My journey in creative writing
I fell in love while in high school. But my relationship has never been a steady. More like an amorous entanglement.
Curious, with an active imagination, adventures and tales of ghosts and ghouls were my staples. I loved books more than my classmates. Lunch breaks saw me gobbling down and heading to the library, which in my days at St Mary’s, Mazagon Bombay was housed in an early twentieth century dilapidated building belonging to a family of Anglo Indians. Exploring the abandoned building within the school compound and finding priceless treasures like history books in some dark corner room fuelled my fancy for writing. My fictional short stories found their way into the school magazine.
Then came my dark night of separation.
Through college and beyond, I did not write a single story. But, to say I did not write would be an untruth. I spent my time writing code for computers and then websites. Until one day in 2000, I landed a job administering the online edition for the Navhind Times, the leading English-language daily in Goa. My affair took off once again, and I wrote features for the magazines of the Navhind Times and submitted images to go with the stories. This fling lasted five years until visuals and sound seduced me into storytelling with photography and film.
But some things are meant to be, and I fortuitously got my hands on a book “Telling True Stories” – a collection of essays from the Nieman Foundation’s nonfiction writers’ conference. I was hooked by the techniques from the best minds in nonfiction writing, as they shared their thought process in crafting stories. I went on to pick up every nonfiction writing book I could – from William Zinsser to Jack Hart, Roy Peter Clarke to Lee Gutkind. I read them voraciously and worked meticulously.
Story arcs fascinated me. Stringing words and paragraphs to craft structure captivated me. I knew I had come full circle.
Today, words are back as my medium of choice for telling stories. But with a deeper understanding of the art and craft, than ever before. I find the real world more interesting than fiction. I love human interest stories where I can spend time with my subjects, delving into their worlds. I accept the trust reposed in me very seriously – and gratefully.
If my life so far has taught me anything it is this – life is a journey, and I’m lucky to travel on a busman’s holiday.
My interests in writing lie in features and essays for magazines, as well as content creation for online websites and blogs, non-governmental organisations, charities, foundations and corporate houses interested in narrative non-fiction to promote their work and services. If you would like to hire me for writing, photography and video content for your publication or website or corporate communications, I would love to talk.