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Archive for February, 2020

Rogue Writer

Over the years I have heard, read, mused, cried, laughed, feared, hated and loved so much about writing that one would think that by now I would have reached a space of detachment. 

It is not true.  I am still terrified of the blank page, I still agonise over the word count, I still over-analyse my characters, and scenes. After twenty plus years, one would imagine that I could float in a sea of calm and buoy my way through the next book with a smile and a wave. And say hey! Easy peasy, it all came so naturally! But it doesn’t come naturally, it takes effort and patience and self-discipline to write, and then to carve out the useless bits, to sculpt and skin. It takes time and deep concentration. 

I still read about writing, how to get better at it. I read other books, and learn from the style and prose of the author. I am glad for the books that have helped and motivated me to improve and enrich my writing. And taught me how to love the process of creating. It is indeed a calm flow. I have experienced it many times, and I think it is that feeling that keeps me going back to writing. This inner journey has been so important to me.

But in the outer world, there are many rules on how one must be perceived as a writer. One must stick to one publishing house, one must not stray from one’s genre, one must market and promote like an egotistical maniac. I have broken those rules. I follow the path of least resistance when it comes to the flow. As a creative, I cannot be placed in a boxed space and told how to behave. It’s not how I function. If an idea gets my heart racing, I will follow through and write the book, whether there’s money in it or not. 

There is one particular book that touched my heart and drove me to pen it into a memoir: ‘A Gift from Above: Harini and Haresh’s Journey in Adoption‘. It is such a heartfelt sensitive story, so deeply emotional and feel-good that I simply had to write it. An instinct took over and said ‘Write!’ And I listened. It was the same feeling for when I wrote ‘Dada Vaswani: A Life in Spirituality‘. It was a gut feeling that I had to write this. No matter how overwhelming or challenging, my inner compass steered me to write the book. When I look back, I realised that it was a deeply transforming process. I had changed, I had epiphanies of my self that needed to be addressed. I was sorting a number of inner conflicts.

To write those two nonfiction books, I put one of my novels aside: Blue Jade, a thriller, a story about the black market art trade, a story that intertwines Mirabai’s journey. I feel every book has it’s destiny and Blue Jade, my tenth book, had to wait five years before it saw the light of day. It was worth the wait.

Welcome, Blue Jade! May the readers love you as much as I loved writing you.

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