Tell us about your background and career.

I'm currently working in the city as a professional photographer, social media manager, and freelance writer. All of these take up most of my day. I love creating content and being creative. Although I love all of these things, fiction writing will always have my heart and be something I work towards. My dream is to become a bestselling author one day.

What is one important thing for readers and other writers to know about you?

I've travelled a lot to study culture in the Middle East & Africa. I tend to get a lot of my inspirations from different cultures. I've seen how important it is to have a diverse mindset.

How did you get started writing on Wattpad?

I used it to read Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfictions. About a year later, I fell in love with reading horror books. From there, I was addicted. 

Hide and Seek by Jakayla ToneyWhat is one of your greatest accomplishments as a Wattpad writer?

I've recently reached 10 million reads on Wattpad with my book Hide and Seek. Looking back, that was something I've always wanted. 10 million reads. I finally reached that goal.

What do you love about the Horror genre? Where do you find inspiration for your writing?

I love the endless ideas you can come up with when creating scary things like ghosts, monsters, haunted houses. There's no real rules in horror and I never restrict myself when creating a fiction horror story. I find my inspiration learning about other beliefs when it comes to hauntings, spirits, etc. I feel like there's so much written about the paranormal world to explore. I'm also very fond of ghost hunting and exploring abandoned places. I've had my share of scary experiences.

Writing aside, what are your creative outlets? What inspires you to create?

Photography and videography. I love giving people memories and nice content to hold onto. Whenever I see other artists trying to get where they want to be, part of me wants to document their own process. People tend to forget there's a process in getting where you want to be so they don't document the process. That's where I come in. I get inspired by a lot of other creatives. I was once someone who questioned if I was an artist, and the process I went through was never really documented by anyone. How fun is it to have those memories available? That's why I like photography and capturing moments.

Your instagram bio reads "I take pictures of people and write books". Can you share how you balance both of these passions?

It's really hard sometimes but because of the feedback I get from my readers and my clients, it gives me the strength to keep pushing. I do have to choose days where I focus on writing or photography more. Even music. So far it's working out though where som months I focus more on photography and others on writing. 

As a multidisciplinary creator, do you notice any similarities between your writing and photography?

In a weird way, I do! My stories highlight a lot of people who struggle in order to overcome hard times. Who sometimes make it out with great things. With my photography, I prefer to capture in the moment photos of other artists and creatives who, most of the time, are just getting started. It's a difficult process. As artists we're all struggling to get out there. 

How do you leverage your other creative passions to fuel your writing?

I let people I work with inspire me. I keep an open mind, remember conversations, remember their stories and outcomes. I do a lot of content for bars and clubs. I'm surrounded by stories so it motivates me daily.

Can you share one piece of advice for your fellow writers?

When starting out writing, always remember that you aren't born a perfect writer. You learn as you go and make mistakes. So it's okay to have harsh criticism and to be denied agents. Because the best writers are the ones that don't give up after criticism. They keep trying to become better.

Looking for more inspiration? Learn about finding your voice from Wattpad creator Scarlet and how to level up your creator game.

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