Yesterday, we did an exclusive interview with our Author Monjyoti Bhattacharyya, where he talked about his journey so far and shared insights about his life and interests. We asked him a few general questions and he politely answered all of the questions and won our hearts. Monjyoti has an incredible positive personality.
The interview was amazing and we learnt a lot about Monjyoti.
Through this interview, we came to learn so much about this amazing person. We hope to explore more about him in our coming interviews.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
What motivated you to become an author?
I have been journaling privately for a very long time and I have always loved deconstructing ideas, stories, principles and concepts that fascinated me, primarily around my own struggles, philosophies, behaviors, human mind and about human nature in general. I understood that the reality around us and about us is not as it seems and some of it is packaged with colorful gift wrappings while their core essence is something else altogether. Many of the things that we end up doing are not in harmony with what will actually make us tick and make us come alive.
There are a couple of reasons behind this. Firstly, it’s not a priority and secondly, it’s not that easy to figure out. The truth about what makes us happy, fulfilled, strong and confident is usually not that straightforward. In the face of a shiny exterior, we could be living a different truth altogether. I am obsessed about figuring out what actually leads to a fulfilled, happy and worthwhile life which apparently, requires a lot of digging. I had been trying to create a blueprint for a worthwhile living for myself and I have been studying, learning, pondering and making notes (Mostly privately or among closed groups with only a handful of public articles here and there).
Now I felt that, with so much going on in my head and private life, it would probably bring me some relief to put some of it out there into the world. It’s actually easier to get it out there than to keep it with me especially when this decision might also actually help a lot of people. Hence, I planned to compile everything that I have learned, wrote and deconstructed into a book. This book is a result of a lot of deliberation, struggles, blood, sweat and tears over many years and I think it will throw a lot of light around a lot of questions that haven’t been answered and the struggles that many of us go through but do not quite know how to deal with, primarily around emotional issues, fulfillment, success, happiness, obstacles. In other words, some of the bigger and more important questions in life, etc.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
I believe that anybody can be a writer as we all have our own stories. It’s just a matter of putting in the work to crystallize these stories in the form of a coherent write up which is doable provided the person is willing. If you say ‘I am not a writer’, you can get into the process of learning how to write or join hands with someone who is good at writing and can collaborate with you to express the story in the form of a language. There are countless ways to get it out if you are willing to do what it takes which goes back to the fundamental question i.e. “ Do you really want to write? And Why?”. If your ‘Why’ is strong enough, ‘How’ will fall into place.
If you want to find ways to become a good writer, you will find them, and if you are looking for reasons to validate “why you can’t become a writer”, you will find them too. By ‘writer’, I don’t mean commercially successful as that comes much later (and I guess we can’t find out unless we try). I am just talking about putting your story out there. So I believe it’s not about whether we can, its more about whether we want to.
What else do you like to do other than writing?
I am a Computer Engineer by profession, a techie and an ex-tech entrepreneur. Now I am a full-time musician, songwriter, composer, music trainer and a fitness enthusiast. The tech part these days is mostly around offering tech support to new ventures / startups / musicians / artists, freelance software/web development and building tools to push my own music forward. Outside of this I am a student of human mind, psychology, stoicism, spirituality, and philosophy (out of interest) and have been vigorously pondering and consuming material in these areas from a few years now while attempting to expand my overall understanding. I love reading. I also take up speaking assignments once in a while. Got certified as a trainer speaker under Amandeep Thind, a Tony Robbins coach.
Did you come across any specific challenges in writing? What would you do differently the next time?
It’s easy to write in a flow when you write just for the sake of writing. However, I found it difficult to crystallize my many of my ideas into concrete words and paragraphs and to maintain coherence between different parts. Many a time I struggled with articulation and it was a challenge to frame the idea in my head into the right set of words and sentences.
I guess this will get better with practice and it will tend to get easier with time. I will have to continue writing in small formats like blogs and articles that will force me to think in terms of structure and coherence and make it my second nature so that when it comes to writing a book most of it flows naturally. Regularly exposing myself to a lot of content in the audio and video format will also help me to expand my vocabulary and my overall capacity to express. Once the book is out, there will be a lot to learn from the response of the readers and fellow writers, including the experts.
I also struggled a bit to keep all the content of the book under one central theme and I battled with the idea of a possible split (which was a bit scary as all of what I wrote was very personal to me). This aspect was highlighted by a good writer friend of mine much later when I was almost done with my first draft. Fortunately, I probably managed to correct this to some extent with a bit of rearrangement and also without getting rid of a lot of content.
Keeping the central theme in mind before beginning to write the book would have made it much simpler. This is something to keep in mind next time.
In the beginning, I also suffered from writer’s block where I was struggling to come up with material for a long time. This was nothing but a form of ‘Perfection Paralysis’. I managed to fix this to some extent by trying not to be perfect and forcing myself to sit down and get the pen moving without any filter until I settle down into a relaxed flow. This way, I end up writing a lot of garbage but I also end up writing some stuff that I would like to keep.
Final and the biggest challenge was the process of finding a publisher. I was toying with the idea of whether to go for a traditional publisher or a self-publication. After doing a lot of research, I ended up concluding that being a first timer, self-publication would probably make much more sense and I started reading about the features, pricing and author reviews of many agencies. Finally, I settled for Blue Hill Publication as I felt it was suiting my requirements in terms of its services, customer service, distribution, marketing, timelines, and pricing.
How did you come to know about the Blue Hill Publications and how was your experience with it?
I have been collecting information about self-publication agencies on different online platforms. After going through a lot of details, I happen to read some of the author reviews in Quora that suggested that Blue Hill Publication might be the perfect platform for first-time authors and that it was very much author-friendly, flexible, efficient and also economical. So, I decided to go for Blue Hill Publication.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Well, as a child I wanted to grow up and become a software engineer, travel the world and if possible, a musician. I did end up pursuing all of these but not in a way I imagined. I ended up pursuing computer science and ended up working as an engineer full time, until I reached a point where it wasn’t fulfilling, not necessarily because what I was doing was bad or I wasn’t successful, but because there are many more things I could do and the picture of me plodding along in a 9 to 6 for the rest of my life, just for the heck of it, was extremely scary.
This period of crisis gave birth to me getting started on a journey of self-exploration, where I left most of my dogma’s and the ways of the world behind. I flushed out a lot of stuff and on a clean slate, honestly, incrementally and slowly tried to create my own rules and ways for what will work best for me while learning as much as I can from people who are living the best versions of their ideal lives. I ended up doing a whole range of things in the past 6 years in the form of tech entrepreneurship (2.5 years), 500+ music performances, music training, and mentoring, composition, volunteering for spiritual and other causes, writing and even brief stints in public speaking and photography.
What advice do you have for writers?
I have a lot to learn myself in this field, however, some of the points I would like to share would be, decide not to be perfect. Just get started and keep going. Momentum is more important than perfection. Along the way, you can make course corrections and adjustments but choose movement over stagnation. There might be days where you don’t come up with anything worthwhile but if you stick around, once you get rid of the fluff, you will end up flowing some of the stuff that will be meaningful.
Deciding to take up writing because of a will to get your own individual story out to the people instead of writing solely to become successful commercially can be more sustainable. Meaning if you write for the love of writing and expressing, that will increase the odds of you hitting commercial success as well and the love will keep you in the game for as long and will help you to navigate through the bumps, blocks, and hurdles along the way.
It can be less daunting and very liberating to start writing without any inherent rules, i.e. without worrying about what’s trendy, what will be successful and what are the strict norms in the game of writing. Rather, I just attempted to write my own story and my own thoughts, just attempting to get everything inside my head out, in a structured form. That is the fundamental core. Once I got this piece right, now I am working on the remaining aspects of commercial book writing such as publishing, editing, polishing, strategy, marketing, design etc. But if I had started worrying about all these parameters from the beginning, it would have been overwhelming and secondly, I would have gotten sidetracked from the core essence of the whole process, which is to write my thing. So, a simple strategy and an undivided, relaxed attention on the core of the whole process, can be much more sustainable and doable.
To become a writer, write every day, something, anything, no filters, no rules, no grammar, just get the pen moving and write few pages. I started doing this not to become a writer, but to get my monkey mind out on the paper and to attain clarity. But increased self- awareness and a decent grip on writing were the inevitable by-products at a later point.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Any place that is completely noise / distraction free, tidy, minimalistic and clutter free. Usually, it’s my bedroom at my house. Occasionally, it’s a coffee shop in unusual hours or a hill station with pin drop silence.
Who are your favorite authors? What do you like about their work?
I am more driven by the content (semantics) of the books rather than the syntax or the sophistication of the language as when I read, I am looking to learn something that I can apply in my life immediately. Hence, my favorite authors would be, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday, Simon Sinek, Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey, Robert Coch, Mark Divine, Jocko Willink, Robin Sharma, James Allen.
Many of these authors are ones who might have written only a few books and written them in simple language, however they have delivered extremely powerful content that had a deep and long-lasting impact on my life and the lives of many across the globe. So as a consumer this is the area that hits my sweet spot. Naturally, when I am delivering, it would probably be more about the richness of content rather than the sophistication of the language.
What are you trying to achieve with it?
The book is my own story coupled with the lessons and the understanding I acquired along the way. I wanted to share my story as people might be able to draw a lot of parallels out of it in their own lives and the book will probably also throw a lot of light into the ways we can tackle some of the battles we fight internally but do not really talk about and our struggles to put them into perspective. I am hoping that this book will probably answer a lot of questions people have in the areas of fulfillment, success, happiness, emotional crisis. Through this book, I hope to reach out to as many people as possible across the globe and do my bit in helping as many people as possible across the globe.
We would like to thank Monjyoti for taking out time for this amazing interview. Blue Hill Publications wishes him all the best for his future endeavors.