How are You, and Where have you been? #writing

Writing lifeThe writing life is a crazy thing. I can’t speak for others, but for me, I’m constantly writing, if only in my own head. Each person I meet, each place I go to, becomes a what if, and within minutes of being left alone, I begin wool-gathering, spinning yarns. Before I started on the writing life, it used to be an embarrassing trait. These days, I can explain it away. Somewhat.

The last few weeks have been a tad demented, what with attending the UEA workshop in Kolkata, with stalwart authors as workshop tutors (the professorial, encyclopedic, deadpan Amit Chaudhuri, the subtle, brilliant Romesh Gunesekara) and an overwhelming talent in terms of peers.

In the middle of some heavy-duty critiquing, and taking in the shabbily-beautifulcity, I finished the Nanowrimo: 50,000 words that don’t seem entirely headed for the waste-basket. So the writing life has been cranking along– other than the first two weeks of December: family issues, illnesses, weddings, you name it. But things should look up now.

I’ll soon start the interview of authors/ publishing professionals again. I have a few lined up that I need to publish. My apologies to everyone I haven’t visited in the meanwhile. I shall make up for it in the coming weeks.

What about you? How are you and how have you been? If you’re a writer, how do you fit in regular living and crises into the writing life? If you don’t write, tell me all about your challenges and triumphs in the past weeks.

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64 comments

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  1. Aui V.

    It feels great to read this article after some times of hibernating from the net. Yet I’m still writing everyday (in my journal), haven’t written much on my blog since last month because of the Holiday season which is celebrated the longest here in the Philippines. Glad to know about what you’ve been up to these days. I don’t know where my writing will lead me, but I have two of my children joining the ride with me. After self-publishing my first book, they are on their way to finishing their own. The challenge is still to keep writing just for the joy of writing and giving something away.
    Happy to connect with you again πŸ™‚

  2. hilarycustancegreen

    I have hardly blogged or even done much writing for the last four months (though I have been working on the publicity for my last book). I do believe that in the next four months, I can reacquaint myself with the characters in the novel I set aside three years ago… dreams sometimes come true.

  3. dgkaye

    Congrats on completing Nano this year Damyanti! Life of a writer seems an eternal juggle. If I’m not working on 5 things at once, I wouldn’t feel like myself, lol. Happy holidays! πŸ™‚

  4. Jacqui Murray

    I did sign up for a writing conference (maybe like the one you attended in Kolkata), to rejuvenate me and mix with kindred souls. I’m looking forward to that. Otherwise, I continue to work on my novel.

  5. upasna1987

    I write to create memories, to end my days being grateful. You are right we tend to weave stories out of everyone. I want to thank you for holding my hand for NaNoWriMo but sorry, I failed at my calculations. The story was short for a novel and then, I felt little reluctant to share it with the world. Drafted 5K words but as of now, I am keeping it with me.

  6. jmathur

    Writing is definitely a crazy thing. I have also been an addict of writing for years. Hence I appreciate your thoughts to the full. You have utilized your non-writing period in the most productive way, that’s a very positive thing. Goodluck for everything in your life including writing.

    Jitendra Mathur

  7. ladycee

    Hello fellow-blogger,

    You seem to be leading an exciting and busy life as a writer. You must be very disciplined.

    Blogging has been a god-send for me. Before that, I was always meaning to write but hardly ever did so, unless there was a specific demand I had to meet. Now I write more regularly (I have 2 blogs!). Unfortunately, I am such a perfectionist I tend to spend way too much time on my posts.

    My mother died mid September, so for a while writing faltered. Now I’ve picked up blogging again but instead of getting on with the completion of a self-publishing project, I decided to get involved in a 30-day blog challenge – talk about procrastination!

    Thank you for listening. Just had a desire to get things of my chest.

    Have a happy Christmas, or peaceful seasonal break.

  8. Parul Thakur

    You have been busy. I write for my blog and then my work emails πŸ˜‰
    And I have been well. I am determined to change a few things in 2017 and I just hope I am able to sustain the courage I seem to have now πŸ™‚ Hugs, Damyanti.

  9. vinodinii

    It sure is a challenge to keep up the writing with so many other things happening around you. I try to keep pace by posting at least once a week on my blog. Have been doing some experiments there with different genres. Hope it works! I’m guessing that the workshop added value to your writing. Wish you all the best for the next year.

  10. Sulekha

    You have been very busy πŸ™‚ I have been doing some writing courses online and one course made me sit up and start thinking about writing seriously. It was writing a manuscript in 60 days, I am on day two. If I write 1000 words everyday and by the end of two months will have 60,000 words…fingers crossed πŸ™‚

  11. Shilpa Gupte

    I have been fine, Damayanti. Been keeping myself busy with writing and sketching. I can so relate to what you said about woolgathering. That happens to be a personal hobby. Not being much of an extrovert, I end up being by myself. And, when i am with myself, esp at gatherings or weddings, I keep observing people and life around me and cooking up a post or two in my head about it all. You can find helpful prompts at places swarming with people. All you need to do is keep observing and making notes! πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I do talk at gatherings, but there’s always a part of me that is always silent, forever taking notes.

  12. Rachna

    You’ve been crazy busy, it looks like. I write professionally as well as for my blogs. Some days I just want to run away from the written word. Life has been hectic. December for some reason always is. Look forward to a slightly more relaxed start to the New Year.

  13. Sid Balachandran

    Someone’s been busy πŸ™‚
    Writing has taken a back seat this year – mainly due to some health concerns and other things. Here’s to hoping 2017 will be a more organised year, in terms of writing.
    Thank you for the constant inspiration, Dams!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Haha, yes, Sid. I hope all the health concerns are now sorted out. Take care of you and family. I’m no inspiration– I struggle all of the time.

  14. Me Otherwise

    Yes it is a non stop job being a writer. I write when I am quite, I wrote in my thoughts as I sit still watching the trees swaying outside the window. And I gather thoughts as I walk down the lane every evening.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Yes, writing is a non-stop process. All the best with your work, and thanks for visiting πŸ™‚

  15. Mark Murata

    Because of my work hours at my new workplace, I’ve started writing in the mornings before work. My shift starts at 8:45am, which the latest I’ve started in a long time. They have a nice, large cafeteria, so sometimes I’ll start writing there as early as 7:00.

  16. Nick Pip

    Sounds like you’re pretty disciplined! I am still new to the process, so I write maybe a few times a week. I use a website called Scribophile, so I also do a fair amount of critiquing. One of the things that’s helped me is cutting down on TV watching. For the most part, I’m either reading, writing or critiquing.

  17. andreadurrheim

    Let’s see. I usually manage about 6,000 words a day. Hmm. Perhaps I should try to write a book while I’m on holiday! Currently letting the commercial writing wind down – but what will I do with three whole weeks off? Mind you, it might be nice to go to the beach for a change too! πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti Biswas

      6k words a day is terrific. Never written as much in a day myself. Go to the beach or write a book: whatever makes you happy, and makes a good welcome for the New Year!

  18. ccyager

    The holiday season during December in America is insane. Every year I struggle to stay grounded and positive as I observe the people around me getting crazy about shopping, travel, and family. The tension in the air can make it difficult to write, to create. But I’m always thinking about ideas I’m working on, problems with WIP, and staying open to ideas. Right now, I’m in good health considering the chronic illnesses I have. But when a crisis arises, especially with my health, I stop everything to address it. Right now, I’m very, very concerned about a Trump presidency and how it will affect the arts in America. A friend asked me yesterday if I’m prepared to be arrested. We don’t think of America as a fascist state, but Trump is sure acting already like a dictator. It doesn’t help me that the future America I’d envisioned for my “Perceval” series had someone like Trump taking over in 2016. Ack!!! I hope your health has improved, Damyanti. It’s no fun not to feel well.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Cinda, hugs. I understand your concerns.
      The holiday season affects me as well. Hope all stays well with your health, your WIP and your writing. Take care of yourself, my friend.

      • ccyager

        You are in my thoughts, Damyanti. I hope you remain healthy. Feel free to e-mail me if ever you want to vent about it. I’m a sympathetic listener.

  19. Glynis Jolly

    Don’t fret over the absence. It’s completely understandable. Glad things are settling down a little for you. Only problem is Christmas is upon us. Take care of yourself. <3

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Glynis. My blog suffers whenever my life becomes a busy hive. Yep end of the year is here– not sure where it all went!

  20. pjlazos

    Hi Damyanti! I’ve missed your posts. Glad to hear you finished NaNo and that the work is workable! Have a great day!😘

    • Damyanti Biswas

      I miss you guys, too. Yep, the Nano output is somewhat workable, let’s see. You have a good day ahead as well :).

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Weekends I don’t write much– much of my writing is during the weekdays. Whatever works for each of us, I suppose.

  21. cyncarverauthor

    Hi Damyanti,

    Congratulations on your 50,000 words and a keeper, too. I look forward to reading it some day. Well, as long as it isn’t horror πŸ˜‰

    After Nanowrimo, I hit the editing hard. Almost half way through the book and looks as if the second half will need fleshed out a bit more. My writing time seems to be more available during this holiday season. I’ll embrace it and continue to edit.

    Coffee and Quill, the best way to an adventure.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Cynthia. It is a feminist novel involving crime.

      I’m yet to finish this draft, but hope to do so by 1st week of Jan. Then possibly will hit the 2nd draft in Feb.

  22. D. Wallace Peach

    Good for you for 50,000 words! Thanks a lot of writing for a month, and it’s great that it’s a keeper. I’ve been writing like a fiend, Damyanti, and letting everything else slide. That has to end soon with the holidays. Have a great holiday season and Happy Writing πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Letting everything slide is the best way to get writing done :). Go for it! Thanks for your comments and for dropping by: wishing you happy holidays as well !

  23. simonfalk28

    You are a trooper, Damyanti! Good for you on the 50,00 saveable words πŸ™‚ I have been writing very little of late. Too scattered in many directions and not in the deeper, more centred place, to notice, be inspired, and write. I hope the rest of the month goes well for you. πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Simon. I hope you find that centered place soon. I really hope to continue writing on the page the rest of the month.

  24. Birgit

    Congrats on the NaNo …at least that can get your mind off of all the stuff that has been happening. One never has a steady ho hum life which is why we can say we have had an enriching life. I have not made too many cards recently….our one cat passed away suddenly, my best friend needs me as she is finding out how narcisstic her husband is, my mom, I fear, is nearing the end but she could still go on for a ear…or not. My doctor was incredibly rude so I changed doctors and just saw him today and I feel very hopeful. I do love Christmas and have been decorating to my hearts content. I took a week off so I can accomplish all this.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      So sorry to hear about your cat, Birgit. Hope all goes well with your friend and your mom. Taking care of the elderly is such hard work.

      Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience with the doc. Hope the new one is better.

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas in advance. Hope to catch up on all your missed posts soon.

  25. ianscyberspace

    I can relate to finding potential story themes everywhere I go or whoever I’m talking to. Most of the time these potential stories never come to pen, but there are some that stand out and demand to be written in story format. Fortunately life has other interests too, but writing is of major interest.

  26. cathum

    Well done on completing the course of Nanowrimo, and what sounds like a really useful course. Could do with a few tips on your time-management strategies I think.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      My time management sucks! I barely managed the 50k words– wrote about 5k in 4 hours on the last day. It was too much– I did two workshops and the Nano at the same time, while in a different country. Sigh.

  27. C.E.Robinson

    Congrats on success with NanNo! Just take life’s crises & distractions in stride! I’ll get back to the book! In the meantime, research continues and the story gets more realistic and organized. All good. Happy Holidays!!πŸŽ„ Christine

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Christine! I continue to write on mine as well :). Happy holidays to you too!

  28. firobertson

    Damyanti I can totally relate to this post. I am constantly writing in my head, too. I often miss turnoffs when driving or fail to respond to a question because I’m thinking about a story line or my characters. Glad I’m not the only one living in my own head sometimes!
    Your workshop sounds amazing – glad you were able to have such a wonderful and inspiring time.
    Best wishes for moving forward with your NaNoWriMo project.

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Fiona. I’m forever in my head, and that makes me lousy company most times irl. That workshop was really good, wish I could have more. I’m moving forward with the Nano project– never dreamt I’d finish it, but now am looking forward to finishing the draft! πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Thanks, Alex! All issues are part of life, I guess. Enjoy the events– hope you have wonderful holidays!

  29. Dani Watkins

    Hello! I am a freelance writer and homemaker. These past few weeks with the holidays have been a bit busy than normal. I am totally with you on constantly writing in my head. While my schedule is a bit off, sitting down to write anything helps me unwind and relax. Great post!

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Hi Dani! Busy is good, though it doesn’t seem so at the time :). Sitting down to write is an imperative for me– because if I don’t, I’m cranky, lol

  30. ksb59

    Hi! I am going on sending you messages, at least two I have had sent; but did not got any wink at all. So felt a bit disheartened. Hope I am not being overbearing. Best wishes

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Hi, I’m not sure what message you’re talking about, and where you’ve sent them: could you help point out where I should check? Not been online the last two weeks. Thanks.