The first step was coming up with the questions (obviously, because it was interview). I ran them past Kritika first, and she added questions that she thought could enrich the exchange of information. I thought of follow-up questions to the possible answers that I might receive. Then I braced myself and found a quiet room in which to talk. My first interview was with a Delhi-based parent of a dyspraxic child. And, to my surprise, the whole thing was actually quite fun, and my conversational skills (still not on par with Degeneres’) were affirmed. The call lasted more than an hour (including some inane chitchat unrelated to dyspraxia), and when I hung up I had a few pages of extremely valuable inputs to use in my article. I had to conduct several more interviews like this, for my other article too, and I was more at ease and even enjoyed the process.
Overall, I think the entire experience exposed me to writing as it is in the ‘real world’ outside of fancy tales of New York City caffeine-fuelled inspiration and the grand poetic Muses. What I did was time-bound, factual, and forever simpering to the great Deadline on the horizon; I had to edit, rewrite, and do boring stuff at times, but every rose has its thorns, and even writing can be unpleasant sometimes. This was an important lesson for me to learn, because as someone who daydreams everyday about seeing her name in print, I needed to realise that things can’t be rosy all the time. I also needed to realise that this isn’t bad at all. As much as you need creativity and talent to write, you also need equal parts discipline, commitment, and hard work, and then, as Bukowski said, it will shoot out of you like a rocket.
Writing for ParentEdge was one of the best things I ever did. I could prove to myself that I did perhaps have what it took to someday fulfill my dream of making a living out of the written word, which is unfortunately still a dream that is met with nervous dissuasion from others rather than with encouragement. In the end, I was left slightly winded, but more confident, and with a two-thousand rupee gift voucher from Crossword in hand. Who could’ve asked for more?