6 Things that shaped my writing – By Sankhya Samhita

There are many aspects that shape up one’s writing. Where you come from, your roots, beliefs, habits, people who surround you, the books you read and the authors you adore.

All of these had a profound impact on author Sankha Samhita’s writing. In her latest book –  Revelations of an imperfect life, published by Readomania, she writes a story about the “ordinary and the everyday”. She was born in Tezpur,  a little city in Assam.  And therefore, this book has Assam written all over it, forging a deep rooted connection in the sights and smells, the food and the conversations of Assam. In certain cases, author feels that the Assamese society remains doggedly same, and this book is an attempt to paint a picture that would reflect it honestly.

Readers from Assam will definitely find a slice of their childhood in it, but as one of the reader puts it, “It doesn’t really matter where you are from, this book will take you back to your own roots“. Readers have found comfort in the book and it is the kind of book that one would want to curl up with on a lazy evening; one that makes you feel all fuzzy on the inside.

So here are 6 things that has shaped up her writing,

1) I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, without being that little girl I used to be

On a sultry summer afternoon, my sister and I would be found cooped up inside the attic-like room, exchanging notes on the books we would be reading.

Music ran in our veins, as did reading.

I grew up in a small town in a typical Assamese middle-class family and with teachers for parents, my upbringing was bound to be academically enriching. Don’t get me wrong. My parents never made me sit down and do my homework forcefully. Instead, they taught me that actions have consequences and bad marks, though not an embarrassment, was something that they thought was below me. My parents were surprisingly open, and they passed on their willingness to accept the new and unknown to me.

2) I think I am a bundle of contradictions

I’ve lived in different countries but I won’t call myself exactly well-traveled. I take pride in being rational and analytical, and yet I get unraveled by a few well-written words, and mull over them for hours on end. I love the idea of being a ‘global’ citizen and yet I desperately cling to my Assamese roots because they are my lifeline. I love long solitary walks and even longer conversations. I hate small talk. I love intimate coffee dates and dinners. I hate big fancy dinners. I love the feel of a new word on my tongue, and transcending into new languages is more than just a hobby. As for my quirks, I am an incorrigible bibliophile, and nothing gives me more pleasure than finding a hardback in a second-hand book sale. At this point my bookshelves are at risk of collapsing under the weight of all the books and I still can’t stop buying them. I hum songs all the time, and sometimes I do it without even knowing that I am doing it.

3) Words are my best friends

I discovered the joy of writing at the early age of eight, when I realised that through my writing, I could indulge my overactive imagination. Even now, I love writing because words are the moulds that give my thoughts shape. I could be thinking about a million things inside my head, and it would get very chaotic, but the moment I sit down to write the words, everything is, well, out there. In black and white, everything suddenly crystal clear.

4) I write whenever I can and wherever I can

I wish I could say that I had any semblance of routine, or even a system. I mostly end up write on my phone, because it is handy. Once in a while, I compel myself to write if I havn’t written in a long time and I start feeling all fidgety and anxious. But for the better part, the post (I usually write blog posts) writes itself in my head, and all it takes is for me to give it an outlet. I wrote half my book on the phone, and the other half I wrote in the dead of the night after putting my daughter to sleep, sometimes even while putting her to sleep, with her head on my shoulder. I have written while traveling on flights, and even local metros. When I wrote the book I was a fulltime stay at home Mother, dedicating every breath to my little one going through her terrible twos, so yes, in a way I was juggling two roles at the same time. I would also use my time in the gym to exercise my brain, and mentally write the parts I was going to write next.

5) I never deleted anything that I had ever written

Yesterday’s trash could be tomorrow’s treasure. I have used descriptions from abandoned blog drafts, taken snippets out of short stories I had attempted and given up on as hopeless ages ago. So yes, I guess that would be my advice: don’t delete anything you write. Don’t give up on anything as hopeless.

6) Books and authors that have had a profound impact on my writing

I am a voracious reader, but I always find myself wanting to read better. I think I have always sought to find that sweet balance between beautiful language and an engaging plot.

  • Stephen King’s “On Writing” is by far the best i have read so far that has helped my writing a lot. While writing my book, I picked up this gem of a book, and the first time I read it, I wanted to scrap my manuscript and start from scratch. Stephen King shares the secret of his prolific career, and the secret, unfortunately is regiment and discipline.
  • I grew up on a steady diet of classics. I dutifully enjoyed all the Enid Blytons.
  • A brief love affair with Nancy Drew.
  • My two favourite books of all time have to be “Little Women” and “Pride and Prejudice”.
  • Growing up, I absolutely loved reading anything by P.G. Wodehouse. I still do, in fact.
  • I am a shameless Harry Potter nerd, and I do read a lot of young adult fiction but I consider it an occupational hazard, because as an English teacher, I consider it my responsibility to know what “kids these days” are reading.

About the author : Sankhya was born in a small sleepy town in Tezpur, Assam. Rebelling against the name her dad had given her in the hope of turning her into a mathematician, Sankhya fell in love with words at a very early age. She was a part of the editorial team of an online magazine called Fried Eye for five years and responsible for the feature articles and music reviews.. Sankhya is a self-professed bibliophile and finds inexplicable joy in second-hand book sales.  She currently lives in Singapore with her husband, her daughter and more books than she can ever hope to finish reading.

Connect with her : Blog | Twitter

Author(s): Sankhya Samhita
Publisher: Readomania
Release: June 2017
Genre: Fiction
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