I write for totally selfish reasons: it’s fun and it helps me smile.
I am not a prolific writer; my brain doesn’t have a storage for lots of ideas yet, but I have poured some of my heart into the words I’ve let out so far.
Writing Soft on Soft in 2018 wasn’t planned at all. It all began because I genuinely wanted to put together a story where a gorgeous gentle lady was adored. I didn’t know, at first, that I was writing Selena Clarke. I simply thought I was giving myself something fun to do when reading felt too much and I couldn’t focus my eyes on something to watch.
I don’t have many friends, but the two friends I have are more than enough. I guess I got my love for writing from their encouragement. So, when I began drafting Soft on Soft, first titled #FatGirlsInLove, I filled it with moments I experienced with my own friends. Whether it’s watching episode after episode of a TV show, or chilling with my cats, Soft on Soft was inspired by good feels I had in real time.
Of course, I span my own take on the soft romance between June and Selena.
Slowly, I began falling in love with being able to write my own soft queer stories where I don’t have to talk about the ugly things that barge into my brain in the middle of the day and ruin everything.
I didn’t have to mention how June’s extended family asked her, year after year, why she hasn’t lost any weight yet, or give her sisters who’d glorify diet culture. I let her be as fat, anxious, and queer as she liked.
I guess that it in one way why I write: to give myself hope. To tell myself: the world is made up of families and communities, but the ones you’re born into aren’t necessarily the only ones you have. I have a small chosen family of three and two cats. Where I am not mis-gendered, told to lose weight, criticized for how I practice my faith, or told to “calm down” in response to a panic attack I couldn’t control.
I wanted to give that to others, too. Others who might need it, or simply want to see it reflected.
As I mentioned: writing is fun for me. It’s creating people and discovering them through situations as cute as going out, or having pizza, or meeting their families. I liked even writing a scene where the two characters did nothing but clean. Those domestic moments, full of quiet comfort and companionship, ring a bell in my head. They are moments that give me joy and calmness. Yes, cleanness helps me sleep better.
I want to always portray those quiet moments between people who genuinely deserve them. I might branch out in the future and write about queer lives who must fight and slash, but for now, and until I become strong enough for those stories, I wish to write the quiet day to day gentleness that exists in the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Em Ali grew up on TV and K-pop like many their generation. They learned a lot about how to be a hermit and not interact with people, but they’d love to hear from readers!
Till next time,