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Chillibreeze Interview with Manasa Komaravolu
We are pleased to introduce you to a programmer and an aspiring writer, Manasa Komaravolu. She not only enjoys writing, but loves to read and wants to set out on a world tour so that she can write a book about her travels.
1. Please tell us about yourself.
2. You are a software developer by profession– what draws you to writing? Have you ever considered to a full time writing career?
I’ve been writing ever since I was a kid- my journal, short stories, poems, letters, blogs, everything. I express myself best when I write. I write something everyday, and writing has become a part of my identity. It’s a hobby, bordering on passion.
Right now I love my job at IBM too much to consider taking up a full time writing career. Blogging and free-lance writing are pretty good for now. But sometime way into the future, I do see myself taking up writing as a career.
3. Your poems have been published by the Poetry Society of India. What did you write about? Any tips for budding poets reading this interview?
My first poem was published when I was at school. It was a verbal imagination of how a forest would look in the moonlight. Those days I used to write only about nature – my favourite one being ‘The song of the Sun’. As I grew up, I started to write more about life, love, success, sorrow – my poetry mirrors my feelings. In the past one year, I see a rather philosophical tone in the verses that I compose. Perhaps I’m nearing the much-talked about ‘quarter-life crisis’.
The poem which was published last year, is about a young girl who almost loses herself in sorrow, and yet is sure of a brighter tomorrow.
All I want to say to the other poets, is – read the works of famous poets. Experience the joy of poetry, and revel in the glory of the written word. Open your heart, and write. Poetry is nothing but a beautiful flow of feelings.
4. You have won a national level short story competition. Tell us about the experience (it can be about the story, maybe even some tips on writing short stories, the experience of getting published)
When I write anything, be it a blog, or a poem or a story, I share it with a bunch of my friends, who have always been very supportive and encouraging. So when I wrote a story, ‘The Last Wish’, I sent it to them and one of my friends (Chaitanya) suggested me to send it to the ‘Pomegranate short story competition 2011’. I did, and a month later, I received an email from them saying that I was one of the winners. That was the best day of 2011 for me. They are bringing out a book, featuring the award winning short stories which will be published in India and Dubai. I’m eagerly waiting for it!!
I want to pass on a very important piece of advice which Stephen King has shared in his book ‘On Writing’. When an idea of a story comes to you, immediately start working on it. If you don’t write everyday, the story and the characters in your head start getting stale, and writing seems like ‘work’.
Don’t ever be lazy while writing and put it down on paper, before you lose interest in the story, which will happen if you let the idea remain for too long in your head.
5. As a blogger, what do you try to maintain a particular style while writing and how do you think blogging helps to build your writer’s platform?
There’s no particular under-lying theme to my blog. I write about my everyday experiences, my thoughts, anything I find worth mentioning. My blog’s casual and fun, occasionally taking on a serious note. Blogging helps every writer. It provides us with a scribble-pad which is out in front of a world of readers. It generates instant feedback, and is immensely gratifying. More importantly, it keeps me writing on a regular basis.
Definitely. With the advent of blogging, my love for writing grew, and now with websites like Chillibreeze, which are specifically catering to writers, internet has opened up a whole lot of new avenues. Not only is there more scope and opportunities, there are also a host of tools to help polish the craft.
There are a lot of successful writers offering tips, there are online courses one can enrol in, and freelance writing jobs we can take up. Amateur writers like me can benefit greatly from these.
Kids should be encouraged to write from a young age. Being able to write well helps a lot. When I was growing up, I wished there were more writing workshops or courses which were easy to enrol into. While writing as an art cannot actually be ‘taught’, young writers would benefit a lot by a proving them with a little direction, writing tips and more importantly, encouragement.
8. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself? Perhaps something interesting about you, that people are always surprised to hear?
I love Ruskin Bond’s works. His short stories are among the best in the world. I found his address from the internet (a vague one), and have written to him many times, but I have no way of knowing whether my letters have been reaching him. I want to go visit him in Mussorie some day, but if anybody has his proper postal address, please let me know!!
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