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Writer to Author – A Long Journey!

Baby Steps
When I started writing my book The Sinister Silence, I had titled it Silenced. I had
intended to write a love story. However, I do not remember exactly when I started to kill
some of my characters. At the risk of sounding sadistic, I admit that I enjoyed the
process. Soon after, I was writing a murder mystery.
I was happy with my writing – it transported me to a world of my own. I could set my
own rules or decide against any, my characters conducted themselves the way I wanted.
If they acted up, I let them. As I explored them more, especially my protagonists, I had
a better understanding of their expectations from me. I did not need to put everything I
knew about them in my book. Nevertheless, getting to know them was a refreshingly
novel experience.
Edit, Edit, Edit
When I finally completed writing, I was thrilled. I started editing my book and in the
process, there were several cuts and omissions. I requested my family and a couple of
close friends to read the book too. Receiving different perspectives on the same book
was a HUGE learning experience. I loved the fact that my characters had behaved
differently with different readers ☺.
I knew what the next logical step was – to get published. All that I needed to do was to
send my manuscript to publishers. Once selected, I would see my name in print in the
following two or three months.
Ah – wake up, my inner voice nudged.
Just the Beginning
As I initiated the process, I realized that writing is one thing. But getting published is a
different ballgame altogether. Simply writing your book is not enough. You need to
familiarise yourself with writing impactful query letters, taut book synopses, and
engaging sample chapters – and neatly stitch them together in a book proposal. Some
publishers will only accept submissions via literary agents – so factor that in too. All in
all, if you are a greenhorn in the publishing industry, you have to invest time in
research, learning, and unlearning. Gradually, you will evolve through trial and error.
There is no shortcut to getting your book published.
Never Stop Writing
Once you set the ball rolling, do not put your life on pause. Meet friends, interact with
people, and if possible – get started with your next book. If not, at least write 250-500
words every day. You do not need to share with anyone – but just for yourself. When
writers are in the process of becoming authors, sometimes, they give up writing…
because they are waiting to get published. I did that too and it is a horrible thing to do.
The more time you spend away from writing, the double the time and effort you will
need to get back to it. If the writer’s block is real bad, at least stick to reading.
Be Patient
The getting-the-right-publisher process may take months…sometimes years. It is tedious
and sometimes heart-breaking. But never give up and never lose faith in your ability to
write. After all, once a writer, always a writer. Even though this sounds clichéd – when
there is a will, there is always a way.
Just stay calm and keep writing.
My book The Sinister Silence was published in November 2015.

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