I’ve rarely attempted book proposals. I prefer to write the whole book.
Annie Zaidi, 35, built on her artsy family background with writing that is edgy and experimental. The spunky Mumbai based author’s blog served as a springboard to bagging a book contract. Annie recently came out with a collection called Love Stories # 1to
“I do not recall ever making a conscious decision to take up writing. I began to take writing more seriously mainly because of the encouragement I received from my English Literature teachers in college. It is there that I co-edited the students’ magazine. By the time I finished college, I knew I could write decently, and didn’t know if I could do anything else. I had no clear ambition or, indeed, motivation. Nor did I have many anxieties in the early years. I had the arrogance and confidence that young people often do. I think I needed it knocked out of me, and that happened very quickly when I moved to big cities and my reading widened to include contemporary Indian writers who were clearly leagues ahead in terms of both creative expression and basic knowledge of the world.
In this journey, friends and family have been reasonably supportive, though I did not show my work to them while it was in process. Not unless those friends happened to be writers themselves. It helped that we’ve had well-known writers in our family and cultural growth has always been encouraged.
I blogged a lot over the years, and was offered my first book deal on the strength of those posts. I did attend writers’ seminars, but I am not good at networking, and when I attend, I do so in a quiet way. However, it’s always good to hear others speak of their ideas, and be introduced to new kinds of writing. Writers come in all personalities, so what they take from a gathering of similiar people depends on what they come looking for.
I’ve rarely attempted book proposals. I prefer to just write the whole book and then try to get an editor interested in the manuscript. I don’t have a fixed schedule, but I try and write regularly, and I read regularly too. General advice: read. Read constantly. Those who live in the world of words must be familiar with the landscape. Reading is what you want others to do, when you write. You better know the worth of what you’re offering before you expect anything from readers.”