How was your journey from a corporate to a writer?
It started like a crazy but exhilarating free-fall from a cliff, went on to a bumpy but exciting rally drive and finally landed me on a smooth-sailing ship (with the occasional choppy waters and high tide!)
All in all, it has been a rewarding experience, one which has been full of self-discovery, pushing myself into unknown areas, challenging my limits and learning more than I ever did in my entire life.
What challenges did you face as a writer?
Writing to me comes from within; I write from my heart and pour from my head, my stories and learnings. As with any other creative art, it consumes a whole lot of brain power, emotions and creativity; and yet, it ends up giving back more! It’s almost therapeutic.
In that sense, writing per se, is never a challenge for me, as long as the topic is something I relate to.
It’s the ecosystem outside and our own expectations inside, which make being a writer, challenging. As in any other industry, new entrants will always have to work hard to get their voice heard, build credibility in their work and create the pull for their product. For me it was especially challenging, because I went from being a well-accomplished professional in my field commanding respect in the industry to a total fresher! What’s more, as a new struggling writer, I was a one-person team – devoid of the backing of large global multinationals or teams to lead.
What is the kind of response from the publishing industry to budding writers?
The traditional publishing industry is a handful of players and they sign-up a very limited number of authors every year. Typically, a writer is required to submit a sample of their manuscript for evaluation via their website. The response usually takes anywhere from two-eight months! If it is a positive one, then the writer is invited to share the entire manuscript for final evaluation. This response too takes the same timeframe. Again, if positive, they are sent a contract, which usually has a clause of a 12-18 month window, during which the publisher can release the book, as per their queue. So you can well imagine, a budding first-time writer, who has taken a big decision to write a book, often given up on other more-lucrative career options, poured his/her heart & soul into the work, is then expected to wait for months & months to know the fate of the book!
The silver lining though is that the industry has now expanded with self-publishing, where-in a budding writing can get his/her work published within 30-60 days flat. That’s a blessing, however comes with its own challenges, since these newer publishing companies often lack the distribution network and market presence ultimately required to ‘sell’ the book.
Either which ways, the fate of the book lies upon the unique brand and voice that the new writer develops. Hence, budding writers should remember that post writing the book, their focus needs to be on creating a true brand for themselves – they are their own organisation and their words their product!
Anything you would like to share about the master-classes?
Learning is a continuous process and many of the skills we need to be successful in life are not taught in school or college. Our education system focuses on theoretical concepts, which though important have a limited impact on an individual’s trajectory in life. What differentiates a leader from the others, what builds a ‘successful’ person, what helps you find your true calling and what enables you live a life of meaning & purpose is, ultimately, your mindset.
These master-classes, are aimed in Helping You, Help Yourself – by creating a winner’s mindset, travelling the path of self-discovery, overcoming challenges, inculcating top habits and transforming yourself into the best top-notch version of yourself.
What inspired you to write this book?
It all happened when for the first time in my life, I did nothing! After 18 years, I decided to stop running, take a pause and smell the roses. This experience opened me up to new sides of myself and in the process of re-connecting with ‘me’, I penned this book.
Can we expect another book soon?
I already have another non-fiction self-help and even a fiction almost ready to get published! But I now know that publishing and marketing a book is a full-time job, hence I’m holding back on the same to first focus on the MasterClasses, which are being rolled on now in both the Offline space (to enable a physical classroom/workshop interaction) as well as in the Online/Digital world (to leverage the power of the digital medium, incorporate learning into our lives and be within the reach of all – whether it’s someone in a Delhi, Surat or London!)