To whomever it may concern,
I am sitting here, typing away at something of an anticlimax. I am in Kolkata, the city of dreams and rubble. I have absorbed the sights, the sounds, the drama and poetry of the place and in return the city has given me a novel. It’s caked with dirt and dried blood and tears and it’s screaming and demanding my attention
I’m waiting now, in the dark, where writers go clutching tightly to their hope as if it were a ring with sinister powers of immortality. Our eyes are wide and our features drawn from hours of sitting at a computer, staring at nothing but a screen. We haven’t eaten or slept properly since an idea took root in the depths of our minds and we have become obsessed. All we want is perfection. So we polish and rub and polish until we are left with nothing but an impression of what we began with.
I barely know what I’m writing at the moment. I’m so sleepy. My novel is complete, not perfect but resting. I’ve begun the process of approaching publishers in India and tomorrow I’ll start approaching agents in the UK. Things work differently from one place to the next.
Oh well…it’s just a waiting game now. In the meantime I suppose I could be looking at editing and stuff.
Crashed Out and Crazed in Calcutta!
PS: The insects and the weddings and NOISE are getting to me now! It’s everywhere! HELP! I need the cold sterile sameness of the UK. I’m missing the silence, the quiet, the DO NOT DISTURB that people respect and adhere to over there! I’m missing it so much, you have no idea. ‘Can I go home now?’ I ask. But ‘where’s that?’ they laugh in reply.
Eyes wide, features drawn…
Well, I did it! I wrote a novel in the month of November and I’m still basking in the afterglow of success.
This is huge for me, I’ve actually completed a task despite the odds. I’m going to brag and boast my heart out until everyone’s sick of listening and then I’ll brag some more just because I CAN!
You see, it wasn’t easy.
First there was Diwali (6 days of preparations and festivities in Hyderabad), right at the beginning of the month, which every Indian knows, is a complete drain on mental and physical resources and then my mum and dad landed in India and stayed a weekend (2 days of being an indulged daughter after, just too long) and then my cat died (3 days I allowed myself to mourn). That was the toughest thing I had to go through in a long time, and I don’t think I’m still over it, but do you know what? Nibbles has an entire chapter dedicated to him. I wrote my feelings into my book and mourned for him within pages of my personal triumph.
I just wanted to say, that I actually did it and it would not have been possible were it not for my dear friends in Calcutta who told me I could and I absolutely should, my husband who never once complained that what I was doing was a waste of time and my parents who locked me in my room for the last two days of November so I would reach the 50k mark before the midnight deadline. (I got there at 11.45pm exactly, by the way!)
So, as I shamelessly brag, I’m also shamelessly telling you, that if you want, you could do it too. I am probably the world’s greatest procrastinator, but I needed to do this. Just to say that I can!
And as I do this I am reminded that I need to keep on doing it, because now, is just the beginning. I’ve still got to amend and edit and redraft and rejig and rehash and probably scrap and maybe add to my little baby. Watch her grow and evolve into something even more beautiful than just a symbol of my passion. It needs to grow to be worthy of being read and that is now my mission. For although it’s okay, I believe it has the potential to be great! Yes, I’ve said it out loud! It has the potential to be much more than just a forgotten tome sitting on my shelf. One day it will be worthy of readers who will love it enough to let it grow and take root into their own wonderful imaginings of events depicted in the lines and letters of my creation.
So a final thank you to Calcutta…it wouldn’t have happened without you!