Sandeep Kumar Mishra, the talented and brilliant Amazon bestselling poet and writer has established himself as one of the authors to watch out for in 2020 with his latest poetry collection called “One Heart-Many Breaks.” Sandeep is definitely an author who’s destined to have a meteoric rise.
Born and raised in India, Sandeep is an outsider artist and lecturer in English Literature and Political Science as well as the art teacher at Kishlaya Outsider Art Academy. He studied Hindi and English literature at school and at university and he admits to loving the poets he studied such as Kalidas, Kabir, Mira Bai, Magh, G M Hopkins, Yeats, Keats, Tennyson, and Shakespeare because he somehow found similarities between himself and these poets in some ways. Back then he wrote a poem every now and then but he never really put any effort into promoting them or sending them anywhere. He had a few poems published in a school magazine but that’s pretty much it. It was only when he became a graduate student that he started writing poems and taking writing more seriously.
Fast forward to today and Sandeep is now an accomplished poet and writer. He has edited a collection of poems such as Pearls (2002) as well as written a professional guide book – How to be (2016). He was even a story mirror author of the year nominee last year and he’s also a staff writer at various high-profile magazines and websites such as The Great British Politics, The Good Men Project, Extra News Feed, San Antonio Review, London Literary Review, and Indian Poetry Review.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Sandeep to discuss his journey as an author and here’s what went down:
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Any art, be it writing or painting depends on your mood and circumstances. When you write about yourself, you tend to feel reluctant, and a little bit shy about letting others know about your sentiments and ideas. I think only introverts can really write about themselves or have felt helpless in their situation. So it is difficult to be true to yourself and write about everything as they are. I also paint the characters in my book as somewhat symbolic of my life.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Originality always gets attention and wins hearts. I have written what my mind and situation compelled me to do and how I experienced a particular thing in my life. I keep writing and painting my inner soul. I have even used some of my paintings in the book. So you can actually say that readers will know more about my life after reading the book.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I think it’s easy to feel despondent when a glittering writing career doesn’t immediately open up. But like any skill, becoming good at writing takes time so just keep slogging away in private, and be honest about how ready you are to be published.
Treat writing as a job. It is the hardest job you can ever do because you’re your own boss which means that everything you produce is you. Learn to throw out what isn’t good. Editing is the most important part of the process. And above all – read. Be in the world of words from the moment you wake up until the moment the book drops from your hand as you doze off. Reading is everything.
I think that many younger writers at the beginning of their careers spend far too much time writing and then tinkering with their first book. My advice is to write a book and then immediately go on to the next one and to the one after that. In other words, the more you write, the better you will become.
What is your writing kryptonite?
A lot of times, one’s kryptonite is related closely to one’s superpower. This is spot on for me. I don’t know if I often feel inspired to write, but I definitely feel compelled. I usually show a lot of emotions and the dark reality of my situation. I’ve gone through several periods where I endured losses and painful changes – in order for me to get through them, I needed to completely shut off my emotions.
My main focus was to survive. Adding my feelings to the mix was too much for me to deal with. My characters will do whatever is necessary to survive; However, in doing so, they tend to be so focused on survival, they forget the lighter side of life. They’re so busy reacting and moving from one crisis to the next like some kind of robot, that they don’t try to stop for a split moment to deal with the emotional trauma they’re experiencing.
Now, I’m faced with worsening anxiety issues and becoming more of a recluse. My family is starting to suffer because of this kryptonite. And so is my writing. But first I need to allow those emotions to flow through me; to re-open the door of my heart, and allow it to breathe. I need to live again.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I always spent my savings on buying books or painting related things. I have spent a lot to go to seminars, art tours, or organising exhibitions. I just save and spend on artistic experiences.
How many published and half-finished books do you have?
I am an infrequent poet and writer because of some personal issues. I first published an article in 1992, but there are so many intervals in the writing process that I became a freelance writer on a variety of topics. I have restarted my journey with the collection of poems and art, with “One Heart -Many Breaks.”
I am working on another book called “The History of English Poetry” which is due to be published in early 2021. I regularly publish poems, articles, and reviews. Maybe next year I can release another poetry collection.
Can you tell us more about your latest Amazon Bestseller poetry collection “One Heart-Many Breaks?
It is a collection of autobiographical poetry that plunges into modern times, regrets, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Most of them are poetic reflections based on my personal emotions and the situations I experienced. The poems cover 20 years’ worth of life events and are an expression of clear, true, and purged feelings and the stark reality of my situation.
What advice would you give to a newbie author who wants to make it in the industry?
Great writers connect with other writers. Because before they were great, they were mediocre. They had to meet someone who inspired them and someone they aspired to be.
Many creative people underestimate the power of networking. They think of it in the slick businessman sense, but it’s much deeper than that. True networking is simply connecting with people. In your journey to become a great writer, there are three relationships you’ll need:
There’s nothing fancy about this. You’ve got peers, people who are in the trenches with you. Find those who are pursuing the same craft as yours, those of like mind, and get together with them. Buy a fellow writer coffee or lunch. Hang out, commiserate, and enjoy each other’s company. These relationships should be mutually beneficial.
Everybody wants fans. At least, you think you do. But how we go about getting them is more difficult than we often realize. So how is it done? In a sentence, help people. Take something that is obvious to you (but not to others) and generously share it with the world. Try this over and over again in different ways until you find the right one.
If you haven’t already found it, knowing your voice is pretty important to this. Take some time to figure out why people would listen to you, and then say what you have to say. Say it boldly, and the fans will come.
This is the hardest part. It’s also the most important relationship you could make in your journey to becoming a great writer. These people, leaders and influencers in your industry – will help you grow your platform and get your message heard. So how do you get their attention? You have to earn it: Demonstrate your competencies. Serve someone else first and make a big ask.
What are your future plans?
I am starting a poetry magazine that will hold an annual international poetry award. I will keep writing about situations in my life, which may result in another poetry collection.
You can purchase Sandeep’s latest book via Amazon by simply by clicking this link: One Heart – Many Breaks