Sleepy Sunday: The Writer Tag

I’ve been doing a lot more book-related posts lately, so I thought I would change things up and write about writing for once. My genius self googled ‘writer tag’ and one of the results was (surprise surprise) the Writer Tag from InkBlots and IceBergs.

I’ll be answering 20 questions about writing — try it yourself if you like and let me know so I can read your answers.

1. What type of writing do you do?
I mainly write short stories, although I’m trying to build the endurance to write longer fiction. Up until a few weeks ago I was also doing a lot of academic writing, including my dissertation which, given the amount of energy it took, I think counts for something!

2. What genres and/or topics do you write about?
I read a lot of historical and fantasy, so maybe it makes sense that I tend to gravitate to those in my writing as well. As for topics, I’ll write about whatever strikes me as interesting — families, forests, fairies… etc.

3. How long have you been writing?
About 14, 15 years, maybe.

4. Are you published?
No, and this gives me severe imposter syndrome, despite reassurances that I can call myself a writer simply if I write. But deep down, I know this is what I’m meant to do (regardless of how good/bad I might be at it) so I’m going to take a leap of faith on giving myself that label.

5. What was the first story you ever wrote?
Probably something involving a protagonist named Sohini…

giphyI was subtle. | via Giphy, © Nickelodeon

6. Why do you write?
Because I like it. And because it’s what I do best.

7. How do you find time to write?
I don’t, haha… I’ve learned the hard way that you just have to slip it into the quieter moments of daily life.

8. When and where are the best times to write?
In the evening, at home.

9. Favourite food/drinks while writing?
I can’t really eat while working but I’ll take a cup of hot chocolate. Extra points if it’s caramel hot chocolate.

10. Your writing playlist?
Depending on my mood, I could be listening to anything from Disney songs to Bollywood music. Sometimes I just have a random Youtube video on in the background.

giphy-1Listening to a haul video like… | via Giphy, © Fox

11. What do family/friends/loved ones think of you writing?
They are very supportive. Luckily, my closest circle of family and friends are creative/artsy themselves and they understand how important it is to pursue something you love.

12. Parts of writing you enjoy the most?
Getting to explore new places, embody new people and telling stories that connect with people.

13. Parts of writing you find challenging?
Getting the words to fall just right. And overcoming writer’s block.

14. What do you write with and on?
The name of the blog might be a clue.

I’ll use a typewriter font if I’m feeling particularly fancy.

15. How do you overcome writer’s block?
Although I like to pretend that immersing myself in any story (e.g. a really good TV series or movie) will give me ideas, ultimately nothing helps more than reading. And just pushing through until the words flow again.

giphy-2Me, an intellectual | via Giphy, © Nickelodeon

16. How do you motivate yourself to write?
I find some stories to tell.

17. Authors who inspire you as a writer?
Roald Dahl, Kamila Shamsie, Rohinton Mistry, Jacqueline Wilson, Rick Riordan, and (cliché alert) J. K. Rowling.

18. Books that inspire you as a writer?
There are so many. I recently wrote a post about some of the books that have influenced me.

19. Best advice you’ve gotten as a writer?
Start later. The exposition might seem important, but more often than not it might be dispensable. The real story often starts later.

20. Writing goals this year
Just do more of it.

And maybe get something published? (Am I out of my mind? Am I loooosing my senses?) (That’s a TV reference. We can be friends if you get it.)

If you’re still here this far, thank you for reading. I really appreciate it. 🙂

Until next time!

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Dear Matilda…

Dear Matilda,

When I was younger, I was awed by your maths skills. Here I was, barely managing long division on paper while you unravelled complicated calculations in your head. In some ways, I was like you — happiest with my nose buried within the pages of a book — but in a lot of other ways, I wanted to be like you.

I tripped over those very words written by Hemingway and Dickens that you enjoyed. Where a scary situation had me running away, there you were facing it head on. And while I questioned my every step, you were the first one to believe in your abilities.

You made me laugh, too. My favourite moment of yours was when you snuck into the living room, playing into your family’s fear that the house was haunted. And the superglue in the hat? Classic.

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10 Books That Have Influenced Me

A while ago, I did a post about 10 books that influenced past me. I made that list when I was 18 and after four years and a literature degree, a few things have changed. Here are some of the books that have become important to me in the last few years.

1. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer [fiction]
I’m still reading this, but so far I’m quite in awe. This book manages to incorporate elements of mystery and thriller with what seems like a coming-of-age narrative, complete with a bit of an experimental format that involves playing around with form and images. The timeline of events is a bit confusing with the back and forth, but the pacing is tightly controlled. Even though I haven’t finished yet, I’m sure it’ll be a memorable one.

2. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry [Historical fiction]
This book is set during a time of political upheaval in India, and is one of the books that encouraged me to read even more Indian authors. I loved the characterisation and use of language — especially the way Mistry manages to convey the tones and cadences of Indian languages through English. If you want to know about it in more detail, here is a longer review I’ve written.

3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman [fiction]
As I mentioned in my recent reading recap post, this book’s themes of loneliness and finding one’s footing in social situations hit me hard. The characters are human and I started caring about them without even realising. The narrative is so multifaceted that there should be something to appeal to a wide audience — including stories of friendship, love, and kindness.

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As Read By Jordan

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