WHEN: I am an early riser. I am usually up by six and then do my exercises, pooja and read four newspapers. I write till the early afternoon because that is when I feel more productive. Post-that I read two to three books simultaneously. I usually have a writing phase and a marketing phase. I do not write during the marketing phase. Evenings are usually reserved for family and business meetings, if any.
HOW: I prefer typing on the laptop. Also, my handwriting is terrible. I am an instinctive writer. Some days the writing just flows for hours. I do not force the ideas out and neither do I set out to write 1000 words a day. If the ideas don’t come, I just shut the laptop.
WHERE: I can write pretty much anywhere — at home or a café — as long as it’s not noisy. In fact, I wrote parts of my third book in Benaras where I stayed for about 3-4 weeks. I’ve converted one of the sea-facing rooms in my house into a study, where I do most of my writing.
WHAT: I normally listen to music while writing. I listen to all kinds of music except rap. Music is one of my passions in life. In fact, I used to be a lead singer in a band during my days in IIM-Calcutta. The kind of music I listen to on a particular day depends on the mood of the scene I am writing. For instance, if I am writing a war scene, I listen to aggressive music; the words don’t matter. Music helps me enter that parallel world. While writing, I also drink coffee or hot chocolate and eat lots of biscuits. I like cream biscuits!
(A column on writers and their craft)