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The Work Behind the Writing

A mini-me back in the day putting lead to paper

I always fancied the thought of being a writer. It seemed's the word..intellectual. English was always my favourite subject and pretty much the only class I looked forward to during school years. While reading books, I not only enjoyed the stories and tickling my imagination but also took in the writing styles of the authors. I went quite mainstream in choosing my Bachelor's degree and studied Business Administration. Why didn't I study literature instead? No idea! I used to write for myself mostly. But then came Facebook and Facebook Notes where I started publishing my ramblings on. My friends said I penned well. With a full time job coming into the picture, the writing mostly took a back seat. Only once in a while would I find time and get the creative itch to write. But the embers of wanting to write professionally still glowed. A random browse through my Twitter timeline led me to applying for a freelance food writing project with a website. They took a look at some of my writing pieces and got me on board. Thereafter for almost six months, I realized behind all that neatly published work is a hell of hard work. I did around ten or so articles for the website in that time frame and I cannot begin to tell you how much toil went into it (not to mention the calories since remember it was 'food-writing'!). My attempt will be to take you behind the scenes, very briefly to convey what a mammoth task each article proved to be!

My first assignment was to cover dining destinations in Koregaon Park, Pune. I had around 700-800 words to play with but through research I drew up a list of over 20 places I could visit to sample the food and also, photograph it. I arrived in the city late Friday night and awoke the next morning nervous and wondering how my day would unfurl. I went helter skelter and visited at least 10 restaurants/cafes back-to-back, eating, clicking and taking notes along the way! Not to forget, I had a budget to work with. Working out how I was to split the amount among dishes in so many restaurants was a logistical nightmare. Phew! Got back that evening, skipped dinner (obviously) and immediately got to rummaging my notes and drafted up my article. Once done, I realized I overshot my word limit by a gazillion word. Trimming down the fat around the article took probably longer than writing it all did. After reading the draft once, twice, thrice and reading it all over again, I finally sent it to the editor. I can't even remember what time I slept. The next week involved notes being exchanged between the editor and me on how I can better the write up, until finally I got the word 'Approved!'. This is how it turned out:

More coming up in my 'The Work Behind the Writing' post. Stay tuned :)


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