The difference between being selected and being tossed away is novelty.
Nikita Singh, 22 eloped from the space of Pharmacy Studies in Ranchi to the world of storytelling in Delhi, with a book called Someone Like You (Penguin). She does a day job as an Editor, and lets her imagination soar by night.
“There are so many things happening right around us, and I loved being a silent observer. But soon, I wanted to be a bigger part of the conversation. One day, reading was no longer enough! And that’s when I picked up the pen.
My first piece of writing was a book. I did maintain a diary when I was 16, but I’ve learnt that it’s something that never turns out well. A diary is basically your most private, and sometimes very twisted, emotions and thoughts in pen and paper. And I say this by experience, somebody will get their hands on that stuff and it’s never pretty!
During the writing process, the one thing to guard against would be procrastination. It’s a constant battle for me. Once I am writing, I know I am making progress, but before writing, it’s a blank Word document, and I am supposed to put 75,000 new words on it, all from my head, and that really intimidates me!
If you’re looking to get published, bear in mind that the difference between being selected and being tossed away is novelty. Also, choose the right publisher. New writers should have an understanding of what kinds of books a certain publisher comes out with. Usually, they are overwhelmed with the first acceptance mail they get, and don’t take all factors into consideration before signing a contract. Some publishers take advantage of that, and by the time the writer catches on, it’s already too late.
The important thing is to write. Promotion comes later, once everything is in place. Today, people have short attention spans, and if a writer keeps talking about her upcoming book for a year before it comes out, people lose interest.
I am writing professionally, but along with that, I also hold a full time job. I feel a day job is helpful—it keeps the mind occupied and provides structure. The key is balance.”