A column on writers and their craft

WHEN: I like to write when everyone is asleep. So I start very early, around 3.30 a.m., or very late, after midnight. I usually write for 3-4 hours at a stretch. Once I am really into a story, I like to write all day. But I have a day job, which doesn’t let me write during the day, but I sometimes skip lunch to work on the draft.

HOW: Years ago when I started writing, I used pencils, notebooks and chunky erasers. These days, I use only my laptop, which goes wherever I do. I am very fussy about the type and size of the fonts I use. I usually pick Garamond or Book Antiqua and my favourite font size is the inauspicious 13. Though the spellcheck facility is a distraction, I never turn it off.

WHERE: Almost always I do it at home. My favourite writing place is a small room at the end of a corridor. When I write, I cut myself out from the outside world. I keep windows shut and curtains closed. Distractions irritate me when I write. I wonder how people can sit at cafes and write. That is something unimaginable for me.

WHAT: I don’t have many passions outside of reading and writing. I listen to music when I drive and watch television, mostly news channels, in the evening. But music and movies don’t move me the way written words do. When I write a book, I sacrifice my morning walk, which is anyway nothing more than a few hurried and half-hearted rounds in the neighbourhood park. Usually I put on a few kilos by the time I finish writing a book. Writing makes me lazy in everything else I do.