Sudha Menon is the author of 4 books. Her most recent one, Devi, Diva or She Devil has insights from women in different types of careers talking about the strategies they have adopted to live the lives they want.
The author is also a well-known writing coach who has started workshops titled Get Writing and Writing With Women. One of her aims is to get women from diverse backgrounds together to share their stories.
Here are some writing tips and insights about the writing process from the author and journalist during an interview with SheThePeople.TV.
Writing is a lonely process:
For Menon, writing is an intensely solitary affair. “I realise it every single day when I sit at my desk, typing away furiously. I lose track of time sometimes and of my relationships and of the things I have to do to belong to my family and friends.”
Putting the first word down is the hardest step:
People often say that half the battle is won just by starting. When all you have is a blank page in front of you writing that first word is a struggle.
“There are also days when I simply cannot write a single word. Putting the first words down becomes the hardest thing to do during these phases.”
“The biggest barrier as we try to get back to a career or to start something new is the one inside our head: the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure. It is important for us women to constantly remind ourselves of our worth and value,” she says.
Have writing rituals:
When it comes to my writing process, Menon has her own small rituals. She wakes up at around 3 am and settles down at her work desk by the window.
“There is something about the peace and the quiet in the pre-dawn hours that unlocks my creativity. When I have written for a couple of hours, I put on my shoes and walk in solitude in the quiet of the gated community in which I live.”
Try ideating when walking:
For Menon walking helps her solve problems with the structure of the narrative, helps her ideate for not only her books but also all of the other things associated with her writing life.
Be a reader:
“My advice for aspiring writers, the thing that I reiterate dozens of times when I conduct my Get Writing workshops, is that in order to become a good writer, you have to be a reader of good books. You have to lose yourselves in the worlds that master wordsmiths created.”
Write every day:
To be a good writer, you have to (very obviously) write.
Menon encourages aspiring writers to write every day. “Even if it is just a couple of pages in your journal. Jot down interesting things that you see, hear, feel you never know when you will use it in a poem, a short story or a book.”
So what are you waiting for? Put pen to paper, and start your writing journey now!