More than 4K people in India attempt to write a novel every November. And it is no easy task, trust me!!! It requires a lot of willpower, stamina and ofcourse, a germ of a story. But along with that one needs the motivation from all those who have been there before. All those who have written novels and had them published. Over the years, then, Wrimo India has been fortunate to have had some of the best writers from India motivating the wrimos with peptalks.
This week we are happy to present a letter of encouragement to wrimos from well-known author, HANSDA SOWVENDRA SHEKHAR. Over to him, then.
Greetings to all of you.
I might be a wrong person to give this peptalk, because – I will be honest here – I am the laziest person I have ever known. I think of writing something, but I just sit in front of my laptop with a plain page on MS-Word opened in one window while I am happily listening to songs on Windows Media Player or watching videos on YouTube. Some two hours of procrastination, and then I start panicking. Goodness! What have I done? I have wasted so much time!
I return to the MS-Word window, think a line, type it out, I am happy, and then I again return to the Windows Media Player. An hour later, I am panicky once again, and I return to the MS-Word. I usually write at night. So, by the time I am panicky for the second or third time, after having typed just two or three lines, I realise that it is 4 A.M. already and I need to sleep. So I just save those two or three lines, berate myself for being so lazy, promise myself that I would not procrastinate the next time, go to sleep, return to my laptop the next night, open my MS-Word file with those two or three lines saved from the previous night, and, again, I am busy with Windows Media Player or YouTube. At the end of the night, after two more panic attacks, I have a total of five or six lines done.
Word count: Fewer than 100.
So, seriously, I am certainly not the right person to talk to you guys about NaNoWriMo.
However, there is one thing I know.
And that is: When I am determined, when my mind is full of ideas, and there is a story inside me just seeking to burst out, I do not care if it is night or day, I do not care how many words I have written. I just go on writing. I do not even stop to think what I am writing or if it is right that I am writing what I am writing—for, editing can always be done later. For now, I have to just write. And that is what I would tell all of you to do:
Don’t think of other things while you are writing your novel,
Don’t get distracted,
Don’t think about editing,
Collect all your ideas in your mind or in a diary/notebook/mobile phone/computer while you are not writing, and then,
When you sit down to write, just close yourself to everything else and write.
And when you open your diary/notebook/mobile phone to check your notes, don’t get distracted, don’t start checking out the apps.
Check your notes, and just return to your writing.
Trust me, it is easy, and you can do it. Good luck to all of you, and I am sure you will all have your novels ready by 30-November-2016.
HANSDA SOWVENDRA SHEKHAR is the author of two books: a novel, “The Mysterious Ailment Of Rupi Baskey”, which won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2015, jointly won the Muse India Young Writer Award 2015, was shortlisted for The Hindu Prize 2014 and a Crossword Book Award 2014, and longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2016; and a collection of short stories, “The Adivasi Will Not Dance”, which has been shortlisted for The Hindu Prize 2016 and recommended for a course at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
You can check out the books at the links given below:
The Mysterious Ailment Of Rupi Baskey: http://www.alephbookcompany.com/book/the-mysterious-ailment-of-rupi-baskey-a-novel
The Adivasi Will Not Dance: http://speakingtigerbooks.com/books/the-adivasi-will-not-dance-stories/
Adivasi Nahin Nachenge, the Hindi translation of The Adivasi Will Not Dance: http://rajpalpublishing.com/item_details.html?cat_id=1021