Today we travel across the globe to interview Nazia Mallick in New Delhi, India. Nazia writes professionally for Ode magazine and her blog Tempest Lashed Horizon features her poetry and other works. When you finish here, go check it out. On to the interview!
Your blog covers a wide range of interests, what inspires you most to write?
Earlier I used to say that writing is my passion, now I think it is an affliction :). Anything that moves my heart compels me to write about it. Sometimes painful experiences are the greatest propeller. It gives me the necessary outlet and also provides the required catharsis.
At other times the happy events, such as enjoyment of a particular episode, people, food, Nature, journey etc. act as the inspiration and since I go through many different moods in a day’s span (no, I haven’t hit menopause yet. 🙂 ) I end up writing on a wide range of topics.
Human feelings inspire me the most to write. Especially love. You know, I think this particular emotion is the easiest to feel, but hardest to understand/define and provides such mystery and intrigue for a writer to keep on writing about its various facets. Love, not necessarily between man and woman only, but every relationship that is nurtured by this particular emotion.
Which of your writing pieces are you most proud of and why?
I am a mother of two boys, which of my boys I am most proud of. Both :).
Okay, here it is Jodi, I am proud of all my articles at Ode magazine, and every one of those published by other prestigious magazines. Mainly because they have pretty much convinced me that I can write. That I am good enough to be accepted and appreciated, especially by my readers.
On the other hand (privately) I love my short poems (my artless outpourings) on my personal blog site too. They are the little windows to my most undeniable emotions and feelings. They have also helped me to connect with some really interesting and wonderful people, writers and poets from all over the world.
You currently work as a writer, can you tell us about some of your projects? What do you do for Ode magazine?
My most interesting project (and most crazy one too) as a writer was starting my own magazine in December 2005. I founded, published, edited, wrote for, conceptualized, produced and circulated a monthly lifestyle magazine called –CIRCLE- It was truly the circle of many interesting topics and was very well received by young, not so young and young at heart equally. Sadly, it had to be closed down after 18 months, because dreams can fly freely, but real life needs money.
For the last two years I have been writing articles on positive, hopeful, helpful, encouraging and heartening subjects for Ode magazine, and I truly enjoy it. You can say that I am the ‘Intelligent Optimist’ at Ode magazine :).
Okay, I just stole the magazine’s tagline!
What do you like to read for enjoyment?
Novels! Novels are my bible and Koran. Literary and Crime Fiction are the genres I enjoy most. From Graham Greene’s compelling human drama and J.M Coetzee’s recognizable human beings, to the intricate plotting of crime stories by the British crime writer P.D.James, I love them all!
What advice would you give to other writers who are just starting their journey?
First of all I would like to say: ‘Welcome my dears, to the wretched, lonely, isolated and farouche world of writers. Let’s drink to your encampment in this solitary island! ’
Then my friendly suggestion (advice sounds arrogant, no?) would be: “Write, write, write ….and write. Write in misery, sadness, happiness, richness, poverty, suffering, illness. Just write. The more you write, the more you will unearth the splendors of your latent talent and will keep on discovering the many wonderful aspects of your craft. Be open to life’s experiences: good, bad, ugly.
Be ultra sensitive to people’s expressions, dialogues and everyday emotiveness, as all these will provide the fuel to your fire of creativity. And, one day when you will wake up to read the announcement of the Nobel Prize for literature with your name next to it; don’t forget to send me a signed copy!
One thing more… Before running, we must learn to walk. Meaning, before writing, read a lot. Read like a maniac; like there is no tomorrow. For me James Joyce’s Ulysses is the bible in learning prose, language, usage of language and symbolism. It is a comprehensive and exhaustive manual of every literary style and meaning, for the aspiring writer.”
I am a writer from India, still trying to find that exalted place in the world of novelists, when I can finally say ‘Phew, the journey was long and arduous but I wouldn’t have it any other way.’
However, before deciding to become a full time writer, I had traveled many paths (professionally) took many wrong turns, lost my way, took detours. For years I tried to find my “sweet spot” and the “Eureka” moment by dabbling in many things, but I didn’t know what exactly I was looking for: creative satisfaction, financial independence or just an assertion of being “someone”.
But, amidst all the chaos of choices, writing has always been the method of creative release and salvation for me, especially short verses and poetic sketches. I experimented with Radio for sometime and wrote few scripts. I have also done plenty of freelance writing for international websites and local magazines. Now I am fully devoted to writing novels. These days I am working on my second novel, where I am experimenting with a new genre.
My first novel “Meshes of Smoke” is getting published this year and I am breathless with anticipation mixed with loads of trepidation!
Here are the links to some of my websites:
P.S. Jodi, I would just like to congratulate you for your excellent blog site. It is aesthetic, informative and so pleasing to the eyes and senses. I enjoy reading your posts, immensely.
Thanks Nazia for being a great guest!
If you have questions for Nazia, feel free to leave them in the comments.