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“I see a writer’s ability as standing on three legs, like the tripods Homer speaks of as being dedicated to the gods. Talent, experience, and literary background. Add to these the container that holds the flame: determination.”— David Poyer

I have read this quote over and over again the past few days. I’ve been wondering what are the odds of me ever becoming a true writer, given that the only thing I seem to possess is the container that holds the flame–determination.

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 next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 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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  • aahang says:


    Have seen all 3 of your blogs.I never thought you were a full time writer.That’s great !I wish you all the luck for your career.
    Just a little note on the debate I keep having with friends who have similar creative leanings.I always believe that writing is all about being super sensitive to yourself and to the world around you.Once you make yourself so vulnerable that every little thing effects you words will just become a medium and will flow.
    And that is the real danger in becoming truly creative.You can end up destroying yourself for creating something memorable for the world.The examples are many Leonardo da Vinci,Jim Morrison,Kurt Kobain,Ghalib,Majaz Lucknowi.As Majaz says :
    Meri barbadiyon ke hamnashinon ! tumhe kya mujhe khud bhee afsos nahin hai.
    In fact I read a book recently titled Genius and Heroin which tracks the lives of many great creative minds from Rimbaud to Vinci and from Emily Dickinson to Franz Kafka.The very process of elevating yourself above human thought does not let you reconnect with it and you tend to’ loose it’ as far as the world is concerned.
    Tune deewana banya to main deewaana bana
    Ab Mujhe hosh ki Duniya mein tamasha na bana

    I stress on making the land fertile,the seeds will germinate by themselves.The only problem is to keep it that way for years to come.

    Hi, and thanks for visiting all my blogs. Many more thanks for actually taking the time and trouble to comment in such detail.

    Yes, I do agree on the perils of creativity. The truly creative do indeed carry a lot on their shoulders. But for me, I just want to write everyday, let what flows through me pour out on the page.

    I have no doubts whatsoever that I have no crazy genius nesting in my brain. What I do know with equal conviction is that in each of us there resides something beyond the parameters of what we normally call human, some call it soul, others call it God, still others call it inspiration.

    My only effort is to be an instrument, to be the pen taking dictation whenever the entity (in my brain or somewhere else, I don’t know) decides to speak, and be able to take it down faithfully and without making too much of a mess.

  • nadia888 says:

    You made no mistakes! Of course I’d like to talk with you via email! 🙂 Here is mine: nadia88…

    Grazie Nadia, ti ho scritto per e-mail.

  • shoreacres says:

    I’ve always spoken of persistence rather than determination, but they’re obviously related.
    If you have determination, you’re well ahead of the game.

    I don’t agree that a literary background is necessary for a writer. An acquaintance with literature, of course, and an enjoyment of what others write, of course. But too much listening to others can mean that you speak with their voice, and not your own.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, shoeacre, and yes, I’m hoping my determination will count for something!

  • nadia888 says:

    Sisi, sono italiana, sono un’appassionata di lingue straniere e cerco di migliorarle in ogni modo! Thank you, your italian is very good too! 🙂

    • damyantig says:

      Sono cosi contenta di incontrarti 🙂

      Sono una studentessa di Italiano, apassionata della tua bella lingua, e mi piace parlare tanto con gli Italiani. Sto imparando da due anni. Se va bene per te, possiamo scambiare l’email…? Magari ti scrivo in Italiano, e tu mi puoi rispondere in Inglese, e sempre possiamo correggere. Lo so che ho fatto tanti errori anche qui pero’ credo che sbagliando si impara!

  • Kym says:

    Remember, determination is the deciding factor. Don’t give up. Believe in yourself.

    Thanks, Kym. Determination is my only strong point. I won’t give up, of course i won’t.

  • DarcKnyt says:

    That’s not true, Damyanti. You have talent, you have experience, and you’re determined. I disagree with the literary background part, and that’s a matter of opinion. Listen to the literati and they’re the ONLY ones who should be writing.

    You have things to share, stories to tell, and you can, and will, tell them well.

    Chin up, and have a hug from a friend half a globe away as encouragement. 🙂

    Thanks, Darc, and a hug right back at you 🙂

    You are partial cos I’m a friend. I still don’t see much other than determination and pure refusal to give up.

  • Lofter says:

    Eh… don’t sell yourself short, my friend. You’ve got everything it takes to do whatever you want to do. All that and a bag of potato chips! :->

    Great quote…

    Lofter, thanks for cheering me on. I think self-doubt is part of being a writer. But I do not want to give up.

  • nadia888 says:

    Well, I love to write but the quote reminds me I have a problem with commitment and I’m wondering if it affects my determination. Thanks for sharing the quote, it made me think.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Nadia, and I’m glad you like the quote.

    I went over to your blog, and saw that you are a writer as well!

    Ho visto anche che vivi in Italia. Sei Italiana? Perche’ tuo l’inglese e’ ottima! Magari parlassi io cosi in Italiano!

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