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Member Spotlight: Damyanti Biswas

author Damyanti Biswas and an image of her book The Blue Monsoon

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? For me, writing is a way to break the fourth wall–break the bounds of reality into the portals of imagination, the way within. It is my escape hatch from life. The world exists in narratives. Our lives, our dreams, our very civilization depends on words: the creation of a narrative of our existence. Without writing, there would be no story, and without stories, how would we define ourselves, the world, and our place in it?

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? My answer is to understand and surrender to the fact that my subconscious is far wiser and more clued in to the flow of my imagination than I am. If there’s a block, there’s a reason for it. It could be physical or mental exhaustion, it could be the wrong story, it could be the inability to face a reality that the story needs that I’m unwilling to confront: all of it will be clear in time. In the meanwhile, I need to just keep filling the well, and be kind to myself. Basically, I treat my blocked writing self as a very good friend going through a difficult phase: I’m there, I bring love and cheer, and absolutely no judgement. Walks in nature help, as does submerging myself in art, music, plays. The idea is to not force anything, and be a gentle, compassionate observer. The block will resolve itself if we get out of its way.

What is your favorite time to write? Morning, before I touch any electronic devices.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? That perfect is the enemy of good when it comes to first drafts. Get it written. You can always make it better.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The internet. Thanks to the interwebs, I have a literary agent and a publisher in a country I’ve never visited, and my books have gone places I never will. Thirty years ago, publishing was so much harder–corny as it sounds, it is true that the internet helped me project my voice across continents.

Damyanti Biswas’s The Blue Monsoon is out now with ‎ Thomas & Mercer.