Being a scientist has forced me to look at everything through black and white tinted glasses. In my wish list of manuals to survive the experience we call ‘life’ I also once wanted a ‘how to write without failing’ manual. Co-incidentally that is when Dipa Sanatani revealed her second book The Merchant of Stories. It is the kind of book I’ve wanted to read for a long time.
A simple search in Google will show you hundreds of articles and blog posts giving you instructions on how to channel your emotions into writing. In fact, you might already know some of the most popular tips. Such is the power and popularity of the Tortured Artist stereotype–the romanticized idea that mental health issues help you write better.
Sometimes I read what I wrote a few years ago and feel embarrassed. It’s not necessarily bad – it’s just that my priorities have changed. I look back and am relieved I didn’t publish it. You’ve studied numerous books. What is the trend that you’ve noticed between an author’s earlier works and later works?
A writer is very close to their work. What may appear to be an error to the editor, may go unnoticed in the eyes of the author. That is the difference between a writer and an editor. A little tough love here and there from the editor is only to bring out the best in the writer.
If the author is the mother giving birth, I am the midwife making sure that the baby comes into this world safe and sound. Each work of creation is different, and comes into this world through a different passage. Having worked with lots of writers and writing styles, I know that it’s a different experience each time. No two births are ever the same.
I first came across the concept of co-authoring in a post on Co-Authors. It inspired me to research further, brainstorm and come up with a few techniques through which writers can collaborate to create their best work yet.
There is a certain poetic stereotype that is linked to the thought of a ‘great’ writer – The Tortured Artist. Take any famous novelist or poet that you know of that doesn’t come under this time period – Mark Twain, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickenson, Edgar Allan Poe. What do these people have in common?
I wanted to write a book that would make ancient myths relevant for the modern reader while still staying true to the ‘heart’ of the myth. In Vedic Mythology, the Celestial Beings are personified as a family that have a relationship with each other – some complementary, others highly dysfunctional. What I’ve done with The Little Light is reinterpreted and reimagined those myths for the modern era.