Hi everyone, it’s a new day, so with this post, I am back with another brand new Author and Book Blogger Interview. In today’s interview, here witness ‘Vijai K Sharma,’ an author of several technical books, who is also a blogger. Read this complete piece to know him better.
•For those who don’t know, can you start off by telling a little bit about yourself and your blog?
Basically I am a Mechanical Engineer from B.H.U., Varanasi. Most of my working life has been in a full time, managerial-technical service in a Govt. of India industrial organization. Presently I am living in the Pink city of India viz. Jaipur, Rajasthan, although I have lived in several cities of India. I have widely travelled almost all over the country, trained in West Germany and Egypt on Production Management and visited 17 countries during my six visits abroad to USA, Europe, Bulgaria and Egypt. But I have also contributed in academics (visiting faculty, trainer, examiner & assessor), professional organizations and writing (freelance writer, author, book-reviewer, abstract writer, blogger, interviewer & translator).
My six technical books in English have been jointly written and published, but two other jointly written technical books could not be published. However, my writing activity also includes around 185 articles, book-reviews, abstracts, blogs, interview blogs, case-studies & translations etc. published or posted, in India and/or abroad, besides, 24 radio talks broadcast from 3 stations of All India Radio. All of these writings are on a variety of technical and general topics and in English and/or Hindi. I am one of the recipients of “Writers of the month bonus” for Jan 2007 on http://www.Shvoong.com, besides having posted around 1200 book-reviews & abstracts on this web site (which is now closed).
•What inspired you to start your blog?
My first blog was posted on the website http://vijaiksharmaspeaks.blogspot.com/ on June 14, 2012, although I had started writing articles etc. in Hindi and English from my school days. My first article in Hindi was published in the school magazine and I was extremely happy after seeing my name and the article in print. Then this activity continued successfully as a passion, in the form of writing articles, book reviews, abstracts, case studies, radio talks etc. in English and Hindi. Then one fine morning, one of my young relatives exerted pressure on me to start writing blogs also. He said that since I am already writing successfully, I am also likely to be a successful blogger. I accepted his reasoning, took the first step and my first blog was posted as indicated above. Then as I started getting interest and pleasure in it, I continued blog writing. From that day onwards, I have not looked back.
While most of the blogs are in English, a few are in Hindi also. I have also started posting “Interview Blogs” in which interviews are arranged with the authors through email and then posted on my website. So far 23 such Interview Blogs have been posted and some more are expected to be posted shortly. I am thankful to my young relative for the pressure exerted on me at that time. I have written blogs on five web sites and the total number posted is around 60.
But most of my blogs have been posted on these two websites:
•Describe your writing space.
I am quite particular of writing, while sitting on a comfortable chair with my back in a vertical position. I use a wooden table approximately 54”x27” size, with one drawer and with only a few relevant papers kept on the table. Besides this I have my laptop, pen etc. In my opinion, this helps me in concentrating on the matter and does not allow the attention to go astray on some other matters. In my young age, for my studies, activities of writing and other works for the home, I had a very small table approx. size 27”x27’’, which served me well till I left for my Engineering Education.
Generally I never write while sitting in bed, not even in winter. Ninety percent of the scripts are written directly on the laptop. However in some cases, I make plan, outline or even draft on paper, so that the writing process gets accelerated. The other helpful gadget is my mobile, to talk to people or send quick messages through SMS and/or Whatsapp and to get required responses. But sometimes I have felt that it also distracts my attention from writing work. If we have to focus on our writing, the writing space should be away from outside disturbances, including TV, mobile phone, Landline phone etc. I do not have a separate closed room only for writing work, which in my opinion, will be very helpful.
•How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
It is a difficult question. I have been writing from my school days and continued during my full time managerial-technical, Govt. of India service, but at that time, my first priority was service. But after my retirement, the quantum and the variety of writing has increased. I take up writing work whenever I am free. I do not have a fixed time for writing. Further writing is my passion and not a burden on me. I want to write on freelance basis, without tension. Words coming effortlessly leading to accomplishments give me happiness. There is contribution and progress in this field, since I get pleasure in this work. My family also understands and supports my writing including blogging activity. With the blessings of God the Almighty, life and writing have been managed comfortably well so far and I am sure God will guide me further also.
•What’s your own definition of an author?
According to me, an author is one who creates a written work , after lot of study, thinking and effort, and which is having some value addition for the society like utility, entertainment, education, training, improvement in some way or the other and is likely to have long lasting impact.
•What books or authors have most influenced your writing?
It is very difficult to identify such books and authors at this stage, since their effects in different periods of life have been different.
•What do you like to do when you are not writing?
At present, I am not engaged in any service or business and hence most of my available time is taken up for my writing activities. But still some time is needed for looking after the requirements of home, work connected with friends and relatives etc. Earlier I used to play Badminton. Now some time is also taken in yoga, exercises, meditation, walking and social media.
•What do you find the most frustrating aspect of blogging?
Any activity, for that matter, requires time, effort, concentration, foresight and creativity. Blogging activity too needs the same. After achieving the output of any activity, the person, needs some appreciation, recognition and motivation. A book blogger, reads the book thoroughly, notes its positive and negative points and gives a review of the book, in an unbiased manner, for the author and the readers. A book of 200–400 pages is generally summarized in 600 or 900 or 1200 words, which work requires time, concentration, critical analysis and summarization. People do understand that a person is working, if the person is in 10 AM to 5 PM service or in a 11AM to 9 PM business or something like that. In my opinion, probably people are not aware of blogging, do not understand its importance and do not know the extent of effort involved in preparing a blog. This is reflected in lack or inadequacy of the comments. It has an irritating and demoralizing effect on the blogger.
•Your Favorite book:
During different periods of our life, we have several different favourite books. In the initial stages of my life, one of the books I read and liked was “Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru. During service life my field was Quality Management, Production Management, Marketing Management and General Management. I read several books in these fields. I liked books on Quality by Dr. J M Juran, on Marketing by Philip Kotler and several other books. For Yoga and Meditation, I read and liked books on these topics. Hence it is very difficult to identify such a book now.
•Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
In addition to my continuing with Interview Blogs and other blogs etc., at present we are working on two books in English. One book is based on general experiences in my life and is meant for young persons while the second book is based on discussions of a group of persons over a long period and is being jointly written.
Tea or Coffee: My preference is for some cold drink like Nimbu-pani in hot weather and 10% for Coffee and 90 % for Tea (preferably lemon-tea without milk).
Paperback or e-book: Both have their plus and minus points, but my preference is for paper back.
Reading or Writing: For writing, one has also to read a lot. Hence reading is as per the need/availability/usability of free time and therefore more time for writing.
Movie or Book: I would prefer to write or read a book instead of watching a movie, to utilize the time available. But I may have to watch a movie, sometimes, to give company to my better half.
Text message or call: In my opinion, personal contact is always better, if it is possible. If not, then at least contact through voice or video call is desirable. Text messages are recommended, where information is too small or too large or has attachments. So my preference is for Call.
•Few words for our readers and Elysian Bookgraphy
For a blogger to do self-publicity is rather difficult; hence readers, other bloggers, authors and organizations/magazines should come forward for this purpose. In management principles, it has been said that any person, worker, manager, farmer, lecturer etc. needs appreciation of his efforts and motivation for his future activities. This applies to a writer as well. It is easy to find faults and criticize but very difficult and time consuming to produce to perfection. Hence it should be constructive criticism, to ultimately improve the matters and also motivate the writers. I convey my thanks to Elysian Bookgraphy for giving this opportunity to me, by inviting me to participate in this interview. Also my thanks to the readers for giving their valuable time for going through this interview blog, which I hope they enjoyed. I wish that the readers should continue to read and write, be happy and also take care of their health at all times. I also convey my best wishes to Elysian Bookgraphy and the readers, for their continued success.
•And lastly, what advice would you like to give to a new writer and blogger, someone who is just starting out?
If we have to go to the top of a hill or a multi-storied building, we have to go step by step and we may have to take rest in between and then recommence our journey to the top. Therefore, we have to initiate our efforts and continue to reach higher levels. As a writer or a blogger, we may have to struggle for achieving the expected targets and getting results, but we should not worry about the results. With passage of time, the things will certainly change for the better. We should continue our hard work and must not lose our motivation. After all, Rome was not built in a day. Even failure and unpleasant remarks of some persons should not demoralize us at all. Some persons intentionally follow such policies, so that they can themselves go forward at the cost of others. But with our positive attitude we can cause their failure. We must strengthen our status day by day, ignoring such adverse comments and continue to read and write. Success will definitely be achieved. The writer should not copy someone else’s style or work but have his own original unique style, then recognition and progress will be fast and long-lasting.
Further, learning is a continuous process on every day, till end of life. We should keep our eyes and ears open, be receptive to new ideas and not hesitate to learn from anybody. Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the great Arya Samaj leader, had said that we should not hesitate to learn even from a child of five years of age. Therefore we should read the contents of other successful writers and bloggers, learn new things, get inspiration and motivation from them, but should not copy their work or style.
The new bloggers should study the activities of other active bloggers, carry out individual brain storming, select ideas and topics for implementation, become active on several social sites, obtain feedback from the readers, carry out revisions in content where required, contact and collaborate with other bloggers, carry out promotion of blogs, review periodically and chalk out future plan of actions. If we are getting pleasure in writing and blogging etc., we should go ahead in this field, gather relevant knowledge, have detailed thoughts, prepare well, write blogs every day and also write guest posts. I feel that broad overall guidance and advice of an experienced person is very advantageous for initial planning, field to be adopted, training, approaching people, organizing, making a good presentation, marketing and getting good comments etc. The bloggers should choose a role-model and seek guidance for blogging activities. Before commencing the blog writing activities, a blogger should plan for one single website so that his contributions are not scattered and the readers can see all the activities at one place.
SOCIAL SITES LINKS:
(a)Blog – http://www.vijaiksharmaspeaks.blogspot.com, http://www.vijaiksharmawrites.wordpress.com
http://www.vijaiksharmareviews.blogspot.com, http://www.sthavir.blogspot.in, http://www.vijaiksharma.webs.com,
(i) Goodreads: Link for some books reviewed & posted by me: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/45127212?ref=nav_mybooks
(j) Shvoong.com: Link for about 1200 book-reviews & abstracts posted on this website: (but it has been closed some years back) http://www.shvoong.com/writers/vijaiksharma/
(h) You tube: Link for my Video of Zero Waste Initiative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw8JomoVINs
(i) Mouthshut.com: One book-review posted on https://www.mouthshut.com/vijaiksharma
Thank you Vijai Sir, for giving your time.
All the best for your future projects.