The secret to sucess.

As I type this, my son is sprawled out on my bed, waiting  for me to finish. My dog is pawing me, and whining, wanting me to finish. My husband just walked in and asked if I am done.

I told all three of them, I need some time to write.

One of the hazards of working from home is this! There are so many interruptions to your day and time. This is especially so in India, where anyone from courier guy to dhobi to newspaper guy to house-help to security guard bringing some official notice ring the bell.

People often ask me how I manage to write so much. It is simple--I guard my writing time.

JK Rowling had said

“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have "essential" and "long overdue" meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

I can only say I completely agree with her. It is a practice I have followed for many years now-- ever since I wrote my first  book and decided I wanted to be a full time writer.

Danielle Steele has managed to write 179 books.
Do read the very inspiring article I have linked.  She also has a sign in her workspace that says 'There are no miracles. There is only discipline.'

Whenever people tell me I am talented, I always reply that I work really hard.
So I was happy to see the words of Connor Mc Gregor who says the same thing:

My first book was published in 2008. Since then I have had  eleven more books. (First and last one not seen in the pic below)

I believe that all it takes is discipline, and investing time in something you deeply care about. If it matters to you, you will make time; Otherwise you will make excuses.

This is true for all professions but doubly true for writers, artists, musicians---anyone in the creative field. Insipiration doesn't drop down from the sky above. You commit to doing it, and you turn up and do it. Day after day. Letter by letter. Word by word.

And you keep doing it.
Some call it talent.
I call it an all consuming passion

ps: Get my books:


  1. Inspiring words of Connor Mc Gregor. Hard-work, Discipline and making time are indeed the key factors. Wonderful post :)

  2. Hi Preeti,
    This was what I was waiting to hear from you dear. Loved your line, "I call it an all consuming passion". Couldn't have said it any better. This stands true for anything we want to achieve. Though unconventional jobs like the ones associated with some form of art need more focus and discipline.
    It reminded me of my times when I was preparing for the Civil Services Exams. I had literally quit this world. I was so focussed and passionate to crack this one of the toughest exams that even on the road I would sight only those vehicles that had a red light fixed upon them. From waking up till the time I slept (don't even know when I used to sleep as I would be reading until my eyelids drooped down to ban me from seeing anything anymore) I would be thinking, walking, eating, talking my study materials. My brother used to tease me that he won't be surprised if I used a pen instead of a toothbrush to brush my teeth in the morning. As I would have a book and a pen in my hands even before I could go to the bathroom. Even while eating I would utilize my time by watching debates on the News channels to update me about current affairs and international relations. Eventually, I got through all levels in my first attempt. Now if some one says I am intelligent or lucky to have cracked it in one go, I say it was my persistence and hard work to the level of going mad about it. Nothing else existed for me...No family get togethers, No outing with friends, no festivals...just nothing except that I have a goal to achieve.
    Thank you so much for this much needed post for all those who are aspiring to achieve anything in their lives. As for me, my passion always stayed intact only the thing for which it consumed me changed from one stage to another as I grew along with life. Now after a much contented state in my life being a mother, I again have that spark to walk on a new unknown aisle called 'writing'. A passion which I had always parked in the corner of my heart while catering to other priorities in my life. Connecting with you fuels this all the more :)
    Love, Alka.

    1. Wow I liked your comment Alka.

    2. I loved reading the Danielle Steele article about her amazing author journey. Its seems like a superpower she possesses the way she has penned down 179 books and still typing more. Really, we have to set other things off to be able to do what we are fervent about. There is no substitute to perseverance, passion and single minded concentration. Something like "Arjun ko sirf machchli ki aankh nazar aati thhi".

    3. Hey Alka,
      I hear you! Applause.
      And I know exactly what you mean when people say 'you're lucky' or 'you're intelligent.'
      Also--a question I had (because I am curious to know): I met someone who has a similar background/job (civil services) as yours. This person said they aren't allowed to blog publicly or even give their names publicly. Am wondering if this person was being extra-cautious or is there any restriction like that? I know people in the armed forces, Navy and air-force do have restrictions.
      Asking out of curiosity (as I don't know that world).

    4. Hi Preeti,
      This really depends on which department this person is taken in as per his rank in the merit list. Some departments deal with sensitive information regarding national security and privacy. But in rest of the areas, one can pursue his/her hobbies/skills as far as it's not breaching any laws, not leaking important information and is not any office of profit (I mean not bringing any extra income) People do write books and articles in magazines and journals without being unlawful as far as I know. An example is 'Bihar Diaries' written by SP Amit Lodha to narrate his encounters with criminals when he was stationed at Sheikhpura. I am embedding the link from good reads here for your reference. I don't know if he took special permission for this.

      As for me, I was in the State Administrative Services (allied services). Went on a long sabbatical after I got married and had to move to UK to join my husband. Of course there was a lot of paperwork from my department before I could leave my headquarter. And yes, I was not allowed to work anywhere while on a break. I used to volunteer at the Race Equality Council in the city with no monetary returns whatsoever. But after delivering my twins extremely premature, I had to let go my job in India and I quit for good to take care of them who were fighting for life in the neo-natal unit. Hope I answered your query.
      Love, Alka

    5. I have started Blogging and other forms of writing just recently when my kids joined a full time School. Now I am not bound by any Government job so I need not worry about it :)

    6. Hi Alka,

      I should tell you that your response to this blog post is as inspiring as Preeti's journey and of Danielle Steele's. The way you have written how you prepared for Civil Services speaks volumes about how dedicated and passionate you are as a person as well. I am even more inspired to check your blog now, a little time strapped now, but I can make time for things I am passionate about and this online community is one of that now !Talk to you soon via your blog :) ~ Indu

    7. I am happy to hear from you again Indu. We are developing a kind of affinity without knowing each other. Perks of blogging ;) Yes, Its not easy in today's always speeding life to break away from all the buzz and breathe in a few moments of leisure. Just to invest some time on something you are passionate about. If we sit and wait for those perfect moments...They are never going to come on their own. You have to be ruthless and set aside something to make place for your own soul searching and doing something that's done for sheer pleasure of it. Too much to ask...Huh? No, It is not, if you think its your life and breath that you inhale and exhale...It's not being selfish if you try to do what burns you with passion day in and day out. Throughout my life I had a book in my I was studying for some or the other thing right until I became a Mom. But all this while I whined that I would leisure read once I am free...but that leisure time never came on its own...Now I slay some other thing to make time for my reading and writing. Hope you too grab that selfie time for yourself soon. Happy reading my Blog whenever you show up there.
      Love, Alka.

    8. Yet again, Thanks for your kind words and generous praise for me :)

  3. Just the post I needed for today. I so needed this today. Thank you Preeti Mam. I wonder should I call you just Preeti or just Mam or Preeti Mam. Today was a very tiring day for me and one of those days when despite 💯 things dnt go your way and you feel disappointed. But your post has made me feel so good and better and I know tomorrow is yet another day and I will work harder and be better.

    1. Please call me Preeti and I am so glad my blog posts help you! <3

  4. Mam can you help us discover our passion or something we deeply care for. How do we find that?

    1. There are many books and resources online. I guess it is something you have to look deep within, and ask yourself what that one thing is which you would do, even if nobody paid you to do it.

  5. There are no miracles.there is only discipline.."
    These lines ...
    Thank you preeti for always giving me sth to look upto...ardent fan since 2009

  6. Hi Preeti,

    I had one of those never ending not so good days yesterday, hence the delay in response again. Just like others have commented this came to me also at the right time. I am a single parent working full time and raising a child with not much of a family support since my family is back in India(I have an amazing and very supportive friends circle though for which I am eternally grateful). I have kinda mastered the art of juggling, but there are some days when you drop some or all of the balls. Reading this article made me realize again that there will be challenges all through the journey and I just have to push harder to achieve something more than just making it through the day. Also I should say, just when I thought you have delivered the best blog posts with articles about you son and daughter,you outdid yourself again with this even more inspiring post, just in time when I and many of your other readers needed them. You are a blessing to your readers! ~ Indu

  7. There is no substitute to hard work. Really inspiring


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