Take a look around and you will see an increasing number of professionals from a variety of fields – technology, marketing, finance, sales or what have you – lighting up the literary firmament like never before.
Your no-nonsense colleague in the next cubicle whom you have seen spending his days and nights crunching numbers comes up with the next best-selling romance, and the bespectacled geek who you thought dreamt in JAVA writes a thriller that keeps you up all night!
What exactly is the motivation here? I invest some thoughts into this very question in my blog today.
I have a job in one of the leading global Consulting and Technology Services companies – a job that keeps me on the move across nations and oceans, and sometimes glued to my seat in my quiet office for hours in tele-conferences, but does assure that the bills get paid when they are due.
Nevertheless, over the last 1 year, I wrote a couple of e-books (Nargis Through my Summers and Loves Lost), got them in one cover for those who were missing the smell of a printed book (Romance Shorts), and my debut novel In the Shadows of Death is slated for a worldwide release this winter with Srishti. The boys in my team often ask me when and how I find the time!
A part of me, like most, if not all of us, always ‘had other plans.’ I wanted to write – rather, I wanted to continue writing, picking up the threads from my days in the school and from my early years in my job, when I had the privilege of lazy evenings and idle weekends.
And the result of my frantic typing in airport lounges, long flights and the occasional lonely evenings in hotel rooms after work were the stories that were born over the last couple of years.
How does one get motivated enough to write a book?
If I look inwards, was it just my love for the craft? I personally feel there was more to it.
As we chase our dreams in a big and busy city, at some point in life we become slaves to our aspirations and ambitions. And it is not too long before we realize success and wealth alone do not make our hearts go aflutter. Our trophies fill up an empty shelf, but not a lonely evening. It is important, therefore, to seek out what really drives us, and when we discover it through introspection, to nurture it and to let it breathe. I started writing the stories with these thoughts.
Writing was also a cathartic experience for me. It helped me give vent to emotions that had been bottled up inside me and spun stories out of them. There is a bit of me in every story. And that, I am sure, is not unique to me or to my books. It applies to everyone who writes.
The other interesting aspect that appealed to me as I started writing was how our moods and emotions often align with the different parts of the day, or the different seasons of the year.
So I could easily relate the various human emotions with the tranquillity of a summer afternoon (reflected in Nargis Through my Summers), vibrant celebrations of an evening (the story Mine Forever in the book Loves Lost), the atmosphere of mystery of a foggy winter night (my short story The Rattle in the Horror Anthology Under the Bed) or the brightness of a spring morning bringing with it a new beginning with fresh hopes (the story Love Came Calling Again in the book Loves Lost).
The thriller that comes out this winter with Srishti Publishers and Distributors is set in the Kolkata monsoon and the dark overcast skies, the distant rumbles, and the rain washed empty streets invariably add an element of mystery and conspiracy to the atmosphere.
Your dreams can also be your motivation. You dream of your book sweeping the world off its axis. You start scripting imaginary award speeches, and you wonder which suit you would wear to your first television interview.
And as you continue on your writing journey, you feel the excitement and re-assurance when at least one person reads your story, looks up from the book and thinks in awe – ‘That was my story!’ And then a hundred and then a thousand people relate to your story and write to you. It is exciting to know how your readers could relate what they read, to experiences they had been through themselves, how some of the stories made them cry and some made them smile, and how they ended the book with one take-away that made them happy and upbeat about their lives all over again.