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HindustanTimes Sat,05 Jul 2014
Jaipur Literature Festival
How to become a published writer
Praneta Jha, Hindustan Times
January 28, 2013
First Published: 22:13 IST(28/1/2013)
Last Updated: 22:15 IST(28/1/2013)

So you want to be a writer? But how do you go from the fuzzy ideas in your head to having a published book?

The session, 'Maps for Lost Writers: Nurturing Creativity', sought to address questions that puzzle aspiring writers.

Authors Anosh Irani, Prajwal Parajuly, Hindol Sengupta and Aita Ighodaro discussed the often-daunting course of writing a book, and the craft of writing itself.

The one advice that emerged unanimously at the end of the session was - just write.

That's where you begin, but the process is more complex than that. For example, how important is discipline for a writer?

"Writing becomes a chore, if you think of discipline," said Ighodaro, the author of Sin Tropez. However, the UK author admitted that she liked having a clear structure before beginning to write.

But the panelists agreed that daily 'word targets' - writing a minimum number of words every day, generally touted as a must for writers - did not work for everyone.

"There are stretches when I write and those when I don't," said Irani (The Cripple and His Talismans). "There is no writer's block, only writer's impatience. I have trained myself to be patient… The words will come when they have to."

As Parajuly, the author of the short-story collection The Gurkha's Daughter, said, "After you've been writing, you realise what works for you".

Every writer has to make her or his own map.

But once you have a manuscript, where do you go from there?

The panelists admitted that it helped to have a literary agent, though it's not too common yet in India - with the exception of Sengupta, who said he just walked into the publisher's office. And rejection happens, said Ighodaro.


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Who is your favourite author at this year's Jaipur Literature Festival?

The much-awaited DSC Jaipur Literature Festival has been scheduled from 24th to 28th January, 2013, at Diggi Palace in Jaipur, where literary talents from across the globe meet. Tell us about your favourite author.
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