"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.