She dons many hats – writer, poet, yogi and martial arts practitioner; each one being as dear to her as the others.
Noida resident Niharika Gupta is just out with her first writing adventure, Adulting, and is sitting back enjoying the fame that’s come along with it.
Adulting is about ambitious urban millennials who follow their heart but carry their head along. Gupta, an alumna of Delhi University’s Lady Shri Ram College worked with a publishing house for a year before following her calling in writing world. To hone her skills, she flew to United Kingdom for a PG in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, UK.
Adulting began as my thesis during my MA in Creative Writing. It is a sum total of my experiences of growing up in Delhi.
Some of these, like body shaming and identity crisis, I’ve seen in people my age. I feel I’ve divided myself into three different people via the characters in the novel.
Was it a difficult decision to leave your job to become a full-time author?
Rather, it’s a dream come true. But I have sleepless nights too. Backups always had to be in place. This was a calculated risk.
Tell us about your favourite writing space and schedule.
My library-cum-game room at home is my favourite place, but I can write anywhere, all I need is a phone or a notebook. No matter where I am I devote first two-three hours of my waking up to writing – this time has zero distractions.
How do you deal with a writer’s block?
When I’m stuck, I always remember writers like JK Rowling or Joanne Harris and think of what connected me to the magic of writing in the first place.
Another secret trick is standing on my head for a minute. It clears out writing blocks and has serious anti-ageing effects. I also switch to playing pool or go for a walk. At times, I look at tumblr with: #writinginspiration.
Best advice you’ve got?
Just write what seems to you to be true, advised my writing mentor, Fay Weldon, tutor at Bath Spa University.
You are also a martial arts practitioner and a yogi. How do you manage your time?
It’s a journey about staying connected with the art on a regular basis, be it revising a kata, reading literature by our founder or staying in touch with classmates and teacher.
It helps me get a perspective on life and work when I step into the dojo (room where martial arts are practised). I try to practise yoga every morning and with a teacher, thrice a week if I can. Scheduling my yoga and karate practice, before and after my work day, helps me remain focused. What is trickier is dividing my time between karate and yoga, this is always a tussle. So I give attention to each by turns.
By Niharika Gupta
Price: Rs 299
Release date: August 25, 2019
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and The Devourers by Indra Das
JK Rowling, Anthony Doerr, Joanne Harris and Neil Gaiman
Most underrated book
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Most overrated book
None. Different books are meant for different readers