Aram Yazdani was born and raised in what she describes as the best city in the Netherlands, Groningen. Her parents are originally from Tehran, Iran, but her family fled to avoid persecution for their Baha‘i faith. They came to the Netherlands knowing only two things about the country, that there are tulips and cows.
In her daily life, Aram works as a legal advisor on international child abduction and child protection cases for the Central Authority on International Children’s Issues. Aram and her team give legal advice to professionals—ranging from child protection helpers to lawyers to public prosecutors—and parents.
She and her husband, Rocco, recently bought a house in The Hague, which they share with Aram’s younger sister and two cats, Buddie (likes his alone time) and Addie (the adventurous sister). The cats have been keeping them entertained, Aram says, while everyone is working from home. Aram is currently a member of our Level II Poetry course.
What is your origin story as a writer?
My sister and I grew up with books. Every weekend our mom would take us to the library and let us borrow the books we wanted. I loved to read stories and dreamt about becoming a writer when I was a child but somehow, I never really wrote. My love for stories and writing translated itself into my choice of studying law. I thought it combined the things I liked: writing, the news and being able to make a difference in the world.
When I graduated and got my master’s degree, I realized I perhaps should have studied literature instead. But I had found a calling in children’s rights. I decided it wasn’t too late to look into writing and to try to do it on the side. In the same period, I was writing a lot of daily/weekly reflections on Instagram so perhaps you could say that that is how I started writing. I think Facebook’s algorithm found out my ‘secret’ interest and so I found the Collective! I decided that it was time to join a class and that’s how I enrolled over a year ago!
What does your writing process look like?
This week I learned the difference between a Cat writer and an Ox writer. I would say I identify as a Cat writer most of the time. Cat writers can go days/weeks before writing anything and then erupt into writing. While ox writers write every day, with or without inspiration.
I still haven’t found a good way to write on my own without the classes. And now that I think about it, even with the classes I almost always start late (sorry to the teachers!). But when I start, the writing luckily does flow naturally. My favorite place to write is in a cafe by myself with a nice latte macchiato and a delicious cookie. But of course, now during the pandemic, that hasn’t been possible. I have noticed that the restrictions have had a negative effect on my writing. It has created the feeling that I am sitting still a lot, since I already have to sit for nine hours for work. Unfortunately, I have not yet mastered the art of writing while moving ;). Once I do write, I start feeling very happy and inspired and the classes help me force myself to actually put something on paper.
What was your biggest fear about writing when you signed up for your first course and how do you feel now?
My biggest fear was that my stories or poems would not be interesting for others to read. And the fear that my inspiration would just run out after a few stories. Now that I have been taking the classes, I have amazed even myself with some of the things I have put on paper. I have also read so many interesting, fun and captivating (beginnings/parts of) stories of the other students. And now I am convinced there is an audience for everyone’s stories.
Why do you write?
I write because it excites me, it inspires me and it enables me to share my thoughts, feelings and perspectives with others. When I write I feel happy and peaceful. The most exciting thing about writing is the adventure of finding out what it results into. I also really enjoy being able to hear others’ perspectives on my piece(s) and connect with other writers through the classes.
Where do you get your material from? What inspires you?
I get inspired by the things that have happened in my or my family’s life, events in the world and topics that have occupied my mind.
I get my material from the Persian culture and language, the traditions we have. The beauty, magic and poetry the language Farsi entails. I get my material from the books I read, the history of the Middle East and the West, as well as the events that have happened in my life or in the lives of my family and friends. I also get inspired by my faith, the Baha’i faith, as well as other holy writings from other religions and beliefs. Lastly, I get inspired by the beauty of nature and the everchanging weather.