In a freewheel chat with Aparajita Jaiswal, Anuj Gosalia shares the story of creating, Terribly Tiny Tales, a globally celebrated platform with the worlds finest micro- fiction writers and how they reached their current stature. In this age of dwindling attention spans, their brand specialty is brevity, catching more people’s attention. With stories under 2000 characters, they are quick to read, accessible to more individuals and very hard to forget. Theirs is a global micro-fiction platform created by the brilliant mind of Anuj Gosalia.
Terribly Tiny Tales is a special brand for the finest micro-fiction writers and reaching over 20 million people every week. Their stories advance and reach newer heights, influencing and touching more souls every day. They have opened us up to a whole new world full of stories. There’s a story for every reader, every emotion, serving fresh, daily.
Back in 2012, Anuj realized that nobody engaged in blogs as much as they did in social media. “Over time as readership fell, I thought of what more can a writer do other than write books and blogs, where is the place for expression and if people are even interested in reading anymore. These were my questions. I recognized that people’s attention span reduced drastically. The more engaged writings were shorter, snappier and easier to consume and this led to the birth of Terribly Tiny Tales or more commonly known as TTT. I realized that the reason why people were not reading was not only because of social media but also because these platforms allow for a different kind of content to exist,” Anuj explains. “We started writing content that was shorter than 140 characters which was very new especially on Facebook and Instagram.” Although now a lot of pages are doing it, back in 2012 it was a new and unique concept brought to life by Terribly Tiny Tales.
A typical day at terribly tiny tales starts with requiring all teams, the product team, content team, design team, trying to work at new angles to give its audience newer and fresh content. Their versatility reaches new heights every day as they take on interesting and unique projects.
“What else can we do? I think that’s the big question. How can we build a larger brand of TTT,” says Anuj. Their primary focus being that they connect more and more with their audience, Anuj says, “we want to build something that people do not forget in a day or a week but remme…”
Currently TTT is doing a project with Cadbury Dairy Milk which is a very recent addition to their work. They have collaborated to create films with Cadbury. So far they have three episodes out on their YouTube channel. TTT also has an app that’s a very engaged community. “We want to make that bigger so that is one of my key focus areas,” says Anuj.
Every platform takes time to build and monetize, communities are built slowly and so did TTT. In 2015 TTT essentially had enough followers to be called a community. “We approached brands and told them we have 300 thousand people who love stories so can we tell your stories through TTT? That’s when we decided to put all our eggs in one basket and we started and expand from there.” TTT is not only on Instagram but also Facebook and twitter. They also have their very own YouTube channel and an app that engages over 20 million people in a week! The app lets people write stories and publish their work on their own. It is now TTT’s very own twitter! People can also publish their books on the app. It is nothing like you have seen before. It is dedicated to creators and readers.
“The aim for the future is to tell more emotional stories. What we sometimes lose out on in bite sized fiction is that some stories deserve time and attention. We want to tell more stories that are deeper, more immersive and interactive. The future is where the story and you are very intimately connected.”
Every child grows up reading Enid Blyton and few special books that inspire the paths we live and breathe. “I loved Enid Blyton like most children. I grew up reading Enid blyton books. The Famous five was of course my favorite,” the founder exclaimed. “I loved Agatha Christie and her characters. I was especially drawn to the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. It is such a funny and amazing book. Took me a while to read Arundhati Roy but it was an incredible read. The God of Small Things is such an amazing book and as it was my first it makes it a little more special. I have grown to love Sally Rooney’s writing. These writers continue to remain my favorite.”
“Empty summer afternoons during my childhood were my portal into the world of books. when you read vigorously at that age you also start to imagine worlds. Just like any other child, I too started imagining my own worlds. My interest in writing woke when I was in 5th or 6th grade but I took writing a little more seriously when I was in college. Although I liked writing it was still not full time as I did not study writing. I did not want to pursue writing at that point but I really started enjoying and loving writing in college. I did not imagine building career in writing but I liked the fact that I could think better with writing.”
We all want to bring change into the world and make a difference. We all want to chase our dreams. Anuj Gosalia dreamed of moving people with his work and his company. “I want to passionately tell stories that outlive most other stories and people. I want to enable such beautiful, memorable and meaningful writing that really moves people. There are so many things happening that we rarely pause and admire something meaningful that really moved us. Very few things make you get out of your moment and reflect something rare that you experienced and go back to think about it.” No one remembers consuming a meme after a week. There is a time and a context to a meme after which it loses meaning but some works of art and writing live with us forever. My passion is that TTT becomes a platform that allows this timeless memorable expression.”
“One thing I would change about the writing world is people thinking writing is easy. Typing out a few sentences does not make everyone a writer.”
The meaning of the word Success is different for all of us. Anuj believes that success should mean we are having fun with what we do and not worry about Monday mornings. “What is also important to me is how many people are moved by the stories we tell.” TTT has had such an impact on readers worldwide; children, college students and adults alike. They do such an amazing job of affecting our mornings with a new story that puts our lives into a whole new perspective. “We hope that our stories come from a good place and are doing good to people,” Anuj says. Determining a good piece of writing always is somewhat relatable and moves people. “We had a metric called relatability graph and surprise and now I have an intuition around what is good piece of writing for our platform”
A lot Classic literature and supposed all time favorite literature is not very accessible to the laymen. Not every book needs to live up to the complexity and benchmark set up by these books to be recognized as a good read per most millennial writers. Anuj Gosalia has a very similar point of view on this subject. “I definitely value craft but do the stories have to be complex and does the writing have to be complicated? You appreciate writing when you know enough time and attention has been spent to the craft and detail by the creator.”
The writer and founder talks about what his other fancies he likes to indulge in apart from work. “I love working out. Very recently post lockdown I was introduced to cooking. The little time I spent cooking, I have really grown to enjoy it. I think these two things give me a break from work.”
“What I would tell the younger minds is that keep writing. There is no shortcut as I am learning it the hard way too. It’s like a muscle; the lesser you use it, the rustier it gets. There is no substitute in the work of writing. You might get great ideas but how you turn those ideas transform on paper is important.”