In our school life we all must have written numerous essays on variety of topics as part of our study curriculum, must have done application writing and others. That reminds me. I used to write letters to my grandpa as well, My Papaji, on those blue inland letters and also on simple school notebooks sheets, nicely folded and secured in the envelope with stamp on it and post them in the red and black letter box, waiting for the postman to bring back the reply in the same fashion. Oops, sorry I got nostalgic and digressed.

Coming back, the writing journey continues in our work life as well like writing business cases, status reports, emailing the clients. Writing resumes is another skill. Another writing we all have embarked is writing on osdotme. And this writing is not same as our school writing or professional writing for that matter. Here, it means writing creatively. That requires ideas and skills which come with experience.

Now, since we are on this beautiful and kind platform of osdotme (Thank you Swamiji for this), shouldn’t we enhance our writing skills. Sometimes, I lack ideas which are engaging and yes, worth the readers’ time. One of the most important factor for me. I got stuck in one such scenario when we had #TheWriteChoice challenge where we had marathon of articles’ writing.

The power of writing is so immense and it puts such a deep impact on the reader that it is the responsibility of the writer to have a language that makes sense.

Few days back I came across an interview of Jhumpa Lahiri (Pulitzer Prize winning author and professor of creative writing at Princeton University) in TOI where she shared amazing simple writing tips or ideas for novices like me. I would like to share some of the writerly secrets that she spoke. The paraphrased excerpts from the interview follows:-

1) Writers give a new way of looking at a character’s reality and what goes around with his or her bold lens so it is utterly important to be responsible for words and vocabulary taken, grammar and syntax chosen as it gives a different vision to the readers with each different selection.

2) One should always focus on the diary as it is the first space in which one writes. The diary teaches to write for oneself. It is an interior space that has to be acknowledged and cultivated. It has the most important reflections on life. Thus, diary is the first incarnation, the raw form of all personal reflections that gets filtered and shaped and pruned later by the writer. She said diary is my private laboratory.

3) She also suggested that one should translate literature that one loves and admires. In her words, translation is the most productive and illuminating form of literary apprenticeship because you really get inside the writer’s head and inside a language you have to then recreate it. It is similar to, say, an artist who is training and copying works that are hanging in a museum. You still have to go into your paint box and use your brushes. It may not work but you realize the choices that the artist made and that trains you to make your own choices.

4) At last she emphasized the importance of reading. And I fully agree with her as the absorption of the reading, produces, over time the writing. She said I realized that reading was like eating and breathing and sleeping. I felt like I knew I was a writer. The authors become your sense of order and beauty. You create relationships with them. This needs to happen for the writer.

Dear friends,

Neither I am a writer nor a voracious reader but this beautiful place of osdotme is encouraging me in multiple dimensions. We have superb writers here whose writings put a deep and blinding impact on me. I thank you all for this. And yes, I am inching myself forward to improve myself as a Writer and as a Person.

All glories to HIM.

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Ritu Om Chatterjee

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