What made 2014 special for me?

Devika prompted me to write about what made 2014 special for me. Here is the post that I wrote for her blog. This piece originally appeared on Devika's blog

2014 is a very special year for me. I'd always remember it. For the rest of my life. After all, my first book, The Nidhi Kapoor Story (#tnks), published and released in 2014!

Writing a book has been a dream that I've had for I don't know how many years. And now that #tnks is out, I don't want to stop. It's a high like no other. To see your name in print. To have strangers send emails to you and tell you that they enjoyed the book. To have your long lost friends call in and congratulate you. It's a feeling that is unparalleled.

When I look back in time, I wonder why didn't I write a book sooner. I always thought that writing would be tough and getting a book out will be next to impossible. But when I got around to doing it, I realized that starting was the toughest bit. After that, everything just, sort of, falls in place. Trust me it does! Start writing yours and you'd know what I am saying.

Apart from the dream-come-true bit, even though #tnks doesn’t sell a lot, the book has opened a lot of doors for me. I made tons of new friends and each friend taught me a thing or two. The ever-elusive doors to the Bollywood opened up (as I write this, I am talking to a few people to sell the movie rights of #tnks; fingers crossed). Friends and strangers read, appreciated and said kind things about #tnks (most people who've read the book have liked it and of course there are few who do not). And all these things have encouraged me to go forth and write my next.

Also, may be, just may be, writing is my calling! I don't know yet. I will figure out in the next few years.

Most importantly, writing and publishing a book has given me confidence like nothing else. Now that I have done the seemingly insurmountable task of getting a book out, I believe that I can do anything. Throw a challenge my way and I will accomplish it. Well, any challenge except beating Mr. Bhagat on the sales or popularity charts. If all goes well, I may actually do it someday!

While I was working on the book, there were so many moments of self-doubt. I remember I had considered leaving it midway at least thrice. After all my grammar sucked, my vocabulary was limited and the story was full of clich├ęs. And which interesting writer has a name as boring as "Saurabh Garg?" I mean if I were called Chandraprakash Paul Chatterjee or Basant Singh Chatwal or something, I would've become famous by the virtue of my name. But Saurabh Garg? No way!

But everytime I felt like quitting, I was reminded of this famous quote by my self-appointed guru, Steve Jobs. He often said, "real artists ship." I shipped. I did not allow my limitations to deter me and I continued to write. Once I was done with the manuscript, my publisher fixed a large part of my book. And helped me ship. If I didn't ship I wouldn’t have got so many people to give me feedback on how I write. Each piece of feedback has helped me improve. This post and the new readers I'd reach to, hopefully will help me as an author. In fact, if you are reading this, I urge you to please point out mistakes. I urge you to please write in. I shall be grateful.

Apart from the book, another highlight of 2014 would be my decision help other first-time writers. I realize that I've been lucky with the entire publishing process and there must be a lot of first-timers who may not be as lucky. So, I try and work with them on their manuscripts. So far, have worked with three authors already. I don't claim to be an expert, but I do have some experience and insights. I have given them inputs basis my limited understanding of the publishing process. If you think you need someone to go through your manuscript, please do let me know. I would be happy to help.

Why am I doing this? Call it a way to give back or call it paying it forward. It just feels natural. So I am doing it!

To end this, 2014 has been great to me. And I am very excited about 2015. I plan to write 250K words #in2015. That's like three full-length books. I also plan to publish my second book in 2015. And I plan to work with more first-time authors. And I plan to continue to push myself. From where I am, the journey will only take me higher. I know it will be one hell of a ride.

Join me, if you will.

All the best to you too for 2015.

@Devika, thanks a ton for making me review the year gone by. Like last year 2014, I hope that in 2015, you continue to allow me to pick your brains.

@Other readers, may 2015 be the greatest year of your lives. Like I said, please do tell me if you think I could improve somehow. And if theres something I could do to help you, please do let me know.

Thanks!
Saurabh Garg
30 Dec 2014

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The Nidhi Kapoor Story

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