I decided to write "Note to Self: A Collection of Thoughts on Life" because I've seen and read so many self-improvement books, as have many I know. A lot of them look great and may effect change for a week or a month. I really wanted to get at something that readers can relate to. I didn't want to approach the book as a super-human, but rather someone who has flaws and is also in the lifelong process of self-improvement. With my understanding of psychology and mental health counseling, I applied my background and experiences to achieve that goal.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The joy of writing is being able to express myself. In many countries around the world people, and women in particular, are given no voice. To be able to share my thoughts and work on such a public forum is a blessing and a privilege.
What is your writing process?
I basically write whatever comes to mind. Initially there is no organization whatsoever. Once I have something to work with I am able to see what it is that I am writing about and give it more of a direction and flow.
How do you approach cover design?
My cover design for my book was a picture I actually took myself at St. Petersburg beach in Florida. It's one of my favorite places for peace of mind and a great time. I thought it was only fitting as the cover for a book intended to give readers peace of mind.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Tampa, FL. Though I am of Indian origin, it certainly fed my progressive thoughts and allowed me to take the stance on mental health that I have today.
When did you first start writing?
I have loved writing for as long as I can remember. I always saw writing as a creative space in which I could express myself. In contrast to my classmates, I especially loved open-ended essay prompts and to this day I still feel the same way.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My inspiration has always been my family. My parents are incredibly hard-working and instilled in me values that I am proud of. My passion for the fields I am involved in and my drive to be an agent for change are my greatest motivators. When I experience a moment of low drive, I bring it back to God, and regain my inspiration and passion once again.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy reading and bettering myself mostly through psychology-related articles. I love keeping up with advances in the field by perusing academic journals as well. I enjoy dancing and listening to music. Most of all, a good day in my book would be a day spent with friends and family.
What are you working on next?
Next, continuing on the theme of mental health, I really want to do something intended for a younger audience. What that will look like, is still a mystery.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
One of the earliest things I actually recall writing is a task my parents had given my sisters and I. The topic of the writing was "the most valuable thing in the world". Being young at the time, I wrote a whole paper on diamonds as the most valuable thing in the world. Even though find that so comical now, I still remember being so excited to write a persuasive piece, enjoying the writing process, and being so proud of my work!
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