What Writing Takes – Advice from Jhumpa Lahiri

I love to read. Not because I am a writer. But because there is no better teacher.
Reading always gives me new ways to write. Opens new windows with better perspectives. Last week I finished reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest book ‘In Other Words’.
She is one writer I look up to when I need inspiration. If you’ve read her books, you’ll know why I say so.

‘In Other Words’ is her non-fiction debut. It’s her biography on her love for the Italian language. Her writing style is inspiring and I’m quite fond of her books. They’re almost an addiction. But somehow my thirst wasn’t quenched with this one. Nevertheless!

The novel is a chest of her personal struggles in learning the language. Her ideas in trying to overcome these struggles motivate enormously. Here is an extract, an advice for writers, something I could relate with; a good takeaway for any writer.

“I start with very short pieces, usually no more than a handwritten page. I try to focus on something specific: a person, a moment, a place. I do what I ask my students to do when I teach creative writing. I explain to them that such fragments are the first steps to take before constructing a story. I think a writer should observe the real world before imagining a nonexistent one.”

Soon I shall review the book over at my book blog.
For now, I shall spend time with my birthday gift that arrived early –
♥ The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez  ♥


Asha Seth