When I began writing the book, I was worried that I was shooting in the dark or rather climbing a mountain blindfolded.
Although I have been writing for years, most of my writing takes the form of personal essays, short subjective takes on life, my life. Through writing, I seek to study the oft-ignored small things that make up life and in doing so, I try to understand myself better.
My book, on the other hand, was an attempt to tackle the elephant in the room. Not only was it huge, it was something I was dreading (nothing against elephants, per se). Plus I had never tackled such a monumental writing project (or elephant) before.
Breaking down the monumental task into bite-sized bits
I made a list of chapter topics and wrote at least for an hour each day. Every chapter took me a few days to complete to my satisfaction, at least as a first draft. In the second and third drafts, I tried to weave the strands together without too much repetition or skipping over. Finally it took shape. Like a rangoli pattern emerging after connecting dots, the shape was quite different from what I had originally considered.
When it was time to send it out to beta readers, I was apprehensive. But the response was positive and the feedback was valuable. After tweaking it some more and getting it professionally edited, I sent out advance reader copies. This time I was really dreading it because most of them were avid readers who did not know me and were considering the book purely on its own merits. I didn’t;t expect them to treat me gently.
Yet, this is where I was taken completely by surprise.
Expecting the unexpected
The response has been overwhelmingly positive. So many readers have reached out personally – via email. messages and social media. I am humbled. And grateful.
Several magazines also featured my book, interviewed me or asked me to write guest posts. It was only when I dug deep to answer their questions that I realised how important this book has been for my growth – as a writer, and as a person.
In case you’re interested in the back story or motivation for my book, here are the links – I will add more as they get published):
- Author interview with Aishwariya, September 2021
- What to expect as a desi divorce, NRI Pulse, September 2021
- When you have no idea what life will bring after a divorce in India, Womens Web, September 2021
- You can Rewrite your happily ever after, Seema Magazine, September 2021
- Life after marriage, The Chakkar, October 2021
The whole run up to the book launch which has taken all of 2021 thus far has been like a long pregnancy. There’s much you can read or discover online about birthing a baby, but nothing can prepare you for the rollercoaster ride of creation. Even when you think you are in charge, you are just along for the ride. And when you least expect it, you find yourself completely shocked.
It has all been great so far. Yes, there have been stressful moments and days when burnout was a real possibility but I’m having fun and planning new ways of connecting with people and building a community around the topic of divorce through my book.
Thank you so much for the love and support.