Author Prachi Gangwani Dishes On The Writer Life And ‘Keeping Zen’

Prachi Gangwani, Editor at Juggernaut and Fiction Writer has been killing it all through lockdown with some awesome new initiatives on her own platform ‘Keeping Zen‘ (a wellness-focused website) and also by writing lockdown themed short stories which are published on Amazon. Since we are always having off the record conversations about writing, wellness, and all things in between, I asked her to answer a few questions for my blog. She, just as I suspected, kindly obliged. 🙂

How has this lockdown been for the writer in you?

It has been liberating, to say the least. I have discovered Kindle Publishing, and with the abundance of time that the lockdown has lent, I’ve been able to publish a bunch of short stories. I have been able to write more – both short stories as well as for my blog. And I have also started working on a couple of new projects I won’t divulge too much about. In short, the lockdown has shown me that a writer is ultimately the proprietor of their work and not a typist who produces volumes of work that must necessarily wait for someone else to finish shaping. 

Tell us about your latest conquests!

Like I mentioned, I have been writing short stories for a series I call ‘Lockdown Love Stories’. But, these are so much more than lockdown love stories. The lockdown, in fact, is just the setting, and each story has a female protagonist who comes of age in some way or another. I’ve tried to showcase different types of women – so, I have a young, single woman who gets into a complicated situation with her landlady’s son; a divorced woman whose ex-husband moves back in for the sake of their daughter; a wife who is befuddled by her husband’s aloofness during the lockdown; and a middle-aged woman who is made to choose between her husband and her lover when she doesn’t love either. The fifth story, which will be out soon, features a sex worker who takes her work online. Each story ends with a surprise. 

That sounds amazing, Prachi! I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to ask you for some writing tips for us writers.

Write! That’s the most underrated, trite and yet, most important advice for any writer. Being a writer means to write. Not to get published. Not to be famous. Not to make money – at least not initially. All these things are important, but they follow only once you write. Don’t pitch ideas, and don’t sit on them either. Flesh your work out and then find a place where it belongs. 

Amen to that! What about wellness tips for writers? I’m finding it increasingly important to focus on that aspect of life…

Exercise. Be active. Set aside an hour of your day to move around. If you want to make a career out of sitting hunched over your laptop for long hours at end, every day, for years and years, then you must keep your body healthy and in top shape. 

Aye Aye, Point Noted!  Now a quintessential writer interview question, okay? Your 5 Favourite books

It’s so hard to pick my top 5 favourite books, and my answer changes every year. But, off the top of my head, here are five books that I have loved: 

Adele by Leila Slimani 

The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan 

Essays In Love by Alain de Botton 

The Nine-Chambered Heart by Janice Pariat

The Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

Tell us about Writer’s Zen and your vision for it

Writer’s Zen is the monthly digital magazine by Keeping Zen – a wellness-focused website I started a year or so ago. WZ is a lifestyle magazine for writers. I’ve only published one issue yet, and the second one will be out soon, but here’s what I plan for it: Each issue will be theme-based, with inputs / interviews / excerpt from seasoned writers and pieces written by budding authors; wellness tips for writers; writing prompts and exercise and a whole lot more! 

That sounds so cool! I look forward to all the awesome, new content. Thank you for answering my questions and much love to you for all your new projects.

You can find Prachi’s books here: https://www.amazon.in/Prachi-Gangwani/e/B088W65TGW

Prachi Gangwani is a trained psychologist turned full-time relationships writer, based in New Delhi, India. She worked with young couples and adolescents as a counsellor for two years. In 2015, after a few successful freelance projects, she started her first writing job at Scoopwhoop Media. From there, she moved to iDiva, a Times Internet Ltd Property, as a Lifestyle Writer, and went on to become the Relationships Editor. Other than these two publications, her writing has appeared in DailyO, The Swaddle and Hauterfly. She has previously written a romance fiction titled Crazy Little Thing Called Love, published by Juggernaut Books. In June, 2019, she joined Juggernaut Books as Editor, Writing Platform. And finally, she is the mama mind to Keeping Zen. 

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