This is a Q&A with Shivendra Shashi Kapoor.
36 year old Shivendra Kapoor is a Sagittarian by birth, an Instrumentation engineer by profession and a writer at heart. He works as a Functional Safety Manager in Mumbai, India. Previously, he has around 20 short stories, fiction, non-fiction, educational and technical articles published in reputed publications like: Strategic Publishing House – New York (US based), Times of India (India based), The Hilt (Toronto based), Cheeky Angles (UK Based), The Applicant (Kathmandu based) and many others. He has ocean deep interest in the spiritual world and loves to be at peace with everyone. He believes and practices the saying “To live and let live.”
How do you juggle doing engineering work and writing?
I am into risk and reliability engineering, wherein detailed engineering calculations are involved. Almost always the impact of such calculations is that I get drained by the time I reach home. I am rarely able to write anything creative then, but I attempt to accumulate words or touching sentences from good reading material in the time that I get before going to bed. In my ‘writing book’, I attempt to write at least one sentence before I fall asleep everyday.
How do you make time for writing having a full time job?
Because of the nature of my day job, I have to travel to engineering sites – sometimes quite frequently. During such visits, I get that “me” time at night, where there are no calls, no complaints, no door bells ringing, etc.
I put a ‘do not disturb me’ board outside the room and I sit and think as deep as I can and pen down whatever comes to my mind. I try to weave thoughts, words, my movements and anything that touches me strongly enough to put pen to paper.
In fact, most of my articles, stories have been written when I am on travel. At my home in Mumbai, I do attempt to write articles and stories (only late at night after my kid is asleep), but I take care that I do not forget my role as a husband and father of a four year old kid.
Currently, is writing providing any income or is it more for passion?
Currently, writing doesn’t provide me any income – it’s purely passion driven and the happiness that I get to see my name published. At times, I think that when I grow old and may not be able to live like a true Sagittarian, I would get the motivation to carry on life by looking at my previous publications and to see my name in print dating back to 2003.
I may also show it to my son, maybe he may also love to write and get some inspiration as I have many articles/short story concepts which I have written in my ‘writing book’ but I am not able to proceed further due to reasons galore. I know astrology does play a major role in my life!
Where do you see your writing going in the future?
I am confident that one day (and it would come soon) I would be privileged to hold a book under my name. It would for sure be something starkly different that people would love to read. After that, writing books would be an endless journey till I leave this physical body.
How do you go about getting published? Do you utilize a particular strategy?
Regarding strategy as I said above, I follow some writing groups and try to look into those that hover near my areas of writing (spirituality, short stories, strange fiction, educational, non-fiction, deep emotional connect articles, inspiration, etc.).
I, however, try to pen down my thoughts and weave them into a story and then search for a target publication. There have been instances where I was not able to think and write anything due to the volume of work that I have to manage being a Manager in a Risk engineering company. But, it is here that I realized that instead of waiting to write just fiction, non-fiction, short stories why not attempt to write technical articles in a simplified manner and then started a series of technical articles being published one after the other in a span of two years, totaling to seven articles. This gave a boost to my professional career as well.
What advice do you have knowing what its like to juggle the two things and not lose faith in the writing?
At times I do lose faith in writing, but it is more driven by negative inputs from people around. These inputs maybe like: What do you earn out of writing? Is it your bread and butter? You are rejected by so many publishers (despite not asking about any payment), so what’s the fun in doing something where you only get rejections? Can you earn a living out of writing? Who will take care of family and daily life needs?
I hear everything and try to absorb points that make some meaning to me and the rest I give it a passing thought. But writing is like attached to me since decades, maybe I was an incomplete writer in my past birth and I have to complete my pending karma in this birth, so I am doing it.
At times my own issues including writers block pose a big question to me? Am I capable? Is this what I can do? But, I fight with myself, sometimes by keeping aside my ‘writing book’ and concentrate whatever life has offered to me and feel contended.
Sometimes giving a break to oneself is important to keep following the journey of life.
Remember, your life journey is your own journey, no one other than you know what is your deep rooted desire and what is your ultimate destination; so keep going and keep writing.