Shobhaa De is a leading columnist in newspapers including The Times of India, a scriptwriter of soaps such as Swabhimaan and is a famous novelist who has written 17 books; her bestsellers include Socialite Evenings, Starry Nights, Spouse and Superstar India. She is a Mumbaite who has strong opinions on the social, economic and political state of the world, which create reactions on a mass scale. Any aspiring writer can learn many things from Shobhaa De. Read on to learn more.
1. A writer can be made
Shobhaa began her work life as a model. She then turned to writing in 1970, firstly through journalism and was editor of magazines including Stardust, Society and Celebrity, driving the success of these publications, which continue to be popular in 2014. She moved to literary works and in 1989 published her first novel Socialite Evenings, which follows a character called Karuna who reaches an elite position in society, ends up in a loveless marriage, engages in an extra-marital affair, and subsequently becomes a copywriter and creator of a television series.
In Shobhaa De’s own words “I genuinely believe there is a book in every person. Maybe even two or three. Some people choose to write it, most don’t. That’s the only difference.” If you’re currently in a job that isn’t giving you the satisfaction that writing does, then spend as much of your spare time writing; whether it be fiction or non-fiction (or both), and continue developing your skills. Release the beast within you and let it take charge. Let it tell the stories it’s been harbouring for so long.
2. Ignore the critics
Shobhaa De is someone who has refused to conform to family and society pressures since a young age, and this has continued in her novels, a number of which contain erotic content. As a daring writer, she has amassed huge amounts of fans; while at the same time has been subject to criticism. About one particular critic, Shobhaa had the following to say, “You win some, you lose some. For every Massey, there are thousands and thousands of fans.”
As a writer, you will at times face criticism. A book you put out might not be popular. You might get some negative reviews. It goes with the territory. When this happens, take on any feedback worth listening to, apply it where you see necessary and continue writing and developing your craft.
3. Write about what you know
Shobhaa De recommends you write about your reality, and not try to write about a life that you don’t know about. “Urban India … is my milieu. I cannot write about realities not my own. Besides, writers generally choose their turf and stick to it”, says Shobhaa.
Once you recognize your turf, words will come flowing out in torrents, and will help make your writing unique – it will be based upon a view of the world that is yours and will never come out as phony.
4. Inspiration is a key to a treasure chest
As a writer it is important to draw inspiration from somewhere. It could be someone or something. Your inspiration is your key to the treasure chest that’s holding a horde of precious ideas and creativity locked safely. On being asked what inspires her, Shobhaa De had once said, “…Life itself is so inspiring, how can one not be propelled into chronicling it??
Think of what inspires you so much, that it sends a shiver or excitement down your spine. How can you use this inspiration to kick start your writing?
5. Start blogging
Shobhaa De has been blogging since 2008. As she says, “It is soooo liberating! There are no word limits or space constraints. As a writer, I can receive instant feedback from some really sharp minds who are followers. I learn a lot from them. Blogs represent creative freedom – I love that.”
As a writer, a blog can be wonderful way to extend the work you do through your novels and stories. You can share your views on the world, share excerpts from your works in progress, and create a fan base from across the world that will eagerly be waiting for your next book.
Image credit: Vicharam on Wikimedia Commons and reproduced under Creative Commons 3.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]