually write at night after everyone’s asleep. I think that’s the time when I’m at peace and when no one is literally shouting at me to do this and that. It often tires me out because I tend to wake up till 4 in the morning sometimes but I think it’s totally worth it. On school nights, however, I try to sleep early and sleep less so that I can make time for more work.
What is the best advice you have received and how that has improved you?
I think all the advice and constructive criticism that I’ve received till now have been the building blocks in my life, helping me improve in all ways possible. Someone once said that I had a flair in writing and that I could do wonders with the way I expressed things. I guess that’s something to appreciate because it was what kept me moving, kept me writing despite all the hardships.
I remember being a newbie on Wattpad and I was so scared as to how people and other readers would perceive my story. But the amount of comments I’ve received from them, the amount of encouragement and criticism has really helped me. I think more rationally and broader now and I try to write about things that are a matter of concern in the society. I think I’m much better at what I do now than what I was some four-five years ago. All these years of advice has helped me grow into a better me.
What is your advice to newbie bloggers who have just started? What would you suggest them to do?
I know how scary it is to start up with your own blogs, following your passion. You will always have this thought in the back of your head, ‘what if they don’t like me?’, ‘what if I don’t do well?’, ‘ what if it all fails?’. You’ll always be a little paranoid about the whole idea and trust me, it’s alright. It’s alright to feel anxious and scared and unhappy because the thing is, no one soars high on the first attempt. People may not like what you portray on your blog, they may not read or see your posts regularly when you post. But that’s ok.
When I first started out with my blog, I never thought I’d come this far. I have more than a thousand views today and there are people who continue to support me. I started earning small amount of money last year through my blog and it’s probably one of the best things that happened last year.
My advice would be to keep doing what you love. I’m pretty sure there’d be some people who’ll love what you do, even if they’re just one or ten, and they’d support you no matter what. And you’ll do great, trust me.
Keeping a schedule sometimes helps. I myself don’t but I think this would keep you and your followers on track. Also, update frequently (which I’m failing at doing by the way haha).
So you need to keep doing it. Not for others, but yourself. Because you love it, because you want to do it.
Fill in the Blanks: I’d love to see ________.
My name on the front cover of my own book.
I think this is literally every young writer’s dream and it’s mine too. To be able to see my name on the front cover of a book written by me – I have been dreaming about this since I was ten and it’ll be one hell of a day when this dream finally comes true. I hope it’s not that far away, though.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and followers?
My mother once told me to be selfish. Yes, selfish.
When she told me that, I laughed at her and said that she was really funny and totally bonkers. She had smiled back then. But last year, I realized what she meant. I understood what her words meant.
You need to be a little selfish sometimes. You can’t always keep on helping people, you can’t always keep on giving others what they want while you get nothing in return. It’ll hurt a lot when you don’t get the love back, the respect and the help. It’ll hurt a lot.
I learned it last year and I’ll tell you all too, whoever is reading this, be a little selfish sometimes but not too much. This is your life, it’s you who’s gonna fight your own battles and demons. No one is going to be there for you, no matter how great a friend they are. At the end, it’s always gonna be you all alone, standing in the middle of the battle field with no one by your side.
So be a little selfish when it comes to yourself. Love yourself a little more, put yourself before anyone else. Because at the end of the day, you’re all you got.