Monday, May 31, 2010
The Lonely Life of an Indian Writer
Why am I envious of them? Let me tell you all a small secret. In my last post ‘How Much Criticism to Take?’ I have written about Critique Groups, Beta Readers, and Agents. I have learnt about these from all my blogging friends. I had no prior information about any of these except agents.
In India as far as I know none of us (writers ) belong to any Critique Group who meet regularly. We are bereft of the insights offered by members of a Critique Group( people who are traveling the same road as us). The first time I heard about a Critique Group was from my mentor and writing friend Lia Keyes. She asked me during a late night chat if I belonged to any such group. Until then I was not even aware of it.
Well, as for Beta Readers, I had not heard of them until Robyn Campbell mentioned them during one of our frequent chats. If you ask me who gets to read my manuscript first, I would say no one. The first person to read it is the editor of the publishing house I send the manuscript to. If my manuscript sucks then it’s the editor who tells me that.
I don’t think any of my writing friends in India belong to any society for writers. Another writing friend Elizabeth Varadan has been constantly urging me to join SCBWI. I beg forgiveness for being ignorant about this society that has jumpstarted the careers of several writers. It was Elizabeth who sent me the contact number of the Indian chapter of this society! I had no clue about this society’s presence in India, so did the other writers I spoke to.
As we send our manuscripts directly to publishing houses in India due to lack of agents, I have learnt a lot about them from my writing friends abroad. Lia Keyes and Birgitte Necessary have generously volunteered to Critique my work ( synopsis).
From the moment I have started blogging, the stony path of the writing life has become less lonely and more pleasant. I have picked several sweet companions along the way: Anne, Jody, Lydia, and Victoria who leave such encouraging comments that I am inspired to blog more frequently. I have shamelessly lapped up all that they have generously shared in their blogs. From time management to synopsis writing. From contests to agent information. I am waiting to share all this information with my writing friends in India.
My non writing friends in India too have been extremely generous and supportive: Anitha, Pallavi, Heera, Bharathi, Padma and Pradeep constantly urge me to give my best.
Love and hugs to each and every one of you who has supported me.
Thanks to all of you wonderful friends, we(writers) have decided to start our own Critique Group in Bangalore. As of now its all in the discussion stage. Let’s hope people join.
Are you grateful to someone who has walked alongside you in your writing journey? Who has eased the loneliness? Is there someone you want to thank?