Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan is the author of seven books and is working on a new manuscript; details to be announced soon.
What is your writing schedule?
As a highly disorganised person, I wish I had a proper schedule. There are days when I’m ‘on’ and days when I’m definitely ‘off’. On the ‘on’ days, I set a word count goal between 2,000-4,000 words a day, sometimes 1,000 sometimes 5,000, but having a tangible goal to work towards definitely makes it easier. I work in the evenings, I’m diurnal, like our cats, and usually pick up pace around 4:00pm and write for two or three hours after, or less, depending on how long it takes me to hit my goal for the day. Then I usually lie on my sofa with a book, all part of the process, because, since I’m writing, I usually don’t have any words left for conversation so the book fills me up again.
Does writing energise or exhaust you?
It all depends on whether it’s going well or badly! Usually energises me though, I love hitting just the right notes in a sentence. I play language like an instrument.
Writing advice you’d like to give your younger self?
Learn to hustle, a lot of writing books is ‘selling the books’ as well, so remember to embrace that part of your life also.
Your favourite books?
The question that strikes dread into the heart of all readers. Where do I begin? Where do I end? I am not answering this question because then my other books will feel bad.
Literary success vs number of copies sold?
For me, literary success is readers ‘getting’ what you have to say and engaging with your work. I have been lucky to have that, so while I’d like to sell kilos of books and become a multi-millionaire like JK Rowling, I’m aware that I’m lucky because I got to write what I wanted and I still have readers.
Favorite spot/s in Delhi you write at?
I’m very old fashioned, and write only at my desk (restaurants/coffee shops, back when we could go to them) were distracting, and I don’t like to pay for endless cups of coffee so I can keep sitting there. Also my chair is great, and one of our three cats will always be around and the music is always something I choose to play and right behind me are my vast collection of books and my sofa, so I can take a break whenever I like. It’s also a room I had made to write in, and I guess it’s ruined me for everything else.