It’s been a month since I finished writing my first book and I’m still in vacation mode: plenty of library, bookstores visits, and once again, I’m on a reading spree. Although writing definitely was fun, it took out the biggest pleasure out of my life-cut my reading time to almost nil. I hated that in the beginning. There were moments when I wanted to leave my book midway and go back to my old routine of a few hours of compulsory reading squeezed into otherwise hectic hours of my days. Countless times, I regretted my decision of taking to writing. Being a full-time mother of two young children and doing thousands other chores around the home was difficult enough. What kept me going in the beginning then? My vanity! Yes, it was vanity that wouldn’t let me quit. I didn’t want to prove myself a failure in others’ eyes. Before I started writing, I had proudly announced my new undertaking to the world (well, not the world. But yes, many people other than family and a few friends). I had no choice other than to stick to my writing then. No matter how humble we consider ourselves, we never can escape vanity completely. Not us, humans. I was no exception. And then, as I would make progress, another idea would pop in my head; a better idea, more appealing, utterly tempting. Countless times, I resisted the urge to leave the current work midway and work at the new idea. Sometimes I wrote a wonderful episode or a chapter and realized I couldn’t use one of my other chapter. Then to make the matter worse, I loved both my chapters too much to cut either one. And thus, I had to change the plot once again to fit them together. Painfully, slowly my book started taking shape. It was gratifying. I knew I was in love with writing then. It was still exhausting; to manage kids, home, and writing all at once. My hands itched to write, but there were thousand chores I had to finish first. I wrote everywhere and anywhere I could carry my laptop and had more than half hour on hand. I wrote at my kids’ swimming classes, my daughter’s dance classes. I wrote while I chatted with my sister on phone. (yes!). I wrote like a maniac. I was so happy the day I finished my first draft. Little did I know that was just the beginning. The editing was tough. I had to rewrite many episodes again and take out previously written ones out. It was difficult enough to part ways with words and sentences I had written with passion. Taking out paragraphs and full pages killed my spirit. By the time I finished my final draft, I had taken out around 35,000 of words. Now, one and a half year later, my novel is complete. I haven’t found publisher yet but hoping to get one soon. Now, I’m contemplating whether to start my second book in the series or write a standalone. It’s a difficult decision. And again, thousands plot ideas are sitting in my head. All I have to do now is zero in on one and I will be good to go.
Neena has compiled ‘YOU left me, sweets, two legacies: Famous Love Poems’, a collection of 61 famous, classic love poems under her pen name Avira N. the book is:
AVAILABLE AS E BOOK & PAPERBACK ON