"Do you think I will be able to write like Murakami?"
My friend Z said this to me. I've known her for a while; both of us with the shared love for words and books. She's writing her debut book and rued, "I don't write like the authors I like to read. I'm not a Jhumpa Lahiri, Murakami or anyone of the literary bigwigs I admire. I'm so ordinary.
Then there's Y. Warm, vibrant, cheerful and with natural flair for words; it's a pleasure to meet her. So Y is almost done with her debut book and a publisher has shown interest in it. I asked her to tell me more about her debut book.
Let’s call her R. We met at Bangalore Lit fest, 2014. We were among the chosen 15 who pitched our stories to the panel of editors. She made a brilliant pitch but is yet to finish her manuscript. I've lost count of them...those who say they want to write but never get around to it.
There’s a story in each of us. We are all born story tellers. But getting the first story out is far from child’s play. Writing is never easy, nothing really is. It requires a different kind of commitment, so here are few tips from me. Hope they help you get started.
I learnt a new word recently. Single tasker. A person who can do one job at a time. The word very succinctly describes me. Yes, in a world of multi-taskers, I’m odd. I am a single tasker.
The multi-taskers run businesses, train for the marathon at the crack of dawn, are on the PTA committee at school, between con-calls, back to back meetings and deadlines, they tweet, organise parties at home and don’t be surprised if they announce one fine day that they have penned a book. After all that’s the in-thing to do today.
‘The story of our evolution is the story of what we leave behind…’ says Meredith Grey in the famous Grey’s Anatomy.
It was Friendship day sometime back. On the said day Whatsapp and FB newsfeed was awash with cute cuddly bears and mushy posts about our friends with whom we scaled hills & trees and scrapped our hearts & knees. I was thinking about my friends too. Not the ones who are with me today; those who aren’t anymore.
Some readers asked me, “Why didn’t you end #AFA (A Forgotten Affair) on a happy note? Why didn’t Sagarika go away with Akash – the man who clearly loves her a lot?”
I truly believe when I tell them that AFA has a very happy ending. The memory-less, confused scared Sagarika emerges stronger. She confronts her abusive husband, challenges him questions him, reunites with her mother and best friend and then chooses what is best for her. To leave with her mother to recuperate fully.
Why did I waste so many precious years penning newsletters, brand promo articles and stuff for publications when I should have been writing novels. Hell, if I had, I would today have nothing less than 6-7 titles to my name.
This is a question I’ve often asked myself. Not so much today but when I started writing my debut novel in Jan 2014, I often cursed myself for having wasted so many years.
Most of you who know me personally will scoff on reading this. But it’s true. I’m not a confident person. I’m just blessed with a confident countenance and that helps me get by. I used to stammer as a teen and even today sometimes I do. I feel nervous if I have to address a group of people. All eyes turning on me and waiting for me to spew pearls of wisdom when I have none.. dear God, why can’t I just sit and write. That’s my easy zone.
So you got yourself a publisher, the deal is signed and the ink has dried…hurray!! Now what?
After weeks and months, hopefully not years of agonizingly checking your mail box for the acceptance email and praying not to see the dreaded reject note; you signed up. Yes!! The moment you dreamt of, wished and prayed fervently for finally came true
Innumerable posts are written by established authors on how they managed their corporate life and writing aspirations. Well, I have a job too. Not a 9 to 5 one, it’s 24X7. I’m a mother, a wife, a homemaker and I am an author. Negotiating your way through domestic hurdles is no less of a mine field than corporate quagmires. If you think the boss from hell, spiraling marketing targets and meetings are difficult to deal with; try the domestic circus. It’s no less mindboggling.
“Have you taken the morning dose?” she tapped his shoulder, shifting her body weight on the walker.
“Huh?” he mumbled absentmindedly, flicking the article to scroll up on the screen.
“Uff! Mahesh. This is too much. You know this has to be taken first thing in the morning before”. He didn’t let her finish.
It was very unusual for Jai to get so angry. Fists clenched, breath coming in sharp and jaws drawn tight; in ten years of marriage, Suhashini had never seen him so angry. He wasn’t the type who screamed or even raised his voice. But today he was fuming. All because of a Facebook profile, which she created without his knowledge. He found out and hell broke loose.
“How can she sleep so peacefully?” his elbow nudged her accidentally as he shuffled in his seat.
He felt annoyed at her complete lack of nervousness in the wake of the situation that awaited her, few hours away.
“How can she not feel nervous, or Atleast anxious?” Then he reasoned and scolded himself for thinking like that. “A typical indian!”
She opened her eyes, still in a daze…the riyaaz always took her to another zone. Then her brows crinkled with annoyance. She hated being interrupted during the practice.
“You need to take the call. It’s him.” The name was never uttered between them. That was how it had been decided and agreed.
It’s a hot sultry afternoon. Rohan (R) has returned from school and isn’t particularly in a good mood. Not because anything awful happened, because the school isn’t Podar, Mumbai. And he misses everything Mumbai sorely. So just back from school is never a good time for R.