1. Keep a record of all your output: For instance, I have over 250 articles published in supplements of The Hindu, The New Indian Express, and other newspapers between 1998 and 2003. My dad was the one who suggested I take photocopies of each article and bind them in a volume. Now, over two decades later, I still have my three portfolios while the originals have yellowed over time.
2. Take backups of your work on pen drives: Computers crash. You lose your hard work. It is important to keep backups. Sometimes, one needs to have backups of one’s backup. My HP Omen laptop crashed three times in the first year of purchase, which was scary and troubling. But I took backups on a pen drive apart from saving on the cloud. So I’m not devastated.
3. Track your submissions to various journals/ online magazines etc: You can do this in a notebook or in an Excel sheet. It helps you trace your journey as a writer.
4. Repurpose content: When you keep all your work over the years, you can draw on your own work at a suitable time and update it as required.
5. Support deserving people: Encourage the talented ones rather than be influenced by someone’s sob story.
6. Spend your time on useful pursuits and things that truly interest you: Sometimes, we get caught up in things that drag us back or push us off-course. I’ve learned from my dad about the constancy of purpose.
And for these and so many other reasons, my dad will remain my CHIEF mentor:) I will “keep #learning” because there’s so much to know and learn!