Of writing a book…

Since an entire busload of bloggers are now Officially Published Authors (including my dear friend Parul, who has written the delightful Bringing Up Vasu, which you must must go right now to a bookstore and buy and read), I’ve been deluged by a slew of mails asking me when a) am I ever going to write a book and b) will I dictate it from the grave.

Knowing meself and my industrious efforts at maximising what needs to be done in a single day, I must confess the latter seems more likely the more I think of it. Maybe, I can set up contact with someone who can see through the veil and have that poor person do some auto-writing while I continue to live my current life as worthlessly as I have done so far.

Seriously though. For one, I am flattered that so many folks think I have a book in me. I dont think I do. I’m like the comic who is good at stand up for a five minute gig but would be hardpressed to impress an audience of dour face business heads for a 10 minute skit. First I sweat. And then my tongue goes dry. And my heart begins the kaboom palpitations. Or the writing equivalent. And then, comes the fact that doing professional reviewing work has rather sucked the joy out of writing, especially when I see such brilliant writing coming out of some newly published authors that I feel like digging my hole, crawling into it and pulling it in after me. Seriously though. I am lazy. Dog (or the female gender of) lazy. I am the writer who sits on a deadline till it is due within the hour and then scurries around in a frothing at the mouth panic until she hammers it off. And never learns from her laziness. I dont have that Very Important Factor which distinguishes great writers from hacks like me, namely Discipline.

The only arena where I possess immense Discipline is that of applying sunblock, washing and cleansing my face at night before slathering on night cream on the mug and foot cream on the extremities and pulling on the socks. Yup, a lady’s got to do what she has to do to ensure that the feet dont give her date of birth away.

As far as writing goes, I barely get any time at the computer that I put to real writing. Blogging yes. That tops the list. Tweeting and facebooking follows. And replying to the incessant emails that float in through the day probably needs an assistant to be hired in order to reply to each.

Enough excuses I think. And enough procrastination. I am now determined to write A Book. And Find A Publisher. (Since, sadly enough, no one is coming shrieking with contracts to be signed and pen aloft in hand towards me). And I must stop Hiding My Light Behind a Bushel. Given that I find that damn bushel behind which I have been supposedly hiding said light. But then Publishers are scary people. They demand manuscripts or at least a couple of chapters and something called a synopsis, which in effect means you need to know where your story is headed, and which given my foresight and astuteness, I clearly never have any clear idea. On most good days, I am lucky to get from Point A to Point B without a clear idea of where I am supposed to be headed, given that invisible threads yank me into coffee shops and shoe stores. And then you have to be strong and emotionally resilient about rejection slips. I sob when my son tells me I drew Batman wrong, so wrong candidate for them rejection slips too. Something just tells me I am so going to not be a published author in this lifetime.

And of course, finding my own voice, not one which channels the great Pelham G Wodehouse. Thats the biggie. Once I find my voice, I think I will start. Put finger to keyboard in earnest. Once I find my voice, and find a story, I will start. I promise, cross my heart and swear to die. Or maybe, once I find my voice, and find a story and find a publisher, I will start. Promise. Scout’s honour. Signed in blood, and such like. Maybe I should first find a publisher and work backwards. Like the features. With the deadline in the same manner. Like yesterday. That might be the only way to actually get a book out of me. And grim faced editors mailing me every hour on the hour to ask about the status of said book might help in accelerating the pace. And an assistant to bring me innumerable cups of coffee. And the spouse to give me a tension headache headmassage. Ah okay. I’m never going to get round to it.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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20 Responses to Of writing a book…

  1. Childwoman says:

    Your blog is truly my stress buster Madam K. Book or no book, I am your eternal fan.


  2. Parul says:

    I am surprised that you should say that discipline is a problem. You get so much done everyday, surely all of those need discipline and curbing of one thing to meet another. Your book is a part of the same set of things that HAVE to be done everyday and not some idle whim that can be indulged once everything else is out of the way. Get to it!


  3. Deepti says:

    Please do write .. Love your writing style and I am like very very sure your book will be excellent too!!


  4. shilpadesh says:

    You go Kiran! You have a very riveting writing style and I like the fact that you do not commit any grammatical errors. I will read your book for sure!


  5. Anamika says:

    Now that Shilpa pointed it out, must agree, there are never ever any typos in your post and even your longest sentence makes complete sense from start to finish. You have the skill, you have the wit. We will wait for your book. It will rock.

    *wondering if this puts extra pressure on Kiran to spellcheck her posts twice over* 😀


  6. chandni says:

    oh rubbish. Write, already 😀


  7. Vidya says:

    I am surprised you have not written a book yet!! Just do it,right now! I guess once you put pen on paper(or type on the computer screen),thoughts,ideas and words will just flow.. Waiting to read the book now..:)


  8. Sands says:

    You will make an awesome writer. Have loved reading you for a bit now and have always enjoyed & been awed by your writing 🙂


  9. Best wishes!! You have started right 🙂


  10. Poppy says:

    So what are you saying girl? That you won’t wrote because you don’t have the discipline? Crap. You can write, and you don’t need the discipline to, it comes naturally to you. You’re the one who does the blogging in 5 mins! Freaking 5 mins! And all perfectly worded and spell checked and coherent.

    You should totally write a romance novel with tonnes of fashion!


  11. Sowmya says:

    Go ahead…am alraedy planning your book reading session at the newly opened Landmark in Hyderabad. The city is devoid of interesting book launches.


  12. Meira says:

    You know. I can’t picture your book, somehow. What really comes to my mind is a weekly column…in the leading papers and magazines. On everything from fashion to oh hell…everything! yes…that would be superb:)


  13. Kiran Manral says:

    Childwoman: 🙂

    Parul: I must listen to you. You published author, you. ;p.

    Deepti: No. I need a story first.

    Shilpadesh: Now to get down to the task.

    Anamika: No spell checks. No editing. Too lazy for all that. Five minutes. Or ten minutes at the max.

    Chandu: You wish.

    Vidya: The little factor called discipline…thats missing.

    Sands: Honoured.

    Aniruddha Pathak: No, no, am not writing a book.

    Poppy: Blogging is different. Blogging doesnt need a storyline and research and discipline.

    Somya: 🙂

    Meira: Lol. No one’s asked me to do a column. I’d love to do a Dave Barryish column every week. Any takers?


  14. Serendipity says:

    I loooove Dave Barry.
    On a more serious note; No, I don’t see a writer in you either. Yet, I love reading your posts. It has a refreshing sense of humor coupled with the usual forays into the ‘art’ of being a woman.

    Shopping, Shoes, Humor…I kinda like the blog. Wouldn’t buy a book…but would always read the posts 🙂


  15. Kiran Manral says:

    Serendipity: This blog is not me you know. If I did write a book, it wouldnt be this frivolity.


  16. Serendipity says:

    tch tch…don’t get me wrong Kiran :(. I was judging you based on the way you write. I wasn’t judging you as a person. I don’t know you…
    The blog isn’t frivolous at all. I didn’t mean to say that. Coming from you, that sounds quite self-deprecating. Honestly, if you ever wrote a book and it turned out to be something ultra-serious, I’d be disappointed.
    Personally, I feel blogger turned writers tend to be over-rated. There are some genuinely awesome fellas like Falstaff and Sidin. However, most of the times, it is a case of misplaced passion. That someone can write, is one thing. That it can contribute to literature, is quite another.
    Most of the days, I love reading your posts. Period.


  17. Kiran Manral says:

    Serendipity: Thank you dear. Dont know why I got bristly. I’m getting old. Apologies.
    And thankfully, I have no pretences of contributing to literature. Having said that, you must read Arzee the Dwarf by Chandrahas Choudhury, a blogger turned writer. I quite enjoyed it….


  18. thetaamommy says:

    It is so true though, i used to write these replies to my school group, and i was always so funny relating about my children. so they all encouraged me to write, and so i took a pen and paper, and nothing, just nothing humourous came about. i ended up writing a very serious article about ‘what i should be teaching my children’ and that turned out to be – Discipline. Whatever i teach or not, the one thing we need to teach is Discipline and consistency, as that will equip them later in life, to follow through whatever passion they pick up midlife like origami, bengali, tagore thesis, just about anything !!. And it was so wonderful to hear from you that your spontaneous creativity would be different from a more serious discplined introspection about every page you would write as a book.


  19. Kiran Manral says:

    the taamommy: Its true. When I write fiction, it has always been very very painfully serious writing…I must have a split personality.


  20. thetaamommy says:

    Thats what i thought of myself too, but now i rest in peace 😉


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