June 17, 2019 · 4 min read •
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It took me 11 years after I first decided to write a book in 2008 to finally publish, The Unfortunates.
The first time I picked up a pen to write something was probably when I was 14 or 15 years old but back then, I still remember very clearly, I could not write more than two paragraphs. Why? I had no clue what to write.
When I went to college, I started narrating stories to my friends, I am not sure who but one of them said at that time, I should write a book, I narrate well. And that is how the dream started.
I realized this very recently – In school examinations, after standard 9, I would never write an essay in English paper. I would always pick a story to complete. It was class 9 and my English teacher, Deepa Gupta Ma’am, told me something like ‘the story is nice’ while checking the paper, I don’t remember the exact words but I recalled that incident a few months back only. I would like to thank her for those words, for I surely believe her words were always there in my subconscious mind telling me I could write stories.
It was in the year 2009, I picked up a pen and a diary to write a novel. For a week I was writing day in and day out. If I remember correctly, I wrote around 60-70 pages of the diary. After writing those many pages, I realized, I am not ready to write a novel. I lacked writing skills.
The only solution I could think of was to read books to learn writing. In 2010, I read around 10 books and in 2012 I raised the number to 35 books. For the past few years, I have been reading 40-50 books in a year.
Coming back to the writing, in 2012 I again decided to write a book and I wrote for two-three weeks and then gave up. This time I gave up, not because I need to learn writing skill but because I thought I need to know about “life” a lot more. My knowledge was very limited, my understanding of human psychology was almost zero, my characters were a lot mature.
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I continued narrating stories to my friends all this while. They would sit for two-three straight while I narrate them the stories. One of my friends, Rachit Gupta, has probably listened to my 3 hours long storytelling narration for more than 5 times. He claims he can narrate it better know! I would like to thank him and all the friends who listened to me again and again, which motivated me to tell/write more stories.
I knew I had to read different kinds of books. So by 2015 start, I have read, Bhagavad Gita, Bible, Quran in bits and pieces, Osho, books on religion, books on the theory of evolution, Buddha (I have read half a dozen books on Buddha till date).
I finally started writing an untitled book in February 2015 and I was sure this time around I will finish it. I completed 40 percent of my book in the next six months and then I was stuck.
For almost a year, I did not write anything. Then in September 2016, I visited this place called ‘Ekaant: Forest Homes’ in Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra where I spend the night and was thinking about my writing and the book. The place is so serene, it takes you to a different level of calmness. It was at this place I discovered the purpose of my story.
I resumed my writing again but then I got busy with other things and could hardly find time to write and finish my book. But I made sure I was reading at least 2-3 books in a month all this while.
The resumed half completed book in the first week of 2018 with the goal of completing it in by end of the year. The next seven months passed in a flash and by the end of July, the manuscript was ready.
The remaining year went in self-editing and looking for publishers. I knew selling books is not an easy job, there are already millions of book in the market and I wanted to know how the industry runs. Just to understand the industry, I published my collection of short stories in the first week of 2019.
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Though a couple of traditional publishers were ready to publish my novel but there were no timelines. I waited long and then I decided to self-publish. The second quarter of 2019 went in finalizing the publishing house and then the real test – editing.
It has been an amazing journey writing this book and as the teaser of my book says –’Where the end is a new beginning’, I hope this is just a new beginning for me and people like my work.
I am looking forward for your reviews.
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image credit: Abhinav Mishra
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