Episode 4: Finding your voice through writing with Huma Qureshi

Huma Qureshi - A voice of one's Own Podcast

Huma Qureshi is a writer who reflects on thoughtful family living over on her blog, Our Story Time. An award-winning author and former broadsheet journalist in the UK, Huma also runs online writing courses, including The Quiet Words, Postcards Home and Writing Friends, to gently guide aspiring writers to a place of confidence and creativity. 

I went to visit Huma at her home in North London. It was chilly and grey outside, and I felt like I stepped into a little oasis of warmth and coziness as she opened the door. The delicate smells, the meaningful decor, and the little clues that three littles boys lived under this roof, all told the story of a simple and thoughtful family life.

We recorded this episode sitting on her bed, while little Jude finished his nap upstairs. After our interview, we chatted about our children and our lives a little more over a bowl of heart-warming soup, and it truly felt like I was catching up with family.


Huma’s words:


+ On finding her voice growing up

“I made big decisions without consulting my parents or teachers, just standing up a little bit more for my own interests and allowing myself to pursue them was the start of discovering that actually, I had a voice and an opinion.”


+ On finding her voice through writing

“Writing helped me get to a point where I could make decisions on my own. And I still do that now, if I’ve had tricky conversations that needed to be had, I will write them down first because that’s my way of finding my voice.”


+ On sharing other people’s voices

“When you’re in that position where words are your way of making sense of the world, then you owe it, in a certain respect, to other people to share what they can’t share. I find that very important.”


+ On combining meaningful work and motherhood

“I love having the opportunity to live my life with these three little boys that are just the most incredible little things in the world. Coming to terms with that has also taught me that it’s ok to slow down and to not be in such a rush to start up my work and my writing again because that’s always going to be there. But the moments with them are not always going to be there. That’s just helped me find a little bit of balance because I put a lot of pressure on myself to be as high performing as I’d always been.”

A Voice of One's Own Podcast with Huma Qureshi

+ On prejudice and assumptions

“I think the world would be a better place if we just held back on making a judgment on someone else and let their actions speak for themselves.”


+ On being political online

“I can have a pretty looking blog with nice colours but I can still write about things that are purposeful. We talk so much about lifestyle as if it is this bubble that you can protect yourself in and switch yourself off from the rest of the world and all the bad news, but actually, it’s less scary if you just embrace everything.”


+ On labelling ourselves

“You don’t have to choose and define who you are as just one or two tick boxes, you can be many many things.”


+ On listening to one another

“Culture and traditional norms have a lot to answer for because there are so many misjudgments in the world and if everyone just took the time to listen to each other and if everyone also learned how to articulate their story then perhaps these misunderstandings on big scale as well as small scale would not happen so frequently, because we’d just understand each other a little bit more.”


+ On honing your voice

“It’s really important to find what you believe in, and find a way to say it in a way which doesn’t have to be confrontational but can be clear. That’s where your strength is; believe in something enough to stand up for it.”

Huma Qureshi


Other voices mentioned


Poorna Bell, author of Chase the Rainbow

Claire Tomalin, author of A Life of My Own


You can connect with Huma:

On her website
On Instagram

And for more conversations, you can subscribe to A Voice of One’s Own here:

Apple Podcasts
Spotify
Stitcher

Intro quotes by


Oprah Winfrey
Maya Angelou
Nina Simone

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