In the realm of literature, certain authors possess the extraordinary ability to weave stories that resonate deeply with readers, touching the very essence of the human experience. Tanisha Tiwari, a multifaceted author, content manager, and perpetual learner, stands as a luminary in this domain. Her debut book, 'I Will Win Without War,' stands as a testament to her narrative prowess, blending fiction and reality in a way that has captivated audiences worldwide.
Ms. Tiwari's literary journey has been a mesmerizing expedition through the landscape of emotions, resilience, and the human spirit. Her bestselling semi-fiction novel has not only garnered critical acclaim but also stirred conversations about themes that echo far beyond the pages of her book. The book also received a glowing endorsement from none other than Anurag Kashyap.
As we delve into the insights and inspirations that shape her writing, this interview aims to unravel the creative tapestry that forms the essence of Tanisha’s work. Join us as we explore the depths of her storytelling, her perspectives on literature, and the influences that have shaped her extraordinary literary career.
1. Tell us about yourself, how you developed your passion for writing, and what inspired you to become an author.
Tanisha. Hey, this is Tanisha Tiwari, an author, content manager and a learner. My journey with writing was always a beautiful ride which also consisted of self-doubt and a lot of hurdles, emotionally. At 14, I read about Arundhati Roy, not one of her books, just an article and that was the day I decided no matter what career I will choose, I am gonna be a writer someday. I never believed in best-sellers but a good-written book. Calling it a passion would be an understatement if you ask me about writing. It’s more than that, always been more than that. I believe I was always a writer, just a close-to-professional one now!
2. Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?
Tanisha. My book ‘I will win without war’ is a book that was published by NotionPress in the year 2021. Till then, I have received immense praise and yes, quite an amount of discard as well for the book. Though, I accepted all of it.
The journey of writing a book is never easy. You may see a book on an online platform and you can easily say ‘Oh she is also a writer’ but trust me, it’s so much more than that. From writing a few sentences to the entire script, finding a publishing house, doing the editing rounds, and putting it out there in front of the world to read, it is more than just writing. I, myself was not ready to publish it because I was so scared but a friend of mine really said one day to go for it. And here it is now for all of you to read.
3. Please tell us what you enjoy most about writing. What is your favourite part of being a writer?
Tanisha. My personal favourite part about writing is the challenges. You know as a writer I am never satisfied with what I write. I was never satisfied with the book until and unless it was published. In fact, when I received the author's copy, I read my book to find mistakes and yes I did find some. I can proudly say it’s not a perfect book but at the same time, it will question your stance on the topic it is written. Writing, for me, is not something you get paid for, it is what keeps you alive, what keeps you motivated.
My favourite part about being a writer is the title. I love it when I get awards for my work or just when people call me a writer.
4. What have you found to be most challenging about writing?
Tanisha. Writing is personal. If you ask every writer, you will get the same answer. It's never the same for me and you. The ultimate challenge about writing, I would say, is finding the right balance between your thoughts and what you put on the paper. In today’s digital world, you have to find your audience and know what they want to read. So when I began to write, I know some things that are true to the core of my heart but at the same time, I know this is not what they will love. This, I think is the toughest part.
5. Have you ever experienced writer’s block? How did you deal with it?
Tanisha. Hahhaha yes, all the time. And the worst part about having writer’s block is you do not really know how long it’s gonna last. It could be a minute or an entire month or a few months. After I finished publishing my first book in 2019, I started the next novel after more than a year. I was not getting what should I write next. But I deal with writer’s block, not with writing. I take trips, go on self-dates, spend time with myself, read as many good books as I can and ultimately combat the block in my own way. The easiest way to deal with writer’s block is to stop thinking about it. Take a break from writing or if you think you can not leave the habit, just write anything without aiming for perfection.
6. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Tanisha. When I am not writing, I am reading, stuck with my office work, if my pocket allows I go for a trip.
7. What is your real-life work schedule like when writing? How many hours a day do you write?
Tanisha. People usually just have two talks about authors - Oh how cool is his/her job OR what’s difficult to write? Everybody is a writer these days! Trust me, there’s no in-between. But it's none. My job is not cool as I have a 9-hour office to attend. My writing schedule could not even be called a schedule, speaking honestly. I try to find as much time as I can. Some days I write for 7 hours straight and other days, I do not get even an hour to do that. But yes, I make sure I write at least two to three pages every day.
8. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Tanisha. I take ideas mostly from real-life instances or reading a lot of books.
9. What does literary success look like to you?
Tanisha. Success, the term, has its own meaning for all of us. Literary success for me is when a book is read by people who value your writing. If I read a book from an author that has sold a million copies and I have to question why, that’s not really success to me. If I read an author that has a few reviews on Amazon and other platforms but I still remember a quote or a sentence from that book or when I am dealing with a problem, I take reference from the book to solve it, I believe that’s what literary success sounds like.
10. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Tanisha. I have been a writer all my life, from the day I joined college to now when I am an author. I have always been researching things, call it curiosity or the will to know everything before forming an opinion. Before beginning to write, I research everything I can. If I am writing a book that has facts, I will research for the same for a month or maybe more. If I am writing a book that has the same genre as any other author, I would read all their books to make sure what I will write is justified. I do research a lot!!
11. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Tanisha. Yes, I read all of them. I appreciate both the good ones and the bad ones. Honestly, I am not the most famous author but whatever people write about me, I take it all with appreciation or a lesson.
12. Whenever you start writing a new book, what special preparation do you do for that? I want to know whether it is deliberate thinking and pondering that make you write the wonderful books that you have written so far. Or is that a random thought that entices you so much that you start writing your book on that? How’s it?
Tanisha. There are no ideal or real preparations when I start writing. But yes I am always deliberately thinking about what to write next, where to begin. I get an idea, ponder over it for a long, reject some of it but always keep noting all my ideas and then choose one to begin writing about. The preparation is simple- There are absolutely no preparations, it’s pure intent!
13. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Tanisha. Okay, so writing in general and publishing your first book are two very separate things. Publishing my first book was so so daunting for me. I did not know where to begin with, or whom to go for. I was new to the publishing industry and therefore it was very challenging. The process of writing does change once you have made it to the author's statement. You think in a certain way, you write in a certain way, you keep thinking about will the people love your content, will they accept it or not and a lot of many other things! And once you have published a book, marketing comes along. And it does change your process of writing. You start writing what sells more than what your heart goes for. Honestly, I am just willing to not get trapped into this whole idea of writing the best seller rather than the best book out there, because who does not love money?
14. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Tanisha. I try to be very very original but deliver what the readers want at the same time.
15. What might your next book be about? Please provide information about the books you have published as well.
Tanisha. My next book is semi-mythological fiction which is based on the idea of ‘Awaaz’.
I have published ‘I will win without war’ which was recommended by Anurag Kashyap and some of the prominent names in the writing industry as well.
You can find it here: https://www.amazon.in/I-Will-Win-Without-War/dp/1685383408
16. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Tanisha. I do not even have a count of authors I have read in my 25 years of existence, but here are a few of them I bet you will love:
a. Haruki Murakami
b. Austin Kleon
c. Arundhati Roy
d. Sun Tzu
e. Mitch Albom
17. Share some advice for aspiring authors. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Tanisha. I would prefer to just give two pieces of advice to all the aspiring authors- ‘Just begin and write. Whatever you know, wherever you come from, however, you think, just put it all on the papers. Your writing does not have to be perfect, it just has to be written’ and ‘Do not say bad things to yourself and never question yourself. Have faith in what you write. Not today, but someone someday will see how good you are.’
To my younger self, I would like to say you have really come a long way and a piece of advice would be ‘ Keep fighting your self-doubts’.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your generous allocation of time. Our conversation, delving into your journey as an author and your forthcoming book, has been truly enlightening. I offer my sincerest well-wishes for your future literary ventures, firmly believing that they will continue to enthrall and profoundly connect with readers. Once more, I wish to convey my deep appreciation for your invaluable insights and for selecting Bibliophile Talks for this exclusive interview.
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