Payal & her company Wings Team & I go a long way. We have worked for each other on a number of projects. Being in the training field they have worked on some projects for my company & I have also worked for them on their projects. She’s an Author, Entrepreneur, Trainer and a NLP Coach. She is an untiring bookworm who loves the play of words in the tales spun by authors of all genres, Payal has been dabbling in writing ever since she was a child. Her foray into writing novels started with her first work ‘Kanta Bai Pvt Ltd’ which is a hilarious anecdotal take on a work-from-home mom’s daily routine. She co-founded her entrepreneurial venture, WINGS Team, with her business partner, Priyanka, eight short years back. A happy and smiling Army wife, Payal owes her growth to the years spent in the Army. Payal has metamorphosed over the years assaying different roles – as an educator, an NLP trainer and a successful entrepreneur. Being an experienced NLP Life & Performance Coach, she’s currently living her passion of supporting people find meaning and fulfillment in life. Here is my conversation with her:
1. What does writing mean to you? Why do you write?
Writing for me, is therapeutic. When there are a lot of thoughts in my mind, I find it’s a relief to pour them out on paper – it’s as if the randomness finds an order and many -a - times, I’m pleasantly surprised by the beautiful play of words that takes shape. Writing for me is both a hobby and a discipline!
2. When did you start writing? Do you remember the first time you wrote something?
I started writing as a kid _ I still remember the first ‘real’ piece of writing – it was for my SSt Project – and we had to tell a story in our own words. Though I don’t remember what I wrote – I remember enjoying the whole process of creating characters and their lives.
3. What was the source of your inspiration earlier? Did it change with the time? My inspiration has always come from the books that I read – I notice and enjoy the style of writing of some authors even more than the stories or narration. I love the way some authors create magic with their words.
4. Would you like to share few of your favourite lines of your story? So, a few of my favourite lines from my second book, ‘Me and My Middle age – an unusual affair’ - I guess now we really understand the slow dances- the emotion behind every gentle swerve and the relishing of the body flowing to an unhurried, tender tune. We appreciate the grace in languid movements and savour the connect when the bodies of the two partners experience the closeness with no hurry of getting the step right or moving to the next step. The pauses where the eyes meet, the lips curve in leisurely smiles and the hearts start to smile warmly, are the treasures now – not the smart clicking of rapid heels to energetic beats. It’s finally the time that we ‘hear’ the songs with our hearts and maybe even replay parts – just to savour the flavour they add to our lives. We go over the lyrics – say them out aloud to each other and languorously laugh and add our own to them. We enjoy moments that we’ve learned to stretch….
5. What is the most difficult part of your writing process? I think the editing and proof-reading. When I write, I get swept away in the process- the final editing and check seem tiresome!
6. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why? My work has been non-fiction till now- so safe to say it’s the characters
7. What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing? Favourite is getting the whole look together- the cover, the illustartions, the whole look; least is the editing – rather the final read.
8. How did you come up with the title for your book? The first was suggested by my daughter –‘Kanta Bai Pvt Ltd’ and the second just came to me.
9. What inspired the idea for your book? I’ll talk about the second one – ‘Me and My Middle Age – an unusual affair’ – this book came about as I was mulling over the changes with age that happen in our lives – be it our attitudes, our work, our priorities or the pace of life. I saw a lot of friends going through the same and trying to make sense of it all. Then I started penning down what I felt was happening- and slowly, the book took shape. At the end of each chapter, I put up a question for reflection – just some thoughts that one might want to think about and share with friends.
10. What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing? Hmm…About the author, I guess – it’s always difficult to decide what you want to say/ leave out here.
11. What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused? A clean table – clutter free and my laptop – and most importantly, discipline in my mind.
12. If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters? That’s a good one – I guess I would want real life characters- can think of a few friends.
13. What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel? I don’t think so – as it’s a non-fiction – could go to old-age, I guess.
14. What do you like to do when you are not writing? I have a whole lot of passions- I love to workout, read books, watch TV, bake etc . I love my work as a life coach, so that keeps me going.
15. Which writers have inspired you? Do you feel yourself ever influenced by the writing style of a writer? P.G Wodehouse, Shashi Tharoor, Anuja Chauhan, Sidney Sheldon, Andy Andrews…. I do think that they inspire me to keep my writing lucid and simple. I love humour and that tends to sneak into my books too.
16. How often do you write? People say writing needs time; best words come out in leisure. How do you manage your time to write and work? I try and be disciplined when I write to finish a book – I schedule definite times and work at those times. Best words do come out in leisure though – so if there’s a thought or a sentence that I love – I put it down in my ‘notes’ that very moment. Otherwise I write whenever thoughts crowd me and I need to structure them. At times, it’s just because there are delicious words in my mind and I want to enjoy seeing them take shape.
17. Please let the readers know about your projects for future? Are your working on any book? And please share any stanza you have written and you repeat it most of the times I have a book in progress- a story of a friend that is both inspiring and stirring – a story that needs to be told! A stanza that I believe in – though I don’t repeat - We also relish just ‘being’- not really doing anything, or even thinking actively... Just being, allowing thoughts to pass, reflecting on a few, and then maybe pausing a bit on some, tracing their origin and stretching them out to the future. And then, silently watching them glide by... not allowing emotions to disturb the passive tranquillity... Just being, flowing calmly in the present, content with what ‘is’…...
18. What is your message to the young & aspiring authors who are willing to explore the new dimensions of creative writing? Just begin ! I’d tell the to just start – to take that first step – everything falls into place if you have the will!
19. Mention your upcoming writing endeavours? Like I said- there’s a book under way – though have not decided much on the name etc yet.