Aditi was going through the toughest phase of her writing career—and her life. She hadn’t written a word in two months. It was that writer’s block which she didn’t know how to break. Her publishers had given her another deadline, which possibly would be her last. For someone who sold more than 20,000 copies for her debut book, she could see her promising career, crashing in front of her eyes.
Her first book Finding your way home was an overnight success. The critics called it a breath of fresh air for its storytelling and originality—the plot revolved around an Irish woman falling in love with a Brit during the unrest of 1970s in Britain. Aditi drew her inspiration from her own marriage that was nothing less than a fairy-tale for her. She was in love, happily married to her darling husband, until one day he left her for someone else.
Aditi always looked inward for inspiration. That is why while writing about The Face of Happiness, she didn’t know where to begin. Her own life was a mess—a failed marriage, anxiety and addiction to Vicodin had left no space for happiness to take wings. She had no clue what happiness was. Nevertheless, her counsellor advised her to write on the topic. She told Aditi that many authors had touched upon it but only a few got to the depth of it—in the hope that it would help Aditi fight her depression. But that had helped precious little. Aditi was having second thoughts about listening to her counsellor.
What does happiness look like? She wondered as she sipped on her fourth coffee in one hour. Her typewriter lay there in front of her, with a blank page jutting out of it. Aditi slammed her fist on the table in frustration. If I knew, I wouldn’t have been feeling so dead inside for so long, she thought.
Dejected, Aditi took her car keys and drove to Central Park to get some air. On the way, her mind kept flashing back to memories—when her husband was not a cheat but a loving companion, about the first book she wrote without any ‘blocks’, counselling or angry publishers.