As a matter of fact, there have been many questions that I'd been asked as a writer, which I never really answered. Now awaiting my second book's launch, I want to tell you how I really feel about myself as a writer.
As an author of a book, the kind of book - a campus based love story - I feel a bit dejected that I couldn't launch myself as an author known for writing a masterpiece. Regarding my books, I consider them interesting racy reads, targeting a special segment of people - the people who are looking to attain pleasure in the form of fun from the book. My books have no literary giveaway or social message. It's just a fast-paced love-story mixed with a comedy of errors, giving a good dose of entertainment to the reader, if he's in a receptive mood. For readers with a literary bent of mind or those who read for enrichment of their ideologies, my book will pass as an average or even an insipid read. As a matter of fact, I myself have completely stopped reading any such works, by young authors like me, since I get too judgmental and instead of enjoying the book, I waste my time in getting exasperated with the author.
But come here and look at the positive side - if I had waited to write the so-called 'outstanding' book before publishing, it would have taken me at least 4-5 years to evolve as a writer by reading, learning and exposing myself to the art to be able to churn out a masterpiece and in the meanwhile, I might have given up writing. Even if I'd continued, I would have missed 4-5 years of experience as an author and the assurance of getting published any day I wish, which happens to be the greatest push for me to experiment with my writing. Not only that, I would have missed around 1 lac loyal readers and I would have missed tens of thousands of mails and constructive criticisms to help me learn what a reader wants. And even if I wrote an outstanding book later on, I would have always repented of not having started earlier. Also, as a matter of fact, masterpieces don't sell - you would be surprised to know that my first book has sold more copies in India than Salman Rushdie's last book Enchantress of Florence.
So let it be. The first book - at the age of 18 - as just being the witness of my first big leap of faith to foray into something that was way beyond my wildest dreams and eventually getting published, consistently selling around 30k copies in 2 years, interacting with over two thousands readers from across the globe and then coming up with a sequel and currently working on the sequel to the sequel. It's much more than awesome. It's actually the best thing that happened to me, ever. I might have started my writing career with a cliched novel but it gives me immense faith and grit to paint my tomorrow as a serious fiction writer and look forward to become a full-time writer someday after I publish my masterpiece.
My first or second book aren't the books which my father could proudly present to his boss saying that his son has written it, they aren't the books which will win me awards, they aren't the books which will make me super rich, but they are the books - the little milestones in my writing life - that'll one day bring me all those things. And I'm really glad that it happened. Amen.
P.S. And guess what, it's paying my bills currently, as I'm immersed in full-time travel.