Memoir: Mathematics and Me

Even though reading came as early as mathematics in my life, I took to writing much later. And now, writing is a permanent part of my life. But did learning—or failing at learning—mathematics make me a better writer? I wish to delve.

I choose to, decide to, make myself sit and write about something that I have hated all my life. Yet, it is comforting and consoling to discover that I truly am good at certain aspects of it. In comparison to mathematics, though, I have found that deriving a unique solution isn’t as mandatory in real life. Even when, in either case, all we do is define and chase variables.

Back when I was young, the teachers would seem to me as those hungry beasts that could smell the fear in my blood and flesh. Only, in this case, the feeling thrived on mathematical complexities. It was truly the survival of the fittest and, naturally, I’d fall prey to variables x and y.

Source: Commons.WikiMedia.Org

Now when I think about it, I find that the contention of mathematics teachers was a result of agony. That’s because I was not able to see what to them was but easily derivable. My equations were never equated, never solved. The truth is, I hadn’t even defined the variables worth equating. Life and mathematics: they are that easy; they are that difficult.

Since then, the writer within me has continued to mature. Now, defining problems in (or through) writing has been more of a revelation—I am not useless anymore. I am now entitled to receive respect—and bread—from the society. It has been one equation worth solving. They don’t look down upon me just because I cannot find x.

Even though mathematics and I have agreed on this ceasefire, I still hate problems that have two trains moving in the opposite direction. But now I’m more interested in describing the beautiful view from those trains. I’ve also come to enjoy the nothingness in my mind as much as my aggrieved math teachers loved populating my notebooks with remarks.

Today, as I stand in the middle of this tightrope, somehow balancing between “from where I have come” and “to where I lead,” I realize how carefully crafted is this design of nature. I see stream of knowledge converging into this ocean of wisdom: art, religion, science, and mathematics, I swim in all of that. Occasionally, I dive deeper into this ocean. And, whenever I do, I bring to the shore the rarities from its depths. I conclude, art and religion be made an everyday affair as much as accounting and mathematics. The discovery of this convergence, it seems, has had its effect on me.

At least in my culture, not a day passes without us giving obeisances to the parameshwara. But much like frills are to frocks, art is to the mainstream subjects; and religion, to living. There is much more to living than spending time defining the social behavior. That tells me why the Sanatana Dharma is more a way of life than just a religion. But, I am diverting.

The point is, there should be much more to learning than merely learning from the limiting perspective of the mainstream subjects. What are even the non-mainstream subjects? Those that teach us how to be open towards accepting the world as it is? As long as I remember, it is because of one such subject—that is writing—that I earn the well-deserved respect. Why can’t we teach writing at schools?

Probably that is why, in Sanatana Dharma, there weren’t any mainstream subjects. Learning came through exploration as much as observation; through listening as much as doing; and, through all streams of knowledge that flew into this mind from all directions, giving it the influx of the much-needed wisdom. All of our spiritual leaders and Maharshis wore all of those hats: arts, mathematics, religion, science. The most important takeaway is that they were all probers. They all passed through the same stages of truth: seeking, discovering, questioning, and experiencing.

This may not be the prescribed approach to solving mathematical equations. But, it does the job of helping me understand most problems, mathematics or otherwise. Turns out, one size (read approach) doesn’t fit all. I don’t hate the subject. I hate the approach I was given, the perspective I was lent, and the resources I had. The subject is rather interesting and thought-provoking. I, perhaps, was lame to not able to connect the dots, which I now have. I think I have finally found a thread that holds back the two seemingly opposing subjects that, for a long time, had occupied the farthest ends of interests.

LHS is now equal to RHS. 🙂

The Two Sides of Writing

“Everybody can write. But not everybody can become a writer.” Is that true? How and why? A question like this surfaced during our interaction.

In my previous post, I shared with you what writing has brought to me. In this post, we will discuss what people, like you and, I often bring back to writing.

Writing is Natural

The only mechanical parts in writing, today, are the brain and the hands. The other parts are intangible. And some parts that were previously tangible have now been taken care of using the software. We can monitor and control the efficiency of hands. But we can neither control nor accurately monitor the effectiveness of the brain. That’s because, when writing, we are looking through a dirty mirror. The messier its reflection is, the less clearly we see. But, with practice, we can clean the mirror. The better we look through to our real, actual selves, the better we write.

Unlike painters and sculptors, writing doesn’t involve long hours of practice every day. Unlike singers or dancers, writing does not need to be taught by gurus.


Writing is a skillful art that can be learned without anyone teaching it.


A lot of people write every day. Even if you were to write something as short as of 500 words every day, which usually takes not more than 30 minutes, you could hone your writing skills in as little as a year. Without ever using the principles of a good story, it is still possible for you to create a useful account. Logically enough, people will either read their way through it or sleep their way through it. The choice becomes more evident if your work of fiction comes as a hardcover.

Writing is Mechanical

A lot of people often have commented that “writing is a creative process.” But what they don’t realize is that while they lay stress on the word “creative,” they must equally stress the word “process.” The fact that it is as much a process as creativity means that step B cannot begin until step A is finished.

To be able to say what you have to, you must put your words in a certain way. The result may be delayed, but it must explain what you intend to. For this, you must abide by the rules of grammar and structure. Not only that, even while you say things in a flow, or let your fingertips be the narrators of your great story, it is your mind that must sieve that story through filters for quality purposes. This mechanical process of flowing from ‘knowing the science’ to ‘practicing the science’ as you write is a costly affair. First, it doesn’t come easy. Second, its only triggers are failures and rejections. But then, Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?


The person who crafts the art isn’t always the same person who explains the creation.


Simple thoughts often invoke smiles that no one can see, except for one’s own mind. It is thoughts like these that underpin humor. This is why, even when writing provides one the license to think without boundaries, the writer must attribute the boundlessness to rationality and reasoning. So long as your characters and their behaviors remain deducible, they remain real, relatable.

Conclusion

As you might have observed, the parameters that define the two sides of writing are often confusing and intertwined. During my post-graduation, we were taught that “management is a scientific art and artistic science.” I’d like to think that that definition suits more to writing than to management.

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Any skill that requires you to follow a process has to have mechanics. Anything that is coded within the rules of a language needs artistic intuition to unfold its true, magical potential.

Learning through Writing

From the short stories and poems to the first attempt at writing creative fiction in the form of the Spyglass, many occasions made me realize that writing took me even before I took to writing. Writing has shown me that both as a vocation and a profession, the fullest one can achieve is still unknown. Perfection remains more a pursuit, a journey, than a destination. For this post, I will take you along back in time for the backstory.

As a kid, I was never a dull boy. Yes, I was not good at studies, especially mathematics, physics, chemistry, but that was not because I was dumb. I was exceptionally good at all languages, including Sanskrit. I was also good at other subjects and extra-curricular activities. I neither disliked my teachers, nor did I hate learning. I still don’t. In fact, back then, I could not define what I now can. I hated the way people taught. This still remains with me: I am equally sensitive toward what is being taught and how it is taught.

The learning process needs a mentor and student. The mentors, I assume, have not changed. The student is still the same: equally hungry to learn. So, what made this student find his own identity? What happened that a kid who just about managed to pass the tenth grade and was made to accept a specific set of subjects turned out to be one of those students that outshined everyone else in almost every department before passing out of the same school?

It was during the eleventh grade that I began developing a reading habit. Or, I’d say, a few books called me to pick them up. It was a connection I cannot describe. Amongst the first few—and I want you to pay special attention to the selection here—were Johnathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and The Glory of Puttaparthy by V Balu. I must have read both of those books at least a few times. While neither the books nor their respective genre has anything in common, both had the same effect on me. I became a better person after I finished reading them. It wasn’t enlightenment, but it wasn’t too far either. The same seagull that once had dreamed of flying at 70 miles per hour had transformed. It no longer needed to understand the rules, the aerodynamic flow, the wind direction, or wait for their turn in their flock of birds to get to nibble around the fisherman’s boat.

This small change then helped me graduate from being a mere reader to beginning to write. I penned hundreds of poems and short stories before I wrote my first non-fiction book on a writing pad. I called it the Ingredients of Success Recipe. Although I never published it, I did share it with my family and friends. They liked it. Or, at least, they pretended to. I won’t get to find out. But, that doesn’t matter, for I now have this priceless gift called writing. Now when I look back, I find mathematics rather interesting. And, so do all other subjects that I once hated of being made to sit and learn. Writing gave me the logic to decode the way to decipher through those dark clouds of thunderstorms called mathematics, physics, and chemistry. But, was that alone enough?

During my years as a freelance writer, I accomplished quite a bit, for I paid off my education loan even when I did not have a regular earning. During the same years, I had also enrolled for an MBA, which was exclusively for working professionals. Eventually, I figured that to be able to make a family and to sustain it, I will have to earn myself a job. Around the mid of 2011, I had completed a translation project that had drawn me some substantial appreciation and accolades from local representatives. I had completed that project in a mere 15 days—the project would normally have taken over four months of my schedule. But for a practiced hand, translation was a mechanical job. I wanted something more creative, more original.

It was during the last quarter of that year that someone suggested I pursue pranayama, the breathing technique. I researched it and settled on doing Nadi-Shodhan, a breathing technique that purifies the blood and mind. The first month of my breathing exercise wasn’t easy. While it resulted in some magical experiences within the first couple of weeks, it also gave me terrible back pain and other emotional turmoils. Words struck faster, so my efficiency improved, my earnings increased. But, at the cost of my health. The reason was that I had not taken the Deeksha (initiation) for its practice from a guru. So, I suffered from acute back pain for almost two years. But I persisted. Eventually, the pain subsided. Now it is gone.

Why do I tell you all that today? What is the reason I open those chapters of my life to you? What is it that I wish you to take away as the vital thought? The life of a writer is that of a generalist. We are the jack of all trades. And that itself has lent me the most potent insight: to be a learner, I just have to take the next logical step. As a proud generalist, I have broken down complex topics into simple terms and simple terms into clear messages, and clear messages into actionable, understandable items. One careful step, every time. I have moved from clutter to clarity in everything I have ever pursued as a writer.

William Zinsser, of On Writing Well, says, “Writing is thinking on paper.” I can only elaborate on his thought. If writing is pouring down your thoughts on paper, then re-writing is choosing which ones continue to stay there. In one of my previous posts, I said that if one of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach it, then the reverse of it—to teach a subject, learn it first—is equally valid. I have used writing to wayfinding my way into the core of complex topics. Writing, for me, is like a map, which I use to navigate subjects and thoughts, much like city roads.

Does that mean if writing helped me understand the world and make it my own, it would do so for you, too? Maybe. Maybe not. But it certainly would give you that perspective of your own to understand the terms of the world as you pen them down in your own words. Each one of us has their own learning methodology. Writing is mine. What’s yours?

Last Things First

Writing has been my primary field of interest for as long as I can remember. Yet it took me a few more years after my schooling—and a lot of unpromising, unyeilding struggles—to get to where I am.

Although, from here are visible the two contrasts: I can see the vignettes of writing that made me, and the gleam of writing that shall make me. To the tunes of this muse, I choose to dance. To the flow of this stream, I prefer to stay afloat, aboard the paper boat of my imagination.

When the dark sky of nothingness falls, I pluck thoughts out of the void, to fill my bucket of conversations. From the eyes that bleed emotions to the heart that speaks the truth; from the hands that embrace togetherness to the feet that stand firmly throughout this voyage; and from the nerves that pump passion to the sparks that enliven the mind countlessly, there is so much to express yet nothing to show.

When I am at my desk, I wish to not speak but interact, to not hear but listen. Writing is, after all, the last thing that I want to do first. Always. It is a conversation that I have with myself.

The mysteries and musings
Called upon by the yearning one.
That which once was an escape
Is now a Source… Reveal before it, one by one.

The haunting shrieks of thoughts
That cut off your retrieves
That talk through your mental voice.
Embrace them; You don’t have a choice.

The embarked Soul—
Set forth in a paper boat—
Toward the unexplored,
Unfolds the uncertainties,
On the folded paper boat.
©Suyog Ketkar

Father’s Reflection

Looking at the cracked boundary wall of my society’s compound, I sit by the window, bathing in the mustard yellow morning that gleans through it. And while the tea does calm the nerves, it doesn’t stop me from peeping into my past. Much like the cracked boundary wall, through which pass an occasional crawler, the boundary walls of a few much-cherished chapters of my life begin to give way to memories.

The first few years of life are a little too few, too soon to expect anyone to correctly memorize the place of warts on their parents’ faces. Yet I remember seeing one on my father’s right cheek. I was also a serial convict of pressing it like a button. The wart had a rubbery texture to it, and I could see its rounded edges contract and expand as I pushed it with my little fingers. Little must those fingers be, for my father’s seemed to be bloated and huge in comparison to mine.

Similar to the wart, I’d also press the veins that protruded on his fingers. I never stopped doing it; he never complained. He would crush me into a smoothie with his embrace when we would lie down under a blanket during winters. I must have been four years old, then. Maybe even three. I watched a lot of Cricket with him.

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This is before he developed that wart.

Fast forward to today, these tatters of the once perfectly woven fabric of alive, afresh moments cloak my naked soul, speak for my inner self, and tie me umbilically to my roots. Within this passage of time, however, I have also realized why embracing my daughter is so familiar and satisfying. It has the same warmth of selfless, unconditional love.

Amongst the few memories I have of my father—Baba, as I called him—none matches the finesse in his voice when he sang and whistled to the songs sung by Talat Mehmood Sahab. How valuable was the whole panoply of the songs! The natural vibrato, the depth, and the bass-heavy endnotes in his voice have etched their presence down the memory lane. (Here’s one of my father’s all-time favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHs3O4f516I)

But I don’t think I can face even a small percentage of the challenges he had overcome. I lost him to kidney failure before I had turned seven. The first seven years of my parents’ marriage had yielded them three kids, and countless Carrom and Billiards trophies—Baba was a champion of almost all indoor games. The last seven years of their married life had had them through pressing times.

My mother told me once how both of them went to the government rationing shop for a name-change procedure. Baba, foreseeing a short life, sought a change in the name of the head of the family to my mother’s name. He had the willpower to face destiny. He struggled for life for six or seven long years, each of which he spent showering his love upon all four of us.

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I think I look a lot like him.

Of all that’s childhood, stepping into father’s shoes or wearing his tie or coat, all of that, was only the logical sub-steps to how I wished to be like him—there is so much that my heart says, yet my expository writing can’t put into words. Within these years, I’ve come to grow a mustache that is as thick as his. And even if I might have come to look and sound like him, I’d still want to match up to his self-belief and will power. Those few things, as my mother told me once, differentiate cubs from tigers.

I realize, a fruit-bearing tree perched quite comfortably by the compound wall. The tea tastes better. It is past seven—rise and shine.

And Memoirs!

Memoir writing is as easy as accepting what made you you.

If there is anything lesser difficult, it is admitting to your mistake when you haven’t committed any. But life throws surprises and shocks at you. Which is what brings forth this series. On the surface, what looks like a recollection of the countless moments that make up life, each moment has a life of its own. These cherished moments, put together, are more than their sum called life.

An account of what I recall as history, my history, is what I cover through this series of posts. I can hardly blame anyone for anything that has happened to me. No one can. No one should. We would be at fault if we were to look at our past with regrets, guilts, or shame. It is despicable of us to blame our destiny for everything that made us us. If anything, we must accept everything as a part of our lives—if it were easy, like I mentioned in the beginning. Every new experience has brought with it a lesson that made me my better version.

A memoir is a bellwether that signals the arrival of storms of recollections; it is the lighthouse that witnesses tsunamis that unearth gems of wisdom from the depths of the past.

But I wish the memoirs to enable you to look at me beyond the boundaries of bone and flesh. Everything I’d henceforth share as memoirs would be dear-to-the-heart, thick-and-textured experiences. I wish the memoirs to:

  • Be natural: Show complexities of emotions and relationship
  • Be human: Show vulnerabilities and imperfections
  • Be impactful: Leave you with a message in a friendly but an affirmative way

Only then will each memoir smell unquestionably myself. Its whiff will fill the air around me with an aroma of warmth. It will break the time barriers by teleporting me into a familiar world of emotions. I will then be looking back, moving forward, and yet standing still.

Working from Home: A Revelation

The outbreak of coronavirus has impacted millions of lives throughout the world. A lot of people and their lifestyles have experienced many changes, both big and small. For me, too, the outbreak has not only changed my place of work but a lot more than that. Yet, this post is far more than just a rant.

  • Given that my new workplace is only a room away, I reach the office on time.
  • My consumption of tea/coffee has reduced considerably.
  • I have become better at multi-tasking.
  • I get to choose what to suggest (and, sometimes, cook) for dinner.
  • We have an early lunch and an early dinner. Sometimes, we skip the dinner in favor of a relatively lighter meal.
  • I have begun experimenting with other hobbies, like writing, cooking, sketching. I even sit with my kid to draw and paint—her favorite hobby for this month.
  • We devote some more time to our families; We speak to our parents and relatives more often. We invest extra time with them to ensure that they are safe and sound.

The biggest revelation, however, is that it brought forth what years of married life could not: we stand by each-other. Ever since day one, it helped us rediscover, relive the feelings that became buried under a load of managing relationships, paying bills, and bringing up a kid.

How does writing make you a better person?

This post is a reply to the question someone recently put on Quora. The question was, “how does improving your writing skills help you grow as a person?

We learn reading and writing in the early years of our lives. Like every other thing, we continue to polish it as we grow old. Despite that, only a few of us take to writing even as a daily chore, forget as a profession. Let me tell you, of the things that make us better at who we are or what we do, writing constitutes a more significant share than it currently enjoys. Here’s why I say so:

Clarity of Thoughts

Writing is tiring. First, words don’t strike. When they do, thoughts don’t always weave in perfectly. And, even if we have a smooth fabric of views, we think we do not have any new ideas to share with people around. This insecurity adds to the already long list of impediments.

We forget that we don’t share only thoughts and ideas. We share the way of sharing: the way we communicate. So long as we are clear on what we wish to express, and how to convey it, we can have an attractive style of writing. But, will this suffice? Let me bring another point.

Mental Control

You could be clear about what or how to communicate, but the moment you sit down to write, your thoughts vanish like they weren’t even there. It happens to every writer; it’s happened to me, too. The deal, here, is to hold on to the thought until you pen it down. But writing isn’t easy. It takes time and practice, both of which bring me to the next point.

Persistence is the Key

Not all great/famous writers were born with their talent. None become who they are overnight. They endure a time-taking journey before they reach an attractive piece of writing. The path isn’t easy to walk. Writers fail every day. They make little progress. There are days when they don’t proceed even a single step. Still, they continue to write every day. They choose to persist as long as they don’t end up creating likable work.

Being Someone Else

Your written work takes the reader into the world of your characters. Readers get to live someone else’s experience, at different times, amongst people not known before, and in the situations that they have never faced before. You take them there. You give them the chance to be someone else, even though for only some time. But, to be able to do that, first, you must be that someone else. You must live their life. You must undergo the same situations and face the same challenges. You must confront the same people. All of that, while sitting at your desk. While completing your daily chores. You must feel the pain your protagonist might feel at the loss of their loved ones. You must feel equally desperate to set things right before writing about it. And only then will your readers share the same feelings.

Imagine this.

You are sitting in a coffee shop. You go there every day. But, today, you are the only one in the shop. So, you get to choose where to sit. You select a chair by the side of the window.

As you sit, you realize that there is a lot that’s happening on the other side of the window. A couple is walking their baby in a pram. A hawker is calling for prospects. A man who is perched by the roadside is reading a newspaper. Another couple is walking, their hands locked. A shopkeeper is cleaning the display window. A girl on her bicycle passes by your window. Her cycle cart has a kitten who is enjoying that ride. Just then, you happen to look up to see a bird’s nest near the canopy on the porch—home to two tiny birds—in the middle of a busy street.

You are merely an observer. Yet, from that perspective, you can imagine what each one of them might be thinking—even the tiny birds that haven’t yet learned to fly.

Being someone else is that easy; being someone else is that difficult.

With that, we are back to the question. I wish you to think of all of this in totality. It isn’t easy to register the changes at such micro-levels. It isn’t easy either to feel what others feel. Or, be persistent at something even after failing at it umpteen number of times. In the long run, it does make you considerate towards others. You feel their pain. It also makes you think and weigh your words before you use them. Writing, I conclude, makes me think more, feel more, see more, and make more from every moment.

What do you think?

5 Must-Haves in Fiction

Writing fiction is not easy. I wouldn’t hesitate twice to say that it is one of the hardest things to do.

“You must engage the readers by immersing them into your world of effortless words. Your book must contain good-flowing, solidly built sections and chapters, each of which should have pages that build the story. The readers should be able to relate to things, places, characters, and descriptions you may have written.” The Internet is loaded with such suggestions. The takeaway, for me, is that writing about how to write fiction is easier than writing fiction.

I have now come to shut myself from such advice for I know how my readers feel about my writing. I belong to a non-native English speaking background and most of my readers are from this part of the world: complex and lengthy narration will lose the readers. I must use simple words to narrate a story. But that’s not all. Here are a few more points I consider when I begin tidying up the first drafts:

Find Your Voice

Listen to your voice as you read or write. This makes it easy for you to do an initial round of editing even as you are writing your initial draft. I know some people go about writing their first drafts as if they are vomiting their ideas over their documents. But I find this approach difficult to follow. Even as I speak, I continue to edit my sentences for comprehension and simplicity. It does slow down the writing (or talking), but only initially. Talk to your readers as if you were sitting before them.

As for your novel writing, you must also be clear about what you want your protagonist and antagonist to convey. Both of them should have a compelling story to tell, a logic to their acts, and a reason based on which they judge the right and the wrong in their lives. The way they will act will direct the flow of your story; the characters themselves will lead your story to the conclusion.

Script the Emotions

Positive emotions leave readers with a positive mindset. Depending on what story—or what side (perspective) of it—you wish to tell, you may choose to reserve the same feeling for the aftertaste of your novel: positive or negative. After all, not all stories might have a happy ending. A positive lasting impression, for example, might make your readers feel that you had things sorted for the protagonist toward the end of the novel.

For the most part of writing a novel, I wish my protagonist to face as many challenges as possible. The challenges for them must begin with the very first chapter and they must continue to slump further down into the spiral of increasingly difficult challenges until they realize there is no way they can turn back. That moment when they have left nothing to lose anymore is then the perfect time for me to introduce them to a miracle/event/person that helps them set things right again.

My current project is a fiction where each chapter ends on either a cliff or its resolution. Every chapter has acts that underpin a central emotion to tell their story. It is the ups and downs of emotions that I seek to deliver through the story.

Describe the Life and Times

Certainly, the novel revolves around the central character of the protagonist. But is it the only story that I wish to narrate? No. I wish to tell a lot of other, connected stories through the story of the central character. My protagonist holds the stories of multiple characters around them. The story of the protagonist is as much other’s story as his (his, in my novel). There are dedicated sections within my novel that describe the life and times of the other characters. I want that because this helps smooth the edges around my central character.

Rewrite

The most boring, the most time consuming, the most ignored, but perhaps the most important part of writing a novel is rewriting it. Every single sentence you write must have been written over and over again. Whatever I have written so far in the draft has been rewritten at least twice. And I will consider rewriting the required sections again before sending the final copy to the editors for further steps.

At times, I do not find anything wrong with sentences. But when I put those sentences together, I realize the amount of rework required to bring the intended meaning out. I wish to tell a compelling story compellingly, so I continue to rewrite the story until I get to a point where the story sounds, appears, and feels compelling enough.

Be Conclusive

Toward the end, whatever it might be—or, howsoever good or bad it might be—tell the readers that the story for the characters in your novel concludes like it the way it does by providing the perspective of the protagonist/antagonist. Tell the readers what the lead characters have to do with the ending. Tell the readers how the story has changed the reality for the lead characters and made them different. Tell them what changed from the time the story began to the time the story concluded. The readers might not like the approach. They may not even agree with you—that’s OK. But, they will certainly thank you for not leaving them hanging midair for the conclusion.

These are the five absolute must-haves for me. Tell me what are yours?

Get Your Writing Space

“When I began writing, the first thing I did is I created a space where I could carry out my writing schedule every day.” I explained it exactly in those words when someone asked me about how it all began. But obviously, he wasn’t talking about the result of what I wrote, but the cause of it.

This happens to be one of the questions that keep popping every now and then. Writing is as much a part of my daily schedule as are the other activities, like breathing. At times, I sit to write. At times, it is writing that compels me to sit at one place. So much so that my daughter has begun to read and write only because she sees me do so.

And, that is why getting the right space for writing is so much important. It helps create the right rhythm. Your writing is a product of your writing groove—the style in which you sit to write. Your writing is, hence, a factor of how soon you discover the right writing space for yourself. If anything—other than that—it defines how you are as a writer.

My writing space is what it needs to be: my laptop; my work desk; a drink—usually hot—and silent, calm environment. This is why, I choose to write after my daughter is off to sleep or when I am done with my everyday tasks.

The space helps me determine a lot of things that have, at times, nothing to do with the result of my writing. The writing speed, for instance, is then a factor of how thoughtfully have I set up my writing space. There are challenge, too. For example, I usually refrain myself from using my smartphone when I write, but I cannot avoid using it.

But what makes up a writing space? Anything that helps you write, including the non-interconnected things like a window or a rain on the other side of it. Your writing space is your little world where words strike you. It is different for everyone; it should be. Your writing space defines you as much as it defines the work you do.

So, get that write space—yes, you read it right.