Writing is such an exciting thing!
I don’t have to really tell you that. At some point in your life – perhaps at school or college or later – you suddenly discovered you enjoyed the experience. And perhaps a few well-meaning friends even felt you had a special gift. “You write so well”, or “Your writing took me to another world” or “Why don’t you publish your work?” and so on.
So naturally, you’d like to bring your work to the notice of the world. And that’s wonderful! The world is always looking for new writers and new thoughts.
May I take the liberty of making a few suggestions to help you along? Some might seem either obvious or silly, but in any case, none are intended to come across as supercilious.
Keep writing – it gets better with time
It’s true. The more you write, the better it gets. And why is that so? Quite simply, greater confidence. Like any other skill, things just get better with practice. The choice of words, their placement, the construction of sentences, the use of visual space, the art of conversations – it all improves.
Get an editor – it really helps
An editor is your friend. He is not a typo-correcting machine. He discovers inconsistencies, weak structuring, gaps and so on. It’s a very difficult task. Please find one and keep him. The output after incorporating an editor’s views is usually much, much better.
Don’t be in a rush to publish
Often, carried away by early praise, you feel that you need to get the matter out immediately. But traditional publishers take forever. And you will feel impatient. At that point, you will consider self-publishing or going to a lower quality publisher who will agree to publish your work for a fee. That is not a good idea. Your subsequent work will have few takers even if it is better than the first.
Write to a plan
Some writers claim that the plot unfolds as they write. This may be true but it’s not always a good thing. You are skating on thin ice. If you take the time to plot your book, you will have clearer milestones and will finish on schedule.
Don’t get carried away by flattery
As I’ve said earlier, many well-intentioned friends will heap lavish praise on you. This creates an illusion that you may be really very, very good while you may not really be so (yet). So be thick-skinned – invite critical review. It will hurt in the beginning but you will soon adjust and know what criticism is fair and what is not.
Experiment with different styles and genres
Creativity needs exercise. Try writing romance, ghost stories, adventures, non-fiction. All this will polish your writing and give you greater confidence. It will also help you break the monotony and helps add freshness to your writing.
I wish you well on your writing journey!
What the Raags told me – Rupa. Also translated to Kannada
Effective Proposal Writing – Sage. Hindi Translation Prabhavpurna Prastav Lekhan – Sage Bhasha
The Time Merchants and other strange tales – LiFi Publications
Sherlock Holmes, the Missing Years: Japan – HarperCollins, Poisoned Pen Press (USA), Editora Vestigio (Brazil), Kokusho Kankokai (Japan)
Sherlock Holmes, the Missing Years: Timbuktu – Poisoned Pen Press (USA), Jaico
How Organizations Really Work – Bloomsbury
The Ramgarh Literary Festival – HarperCollins