Hello Namrata, thank you for being a part of IWI’s Incredible Women Writers of India 2016, and sharing your journey as a writer.
How would you define yourself?
Jack of all trades master of None….. I constantly want to try out new things and explore new options.
What was your childhood like? Any incidents form your growing up years that shaped you as a person?
I had a very happy childhood and my parents trusted me 100% with whatever I wanted to do. Be it writing or stage plays, cooking or dancing, painting or karaoke; they encouraged me everywhere. I could share everything with them and I think that is the key to shape an individual. This made me experiment with everything and shaped me the way I am.
When did your journey as a writer/poet began?
I think it began when I was 9 or 10. I liked reading my own essays over and over again in the examination hall! It is then I realized that probably I am good, so good that I sounded impressive to me!
That is when I started with small poems, stories and even love notes for friends for their crush.
Do you have a muse? If yes, who or what acts as a catalyst to your writing?
I do not have a muse as such. Thoughts keep coming and going and at times excellent ones pass by when I do not have any writing tools on me. The major catalyst for me is a writing competition, prompt or theme; I seldom win any, but the challenge to build a tale on theme/snippets/ideas; especially boundaries, pushes me.
Do you plan out your work or just go with the flow?
I go with the flow and so many times my stories turn up very different than what I had envisioned them. New characters and sub plots get added as I write and even the climax may change so many times! I am pretty organic that way and I build almost 5 stories in parallel in my mind while working on one….
For you, what’s the easiest thing about writing and the hardest thing? Do you have any weird/funny writing rituals?
The easiest thing about writing is ideas that I have and need to see the light of day. I always have ideas and at times I rue later over letting them go. The hardest thing is motivation to WRITE, I think I always need a push to start and that diffuses so many great ideas of mine. Once I overcome that and start writing for myself… it would be a winner.
As a matter of fact I do! I write two to three paragraphs and then walk around and hum a song and for that time of 2-3 minutes, I try to forget about the piece of writing. Then when I come back and start I think I am able to write better.
Do you get writer’s block? How do you battle it?
Have a long way to go before I start getting one, as of now think I do not get it I guess. I may not be in a mood to write at times but once I am writing I seldom get a block per se. As my stories are organic I do have conflict at times to choose the between plots. If and when I start my own book, then I am sure I may get stuck to give correct depth to characters.
How have you evolved as a writer since you have started? If you could give one advice to yourself, what would it be? What are you working on now?
The start is now so evolution would happen! I would advise myself to be disciplined when it comes to writing and write each single day and as mentioned before, write because I love writing. Another major advice would be to think in the language I am writing in.
I am working on getting into the idea of writing daily by concentrating on my blog. Once that is set I am sure bigger things would follow J
What’s your opinion about the future of writing/reading/the publishing industry in India?
I think India is positioned for bigger and better things, writing-publishing included. With books getting accessible via Kindle/Juggernaut and the realization of reading being better than spending time in front of the idiot box, I see children taking interest in reading and many of them progressing to write.
Favorite food… Anything Mom makes
Favorite Book… Pride and Prejudice
Favorite author… Jane Austen
What are you afraid of… Reviews! I am so scared of negative ones, cause I always think I have cooked up a great story J
What makes you angry… Dishonesty
Childhood Crush… Pierce Brosnon…have you watched Remington Steele?
Things that you can’t leave without… Family is not a thing and besides family I do not need a thing.
Any message or advice you want to share with our readers?
You only live once…. go get ’em all.
To know more about her work follow her blog: https://ncunplugged.wordpress.com/
This is one of Namrata’s favourite pieces: http://www.readomania.com/story/the-odd-and-even-of-it
You can connect with her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/namrata.bhargava.52
Please Note: This interview has been conducted online via emails by Rhiti Bose for IWI.