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Do You Ever Wonder About a Day in A/Another Writer’s Life?

By 25/07/2023August 29th, 2023Featured
The many challenges of writing life

Writing life is for the demented. There, I said it. When I first started writing I had no clue about the path paved with rejections, promotional shenanigans, and the precipices of failure.

Movies, and yes, books, have perpetuated this myth of the glamorous writing life: in my interviews of other authors, I often ask what a day in their writing life is  like. Not because I’m curious, because let’s face it I couldn’t care less about what the authors of the books I love do. It is enough that they write stories that transport, challenge and educate me.

With the rise of social media addiction though, where people are the ‘users’ and the product, it is de rigueur for authors to share their writing life. Readers seem to want to not just eat a sausage–they want to know about the sausage-making process.

Maybe my sarcasm has to do with a long and difficult writing day–where 2,000 words were very hard to come by, and in between writing sprints I sat and became a sort of voyeur (the very voyeurism that leads readers to want to know about the writing life of authors they follow).

I watched a vociferous game of Go at the table next to me, complete with internet searches, photographs and various arguments. A Muslim cleric in a dishdasha with his wife who wore a veil with only her eyes visible– the wife sat on a corner seat and lifted her veil towards the wall to sip her coffee. A couple of very handsome men who sat on the same side of the table and smiled soulfully at each other, the tatooed hand of one clasping the corporate shirt-sleeved hand of another. This is Singapore, so I suppose they felt quite adventurous doing this in public. A father and son who played online games, using three cellphones each, whispering to each other. Many meetings selling insurance, real estate, graphic design services. A white bearded Caucasian man carrying out a long meeting in fluent but accented mandarin.

An Indian girl had a long call with various members of her family, telling them how she was out alone at lunchtime, because her new colleagues didn’t eat vegetarian. In short order, she told her sister, her long-distance boyfriend, her father, her aunt the exact same thing : she hated her croissant because the staff had possibly heated it in the same microwave where they usually heated roast chicken. Maybe my earphones made her feel safe enough to speak in Hindi, because I was the only one who understood any of her conversation.

I sat amidst this cornucopia of life, and wrote dark words about murders and rapes, because that’s the crime writing life.

I sent out a newsletter with writing tips (you can subscribe HERE if you like curated writing advice.)

I made social media stories about the Kindle Deal on THE BLUE BAR in UK and Australia: it is 0.99 GBP in the UK and 1.49 in Australia at the moment.

In between cups of tea, I ordered (and then didn’t finish) a slice of cheesecake, then shitposted about it on social media. And managed to write about 2,000 words.

Now, back home when my brain is like a soggy marshmallow, here I am, talking to you. I’ll stay up late trying to work on promoting THE BLUE MONSOON (you can read ARCs HERE or add it HERE on Goodreads if you’d like to help out), and reading books that I’m supposed to review/ blurb. And way past bedtime, I’ll crawl into bed, dreaming of the other novel proposal I’m working on, the emails I haven’t sent, the anthology I’m hoping to edit, the novel out on submission.

Ah the glorious writing life.

What about you? If you’re a reader, do you wonder about the writing life? If you’re an author, do you get asked about your writing life? What do you say in response?


My literary crime novel, The Blue Bar is on Kindle Unlimited now. Add it to Goodreads or snag a copy to make my day. The sequel, The Blue Monsoon is up for pre-orders! And if you’d like to read a book outside the series, you can check out You Beneath Your Skin.  Find all info about my books on my Amazon page or Linktree.

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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25 Comments

  • Mark Murata says:

    When fans asked J.R.R Tolkien about his stories, he often did not respond as a writer. He wrote replies in terms of his stories being true events, and he was exploring those events along with his fans.

  • literarylad says:

    Wow Damyanti – 2000 words a day? Even if you only work Monday to Friday, that’s 10k a week, 40k a month, so only 2/2.5 months to write a novel (well.., plus the editing and re-working)! Is that the kind of time frame your agent and publisher are expecting from you?

    • DamyantiB says:

      The time frames differ depending on the book, but I do push myself to write as much as I can.

  • How many languages do you know, Damyanti? Singapore sounds very cosmopolitan.

    • DamyantiB says:

      It is, very! And my language skills have definitely improved on account of it! I can’t help picking up little words and phrases here and there for daily use.

  • Shilpa Gupte says:

    Wow, I liked reading about your writing life, D.
    About me…well, no one asks me about my writing life because most people (not my writer/blogger friends) think it is a luxury I enjoy while my spouse toils all day. Also, I may not have any exciting things to talk about, so people leave me alone. ;P

    • DamyantiB says:

      Thank you, Shilpa! I appreciate you coming to read about my writing life, and for taking the time to comment! And I understand what you mean — it can be difficult to explain my writing life to my non-writer/blogger friends, too.

  • Sonia Dogra says:

    I love your commitment to writing, Damyanti. I write only when I join a one-hour writing sprint every afternoon. I don’t count words, I just know I have to write in that one hour. On some days, work eats up that time. I’m unable to make up for it. The day is so packed. But I would love to do more. I hope I can. I’d also like to connect with more writers on social media, read their work. God, I think I need time management lessons!

    • DamyantiB says:

      I hope everything works out for you, Sonia! It’s taken me a long time to figure out the best timing for me — in fact, I still haven’t completely solved all my time management problems. Good luck!

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I’m not writing a novel – but when I say I’ve been blogging for 15 years … I get a complete blank … not an idea or concept of ‘the work’ I put in – but it’s my choice (our choice) and we enjoy it … don’t we?! I get pleasure from the comments … and I love the blogging world – full of authors, writers, interesting, informed people – from whom I learn much. I’m starting (consolidating the blog) a new project – so we’ll see how that goes … but I so enjoy reading your books … and your people description is brilliant – I hit the streets and think oh I really do like being out and about!! Cheers and see you around again soon – Hilary

    • DamyantiB says:

      Thank you for visiting and for sharing your thoughts, Hilary! I love reading the comments, too, and talking to new people is one of the best parts of the blogging life. I’m so glad you enjoy my books, and good luck with your new project! Cheers!

  • An interesting experience of the writer’s life and feelings shared here. I can feel all these emotions as a writer. I once shared my daily life errands as a writer in this article at hubpages.com
    https://hubpages.com/literature/A-Day-in-a-Hubbers-Life-Some-Reflections-Revelations

  • My writing commenced in retirement after doing the obligatory academic course in creative writing which I thoroughly enjoyed after years of business administration and its strictly for hobby pleasure. Publishing for profit takes all the energies a person has and is accompanied with anxiety and total commitment. Writers for profit have my admiration and sympathies.

    • DamyantiB says:

      I completely agree with you, Ian. It can be a draining process. Thank you for your words!

  • I do wonder about the writing life. And am grateful (so very grateful) for your fortitude and determination.

    • DamyantiB says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I hope the post managed to answer all your questions!

  • You got to hear some interesting stuff.

  • Through all of that (interesting about heating the croissant in a micro that had heated meat), what hit me the hardest was 2000 words! Yikes–on my best day that wouldn’t happen. My goal: 1000. That gives me time for all that other stuff you mentioned.

    • Even then, you are better than most writers. My target is only 300 words to 500 words. Even that is hard forme.

    • DamyantiB says:

      I have to push myself to get to my target, and even then, 2000 words isn’t a guarantee. And sometimes, the other stuff has to take priority! Good luck reaching your goal, Jacqui!

  • People don’t ask me about my writing life because they know that once I get started telling them about it, I won’t stop.