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Updated: July 9, 2014 12:32 IST

Kamila Shamsie

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Kamila Shamsie
The Hindu
Kamila Shamsie

A column on writers and their craft

WHEN: I am not an early riser. When in London, I wake up by nine in the morning. I like to have my cup of coffee and read The Guardian cover to cover. If I am in Karachi, then it’s a cup of tea and The Dawn. Now, depending on my level of obsession with the book that I am working on at that moment, I write. Usually, I write at a stretch for three or four hours, but if I am deep into the story, then I may go on writing till quite late.

WHERE: I am very particular about where I write. In London, I need my desk in my room and I have to look out while writing. So my desk faces the window. In Karachi, I write in the balcony. Of course, while I am writing I don’t like to be disturbed and need quiet around me. The best place that I have found in terms of writing peacefully is a writer’s retreat in Tuscany, owned by a friend. The place gives me space to think and write since there are few distractions here.

HOW: Till sometime ago I switched between long hand and the lap top but now I write on the computer directly. On a good day I may write a good amount but the maximum I write in a day is about 500 words.

WHAT: When I am writing I can’t have any distractions. So, till some time ago, I used to be a nocturnal writer. I preferred writing from 10.30 pm to 3 am when there would be no distractions. But it didn’t work out as I soon realised that if I went out to dinner, I would start getting tense about returning on time. So I decided to write in the morning when the brain is fresh.

As told to Meenakshi Kumar


Devdutt PattanaikAugust 2, 2014

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