Friday, 30 August 2019

How Do You Cope with the Business of Being a New Author ? #YouBeneathYourSkin



I'm a new entrant to the Authors Electric group of writers/ bloggers. 

Not just that, I'm also new at this thing called authoring. 

My debut literary crime novel You Beneath Your Skin is due out on the 17th of September, 2019 with Simon & Schuster IN. As anyone who has done this can probably imagine, my life is all mayhem at the moment. So many uncertainties, to-do lists a mile long, everything running way behind schedule.


When I started writing more than a decade ago, I hadn’t a clue a writer’s life could be like this. Naively, I just wanted to tell stories, enjoy writing them, and maybe share with a few friends. Wanting to learn better, I went ahead and joined workshops, communities, took classes. My writing improved, I began to have stories published in anthologies and journals. Then I made a decision that changed my life. Writing a novel.

Again, as novelists know, it is an agony and an ecstasy, a marathon (unless you get one gargantuan lucky sprint) and a constant in your life, almost like a chronic illness. I got used to that, but then came the stage where I needed an agent. I found one with spectacular ease, three years ago. The fact that I’m only debuting now might tell you something of the story after that.

Through it all, there has been one constant, my writing. During all the endless submitting and waiting that is a traditionally published writer’s life, I kept one place sacrosanct, my notebook, where I would scribble every once in a while.

For the past few weeks, that space is gone. Even when I carve out the time, I'm unable to focus. There are simply too many demands upon my time and attention for me to be able to do what is crucial, the only thing important for my mental well-being.

To the veteran novelists at Authors Electric and everywhere else, I suppose my question would be: how do you do it? The answers would help me but also others like me, struggling to protect their writing lives

My life now is like being on a carousel that won’t pause, and from which I’m too frightened to get the hell off lest I offend or let down those who made You Beneath Your Skin possible. 

How do you keep writing amid the crazies of book promotion, the cover reveals, the marketing strategies, the drone of ceaseless noise and constant interruptions that won’t let up?
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 Damyanti Biswas lives in Singapore, and works with Delhi's underprivileged children as part of Project Why, a charity that promotes education and social enhancement in underprivileged communities. Her short stories have been published in magazines in the US, UK, and Asia, and she helps edit the Forge Literary Magazine. You can find her on her blog and twitter.





1 comment:

Griselda Heppel said...

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on the publication of your first novel! Fabulous cover design - it should leap off the shelves.

Second - I'm going to leave that to others who'll be able to answer your question far better than I can. If there is an answer... because I think if you're in the middle of book launch frenzy, finding the headspace to concentrate on your writing may just have to take a backseat. You need to give yourself permission to put writing on hold for a while. But if that's making you ill, I hope another writer can give you a better answer, with techniques for making that time and quiet space for yourself.

Good luck. You are clearly at the start of a promising career, with fast and slow moments - I'm sure things will steady again for you soon.