How To Be An Interesting Person

Neera Mahajan
My Commonplace Book
3 min readJun 22, 2024


Image source: Unsplash

As the story goes, a student gave the novelist and short story writer Barry Hannah her story for honest criticism.

She gets her story back with a note, “This just isn’t interesting.”

The student, a whiner, complained, “What can I do to make it interesting? ”

Barry, looked long and hard at the student, decided that she was earnest about becoming a better writer and told her the truth, “Try making yourself an interesting person.” (From Boomrang and Never Die)

It seems like ‘being an interesting person’ is imperative for writers.

The usual image of a writer is that of someone in pajamas, sitting behind a desk with piles of paper around her, diligently typing away in a dark room.

I personify that image minus the dark room. Normally I am pretty happy doing that. But recently, when my life got too monotonous, I decided to go on a hunt for ways to be an interesting person.

Google gave me many ways to become an interesting person. A benign list includes:

  • Read
  • Travel
  • Volunteer
  • Be curious.
  • Ask people open-ended questions.
  • Pursue a new activity like yarn bombing or rock climbing.



Neera Mahajan
My Commonplace Book

Author of Dare To Create, Eight Steps To Be An Authorpreneur, and How To Write an eBook In One Week | Write Your Book with me in 30 days.