Ruby Dhal: Transforming lives one word at a time.

20 under 40

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Ruby Dhal is an internationally acclaimed poetess, fiction-writer, and bestselling author of five books of poetry, prose, and self-help. On a mission to heal every broken heart with her words, Ruby has been providing her readers a solace from the pain and distress they have or are going through. Ruby believes that her words not only heal a broken soul but give it the strength to endure the pain without becoming overwhelmed with it. Ruby’s work gives her readers mental strength and peace amidst the adversity they are experiencing. Her words help anyone on a path of self-discovery and healing.She shares her writing on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok (@r.dhalwriter), Twitter (@rdhalwriter), and on her YouTube channel. She has written articles for popular online magazines such as Thought Catalog, The Tempest, and The Indian Women Blog. She is an ambassador for a menstrual charity, has guest-starred in YouTube documentaries, podcasts, and BBC radio, performed at open mic nights and museums, and given talks and conducted workshops in schools. Her bestselling books include Memories Unwound (2017), A Handful of Stars (2018), My Hope for Tomorrow (2019), Dear Self (2020), and Between us (2021). All are available to order from Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, Periplus, Indigo Books, and many more. 

In an interview with Aspioneer, Ruby shares how her painful past turned out to be a gift and enables her to be a guiding light for millions around the world.

Aspioneer (A): Why did you start writing, and how did it evolve to where you are now?  

Ruby Dhal (R): “I immigrated to the UK with my dad, brother, and mum when I was 3 years old. At the age of 4, my mother passed away and this changed our lives forever. My dad, while battling with his own mental health and grief, brought my brother and me up single-handedly. As time went on, I had some really difficult life experiences and often struggled to manage my emotions well, and this is when I stumbled upon stories by children’s authors. Books truly saved my life because they provided me with a safe space. They were my coping mechanism and, over time, I truly fell in love with the therapeutic power of storytelling. As time went on, I started dabbling with stories of my own, writing small passages in my pink notebook. I never realized when that transpired into a love for writing so deep that, before I knew it, I couldn’t see myself being anything other than an Author one day. After graduating from UCL with a Philosophy degree, I decided that it would be best to be practical and get a teaching qualification. This would act as Plan B when Plan A – being a novelist – didn’t work. Within 3 months of pursuing the teaching qualification, I realized how unhappy I was and how much I wanted to write books – nothing would make me happier. That’s when I decided to leave my teaching course mid-way and pursue my dream of being an Author. I then started working on my debut novel but, unfortunately, in that process I experienced a few difficult things that led to me spiraling into a depressive episode. I then decided to create an Instagram page where I wrote vulnerable micro-poetry to heal. Somehow, this caught on with more people than I could’ve expected until, over time, I had thousands of followers who wanted to read my poetry books. I’d never envisioned that the words I shared to heal from my negative experiences would have such an impact on others. This is what led to me publishing my first micro-poetry book, then my second. After my second book, my writing style changed to bitesize self-help, it was genre that was truer to me, and I published 3 more books in that genre. I had only started a page to heal – but my words resonated with others in such a manner that I realized my true purpose and after that, I never looked back. All I wanted was to be a novelist one day, but through getting hurt and creating a page to heal, I understood that it wasn’t just about how words had helped me, but also about how my powerful words could help others.” 

Ruby Dhal

As the youngest Nobel Prize Peace Laurette, and deservingly so, Malala has inspired millions of women around the world with her integrity, strength, and willpower. I would love to have dinner with such an exceptional young lady who made a tremendous impact on the world with her actions. I’d love to know how her mind works, what her favorite books and songs are, what she enjoys watching on Netflix and what she does in her pass time. For me, getting to know the Malala within would be a life-changing experience.

(A): What do you believe it is about your writing that appeals to a wide range of people?

(R): “My writing covers a plethora of themes, such as self-love, healing, heartbreak, moving on, grief, mental health, self-care, and so on. I try to create bitesize self-help books for people who don’t like reading difficult stuff. So, I attempt to make them feel understood and to help them with their healing in a relatable manner. I want to reach out to my readers in their way, in a way that they can understand, as well as make sense of the relevant themes. My writing is for the average person who loves quotes and short self-help stuff but doesn’t like complicated books about those very topics. Through bitesize content, not only am I sharing invaluable tools with them but I’m doing it in a way that they can process and make sense of in their own words. It allows people to feel understood, like they’re not alone in the world or their healing. Often, we become so afraid of others and what people will think that we try our best not to be vulnerable, we somehow think that expressing how we truly feel makes us look weak – but this isn’t true. Through my words and the community that I’ve created on all my social media channels, my readers feel like they belong, like there is a place they can go to and express themselves, a place where they won’t be judged or made fun of, where they will be accepted. Through expressing my own vulnerabilities, fears and weakness, I am trying to create a positive and accepting community where others can also find their strength in their weaknesses.”

(A): Who has been your greatest influence? 

(R): My dad has implemented all the positive values that I possess today. As have his brothers and sister who helped him bring my brother and me up. My childhood was filled with selfless individuals who put my pain before theirs and always did their best to make me feel loved. Like I had more than just one parent – I had several. Through watching my dad deal with his grief and sorrow, I understood how invaluable strength of character and determination is, because if he could deal with everything that he had experienced, then I could do. He taught me the importance of dreaming, working hard, and never letting life break me to the point of no return. And he, along with my brother, taught me that I was nothing short of extraordinary, that being a woman didn’t mean anything when it came to how far you could go to achieve your goals. My brother has been an important part of all my early decisions regarding my career choices and my books. If he hadn’t urged me on and become my pillar, I probably wouldn’t have gotten where I am today. I also admire Malala Yousafzai. As the youngest Nobel Prize Peace Laurette, and deservingly so, Malala has inspired millions of women around the world with her integrity, strength, and willpower. I would love to have dinner with such an exceptional young lady who made a tremendous impact on the world with her actions. I’d love to know how her mind works, what her favorite books and songs are, what she enjoys watching on Netflix and what she does in her pass time. For me, getting to know the Malala within would be a life-changing experience.” 

(A): Beyond a successful author, how would you describe yourself?

(R): Outside of work I’d like to think of myself as an omnivert. I can be really outgoing and talkative – attending poetry nights, dinners, parties, and adrenaline-filled activities such as snorkeling, jet-skiing, indoor skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, etc., but I am also the kind of person who loves her own space. I could spend weeks not seeing any of my friends and just be happy reading, cooking, going to the gym, and taking walks in the park by myself. I’m also an Ambassador for Binti Period and I do poetry performances for their events. I perform in schools, mental health awareness events and so much more. I enjoy performing and speaking about topics that I write about, such as healing, self-love, mental health, etc. Other than that, I’m just like any other girl. I enjoy shopping, cafés, date nights and going out with my friends.”

(A): How do you want to impact the world?

(R): Where do I start? I’ve got so many exciting things planned for the next few months. To start off with, my latest book ‘Between Us’ has just been released and is my 5th book so far. It’s a bitesize self-help book that talks about the same themes that I share online. I’m also about to finish the first draft of my debut novel which is a Young Adult Romance about two BIPOC characters who fall incredibly in love while their respective lives are falling apart in several ways. Aside from this, I’m filming YouTube videos and creating lots of content that helps my viewers heal and become empowered in their respective journeys. The goal is to make an impact on the world, one word at a time. I want to continue creating bitesize self-help content for people all around to world to help them on their healing journeys. I want my words to empower others and I want to serve my purpose of easing people’s pains through writing soulful words. I believe that my words and content have the power to transform other peoples’ lives, as well as give them the courage they need to make a positive change going forward.” 

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Aspioneer Magazine, 20 under 40 issue