Sheetal Ashpalia

Know the writer

1. When did you start writing and what inspired you to write?

My earliest memories of writing are long letters to the family who stayed overseas. In those days, there was no electronic mail and everything needed to be penned down. So, I recall describing my schedules in detail and my life in general. I also used to pen thoughts in the form of a diary and for the last 4-5 years have been writing motivational/ inspirational write-ups. Fiction and poetry is new to me.

2. Which books influenced much of your writing?

Enid Blyton was and still remains a favourite. I love Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts and Mary Higgins Clark. In Indian authors, I am inspired by Kavita Kane and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. I like books which are women-centric or with strong women characters.

3. What do you think about Penmancy?

Penmancy is a beautiful platform and my favourite. I was introduced to it through my sister’s friend and have been on board since the last 3 – 4 months I think. I enjoy the 100-word drabble, 500 – 750-word stories and also that we try something new together every month, be it a story format or poetry. My horizon has widened in this short space of time. I love the strong, positive vibe that we all create together where we learn and grow in the process. A big thank you to Kajal Kapur and Rham Dhel for bringing us all together as a community.

4. Which Penmancy writers you like and why?

It is difficult to name just a few because every writer is unique, but I identify more with Sonal Singh, Shweta Singh, Beryl Zephyr, Nilutpal Gosain, Kajal Kapur and Rham Dhel because their stories or poems transport you to another world. The level of work on Penmancy is very high and with each step you take, you get just a step closer to a perfect story.

5. What advice you can give to fellow beginning writers in the community?

The only thing I believe is practice makes perfect. So, read as much as you can, devour books. Be organized and chart out your schedule to avoid sending out last minute entries. And keep reworking your story or poem, until you are satisfied. Make yourself a part of writing communities like Penmancy to hone your skills. It is a tough road, but it is the only way to get there.


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