For years I’ve read about various strategies writers adopt to get their creative juices flowing. From writers’ retreats, to solitary getaways, to hideaways in the hills. While I would love to make it to any one of these at some point in life, what I do know is that the farthest I’ll get during this life stage, is to the solitary confinement of my bathroom. With work, or home, kids, and other realities – paved obstacle courses, most of us who like to write are used to conjuring expression in the midst of maids, arguments, calls, emails, the neighbour’s annoying poodle. You get the drift. I actually ended up writing my first book, I Didn’t Expect To Be Expecting, just in this manner. Chaos, hormones, diapers, fatigue, it was a heady mix but I wrote through all of it. Some days about a 100 words and on some days possibly 10. And somehow at the end of around 10 months, I had a book. A pet peeve with inspiration and ideas is that they unfortunately arrive, when it’s the least opportune time to receive them. Just yesterday, I believe I was struck with an beautiful thought that I really needed to jot down while I was on a conference call at home, while my little daughter insisted I come with her as she had seen Casper the friendly ghost under her bed. Unfortunately, by the time I got done with the call and Casper, the thought had vaporised. I have a favourite diary to scribble my thoughts and ideas in. But a diary can never always be handy and in reach right? So what I try and do now is jot down whatever pops into my head on anything I can find at the time. Either a note on my phone, a small chit (I collect these in a pocket in my bag). And then I transfer them to my diary at the end of the day without fail. Helps aggregate the mayhem. Personally, I don’t think there will ever be a right time, place or opportunity. When words seep into your head and need an outlet, they will find a way. Through love, joy, sorry, pain, life and everything it has to offer. I went through a deep personal bereavement recently and I stopped working on my new book. Just when I thought my soul and words had dried up, I started writing poems every night like I was possessed. It really helped and no amount of emotions blocking my mind and heart could prevent the words from finding their way to paper. I know people who are so methodical about their writing. Come hail or sunshine, they write for a certain amount of time everyday. I really do want to get to the point where I’m writing everyday. But until then, I will follow my instincts, let life take its course and trust that whatever needs to be written, will.
About the Guest writer: Richa started her writing journey as a child, scribbling away poems and stories for her father, every time he travelled on work. Her career as a journalist and advertising professional after completing her MBA, and becoming a mother has given her writing more dimension and her creativity, more juice. Her curious mind helps her look at people and situations in a unique way and she hopes her observations continue to inspire her in this lifelong pursuit of expression. Her debut novel has been published by Harper Collins and Black Ink Books and she can’t wait to spin yarns and churn out books for the rest of her life.
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