Monday, April 12, 2010

My Mentor and Writing Friend/s

One of the most generous women I have ever come across, after my spiritual master Amma and my mother, is Lia Keyes. She's a British fantasy writer now living in California, but that's not all. She's also the founder of Scribblerati, the social network for writers and illustrators, and the host of #Scribechat, the weekly chat for writers on Twitter.

I had the pleasure of befriending Lia when I joined the fan page of Scribblerati on Facebook. One thing led to another and Lia and I settled into a close friendship cemented by our love of the written word. We often discuss my WIP during our late nights chats when our time zones coincide. I am not sure whether Lia has adopted me as her protégé, or, whether I have adopted her as my mentor.

Lia has always been quick to rush to my help: whether it's to help me set up a blog to get global exposure, give me tips on blogging and blogging etiquette, sending me links that are every writer’s dream, or urging me to search for an agent.

Not just me, I have seen that Lia is absolutely selfless when it comes to promoting other writers and illustrators. Every member of Scribblerati is welcomed with a personalized message that shows that Lia has taken the trouble to read the author or illustrator’s bio.

At times I have struggled and my frustration has built up when I have been unable to manage time efficiently. Several times I have sacrificed things that I had earlier yearned for, with the excuse that there is no time. I have been curt and abrupt with family and close friends at their encroachment on my writing time. But Lia has always been Ms Sunshine, ever ready to help with the reasoning that a writer’s life is hard enough, so it’s nice to share knowledge gained.

Blogging, hosting #Scribechat, administrating Scribblerati (both the original site and the official fan page on FB) as well as working on her work-in-progress, A Warning To The Curious, this amazing lady has so many balls in the air, yet she still manages to find time to guide and advise writers all over the world.

Lady, do you have a Time Turner? Does your day have 48 hours? Are there two of you to accomplish everything?

The journey of a writer is difficult: more often uphill than anything else, the path is paved with thorns and boulders, and in this scenario having generous writing friends is a huge blessing. Their words of wisdom and encouragement are like an oasis in a desert.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Lia, and my other two long distance writing friends, or, should I say cyber friends, or, better still Blogging Buddies: Elizabeth Varadan and Robyn Campbell. Both these charming ladies are following Lia’s footsteps, trying to ease my writing journey and hasten my destination.

Has there been someone in your writing journey who has tried to smooth the rough path for you? Who has understood your emotional turbulences created by problems with Work in Progress? I would love to know.

Join Scribblerati @
Read Lia's Blog @


  1. Rachna! I saw you on chat this morning, but I had to start school. So I missed our lovely conversation together.

    This is truly an honor. *she humbly hugs her dear friend* Thank you, thank you. And I must tell you that you have done more for me than I for you, but I really appreciate your kind words. You know what? We all need each other. YAY! I wouldn't want to walk this path alone. (^_^)

  2. I don't think I'll ever stop blushing, Rachna. Thank you so much for these lovely words. I'll treasure them always. Keep scribbling!

  3. Hey Robyn,its really nice to have friends like you who are supporting me every step of the way.

  4. Lia, do me a favor, stop blushing. You have indeed helped me at every step. I have been scribbling like mad from three days.

  5. What a wonderful tribute to your writing mentor and to other helpful friends! I hope that I too can help encourage other writers! I'd love to give back to others all of the blessings that have been given to me.

  6. Hi Rachna!

    I have to second everything you said about Lia. :) And I could add that Lia is my blog guru. (Is that Bloguru?)

    But it was also fun to see that Amma is your spiritual master. She is mine as well. And hubby's and all three of my kids (oldest 15) who have journeyed to see her every year of their lives. We are so looking forward to her Seattle retreat. The kids start asking me in December, "When's Amma coming, when's Amma coming?"

    Lovely post about two lovely ladies. :)

  7. Jody, I too hope that one day I can be of help to someone. Lia has selflessly gone out of her way to help me.

  8. Birgitte, its great to meet an Amma devotee. We have lots in common: Amma, Lia,and ofcourse writing. I met Amma in February when she visited Bangalore. Had a lovely Darshan.
    I think after Amma, Lia too is getting many followers.
    By the way Blog Guru is better.

  9. Hi Rachna,

    Finally, I am here commenting on your blog. Before I comment, I thought I will read your pieces. That's why it took some time.

    I am glad you took to this platform. I have been a great fan of the blog. Though a lot of attention has now been stolen by Twitter and Facebook. My blogging rate has come down.

    Blogs have democratised the publishing and getting to tell the world what you want to say, has never as easy as it's now.

    I liked the "scriptorium" title of your blog. Good one, quite a creative one I thought.

    Thanks for introducing me to Scribblerati and also to on which it is hosted.

    Regarding your style of writing, I must say it's easy on the eye and on the mind. The way you break up ideas into different paragraphs is also good. That's one important thing which young modern writers don't do. They tend to stuff too many things in one para. Small paras make it easy on the eye. And looking at how you have placed the commas at the right places, I can see how particular you are about the language.

    I shall keep dropping by your Writing Room.

    Wish you all the best...


  10. Thanks for the kind words, Rachna. It's been a great pleasure for me to be one of your blogging buddies! And thanks, too, for the many ways you've been helpful to me in my own writing concerns.

  11. Hiii Rachna,

    I finally got to read your blogs...for starters "Scriptorium: is fancy :)Neat choice of words and thoughts and great proud of you