Srishti Chaudhary, 26, is a writer living in Delhi. Her first fiction novel, Once Upon a Curfew (2019) was published by Penguin Random House and the second one, Lallan Sweets, is scheduled for release by the end of this year.
What is your writing schedule?
I believe in writing 1,000 words a day, which can take between one to three or four hours every day, depending on how clear in the head I am about the scenes I have to write next. It’s great to tackle this as early in the morning as possible, so I end up feeling lighter, like I’ve done my thing for the day. I could write in the evenings or nights as well, if I force myself to focus. The important thing is to write a bit everyday.
Does writing energise or exhaust you?
I would say somehow both. A couple of writing hours later, I feel a little mentally exhausted. But I also feel massively excited after writing as I come closer and closer to the end of a draft, so I could be jumping around after it as well.
Writing advice you’d like to give your younger self ?
Don’t be afraid to show others what you’ve written! It was only during my Masters, when I studied creative writing, that my writing started getting feedback on our writing groups. With every feedback, I learnt more. If you don’t show your writing, you might work with a lot of presumptions and repeat the same mistakes. Anybody with some literary flair – your friends who are readers, writing groups, and editors you can catch hold of – show these people what you’ve written.
Your favourite books?
Harry Potter is my all time favorite book series. I am a big reader of good fiction. Currently, I’m reading The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfoss and am submerged in the world he has created. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is another favourite. I love to read Indian authors and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s
The Palace of Illusions is spectacularly written. I’ve already gifted it to three people.
Literary success vs number of copies sold?
I take number of copies sold to be ‘number of people reached’, and I would any day be read by more number of people than receive validation from a literary jury.
Favourite spot/s in Delhi you write at?
I am able to sit and write anywhere. It can be a noisy cafe, an uncomfortable patch of grass, or even the train. I find Starbucks easy and simple to sit at and write in. My home desk is peaceful and quiet. I
love gardens, and find it really productive to take a walk and sort my mind. Lodhi gardens, Deer park, and all DDA parks, especially where I can see old and beautiful trees are my favourite.