Anuja Chan­dramouli

Au­thor - Kar­tikeya, Pad­ma­vati, and Prithvi­raj Chauhan

Storizen Magazine - - Indulge Storizen -

The next step is to take your heart in your hands and ap­proach the pub­lish­ers, as­sur­ing your­self that they will love the book nearly as much as you do. A list of pub­lish­ing houses is com­piled in or­der of pref­er­ence and over the course of what feels like for­ever, you work your way through the list, as de­jec­tion fol­lows on the heels of re­lent­less re­jec­tion. Dur­ing dark mo­ments, you curse your­self for not lis­ten­ing to your teach­ers, get­ting an en­gi­neer­ing de­gree and se­cur­ing a ‘safe job’ where they work you into the ground but at least make sure you are richly com­pen­sated. What mad­ness com­pelled you to take up a ca­reer in such an un­cer­tain field where the only surety is heartache and ex­ac­er­bated sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies?

Then when hope is at its low­est ebb and you are se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing those stupid emails and ads which urge you to take up data pro­cess­ing (what­ever that means) so that you can rake in the moolah from the com­fort of your home, a blessed pub­lisher agrees to take a chance on your baby book. For the next few months, you wal­low in ec­stasy, dream of su­per star­dom and make pru­dent plans not to piss away the for­tune that has your name on it.

Months of wait­ing on ten­ter­hooks take the edge off the vul­gar joy and ar­du­ous edit­ing cou­pled with even more wait­ing blunts it some more. Fi­nally, your book hits the stands and to your pleas­ant sur­prise be­comes one of the top 5 sell­ers for that year! You are over the moon with joy but not sur­pris­ingly make a crash landing when you come to the sober­ing con­clu­sion that you are not yet in Chetan Bha­gat’s league let alone J.K. Rowl­ing’s. When re­al­ity bites, it re­ally does take a chunk out of your heart and soul!

The next step is to take your heart in your hands and ap­proach the pub­lish­ers, as­sur­ing your­self that they will love the book nearly as much as you do. A list of pub­lish­ing houses is com­piled in or­der of pref­er­ence and over the course of what feels like for­ever, you work your way through the list, as de­jec­tion fol­lows on the heels of re­lent­less re­jec­tion. Dur­ing dark mo­ments, you curse your­self for not lis­ten­ing to your teach­ers, get­ting an en­gi­neer­ing de­gree and se­cur­ing a ‘safe job’ where they work you into the ground but at least make sure you are richly com­pen­sated. What mad­ness com­pelled you to take up a ca­reer in such an un­cer­tain field where the only surety is heartache and ex­ac­er­bated sui­ci­dal ten­den­cies?

Then when hope is at its low­est ebb and you are se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing those stupid emails and ads which urge you to take up data pro­cess­ing (what­ever that means) so that you can rake in the moolah from the com­fort of your home, a blessed pub­lisher agrees to take a chance on your baby book. For the next few months, you wal­low in ec­stasy, dream of su­per star­dom and make pru­dent plans not to piss away the for­tune that has your name on it.

How­ever, thanks to your moral sci­ence teach­ers who as­sured you re­peat­edly that win­ner don’t quit and quit­ters don’t win, you gather all your re­sources and start work on your next book. You take the plunge, and do it again and again, 8 times at the last count. For­tu­nately, de­spite ev­ery­thing you are still a dreamer but a prag­matic one. Now tem­pered with fan­tasies of fame and for­tune are some hard truths. There will be good days when you feel on top of the world be­cause a reader has sent a heart­felt email as­sert­ing that your words have changed his life and Ama­zon rec­om­mends your book as one of the best reads of the month. In­vi­ta­tions to lit fests will be ex­tended, there will be beau­ti­ful jour­neys and in­ter­est­ing peo­ple by the way­side and even the oc­ca­sional award that will make you feel it is all worth it.

These will be fol­lowed by re­ally bad days when you want to jump off a cliff af­ter fol­low­ing through on a se­cret urge to punch Amish Tri­pathi in the gut.

But ul­ti­mately, there is the aware­ness that read­ing and writ­ing is your life for bet­ter or worse, even when you are tempted to chuck it all out the win­dow and take up data – pro­cess­ing (what­ever that means).

Anuja Chan­dramouli is a best­selling In­dian au­thor and New Age In­dian Clas­si­cist. Her highly ac­claimed de­but novel, Ar­juna: Saga of a Pan­dava War­rior-Prince, was named by Ama­zon In­dia as one of the top 5 books in the In­dian Writ­ing cat­e­gory for the year...

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