A column on writers and their craft.
WHEN: I usually can’t wake up before noon. The exception would be if I have stayed up all night and all morning; then I might even go to bed in the afternoon. I don’t write every day. Or every week. Or every month. I always know when I am about to get into my productive ‘groove’, so I sleep until I can’t sleep any more and write for 12- 14- or 15-hour stretches. I have tried to be a morning person but have failed miserably.
HOW: I type on my laptop. Nothing else works. If the writing flows, I write. Otherwise, I watch mindless American TV, read or play poker. I’ve often been asked if I don’t feel guilty when I haven’t written for weeks and months. I don’t. I am the most ill-disciplined person I know. It’s cute.
WHERE: I have a few favourite places. I like seeing the constant traffic of people from my window in New York as I write. Even if it’s at 4.00 a.m., it’s fun to see some activity outside. My parents’ rooftop in Gangtok used to have amazing views of the Kanchendzonga but a neighbour has constructed a massive building that now obstructs the mountain completely. Grr. Oxford and London have a few wonderful cafes where I do my editing. I can’t write at coffee shops but can happily edit.
WHAT: Some writers smoke when they write. Some claim that they need to be buzzed. I eat chocolate. In Gangtok, the perpetual howling of street dogs is my background music.
As told to SWATI DAFTUAR