Because society is intent on not letting a woman do something for her own pleasure.

Photo by Author

Here’s a self-care tip: get yourself some flowers to enjoy.

Now, it’s easy to dismiss this piece of advice for being superficial but my taking the time to pluck a few flowers and put them in a tiny blue vase, pictured above, is what inspired me to write this post. So, the tip was gold for me. But I’d never taken it seriously until now.

Why is it so easy to dismiss this or other acts of self-care? Because it’s a bother, right? It takes time. And who has time?

Well, almost…

I haven’t written much this year and we all need an accountability system sometimes.

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I’ve previously written about using a Bullet Journal to set and meet writing goals. In 2020, my major goal was to write a complete draft of my novel. Inspite of all the curveballs 2020 threw my way, I did manage to write a functional draft — there’s actually an Act III!

Looking back, I can appreciate how my weekly reviews, especially in the months of March and April, helped me stay focussed on the writing, even as everything was worsening. My daily word counts dropped but I managed to keep working.

I need to finish my debut novel & this is how I’ll do it.

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One of my major goals this year is to finally finish writing my debut novel. There, now that I’ve put it out there, God help me.

But rather than hoping for chance or luck, I’ve decided to make writing and editing, a part of my life until I finally get my novel published. I’m still in the editing phase and need something to keep me going and making progress. A novel takes a rather long time to write.

One of the wonderful things I learnt about in 2017, was the bullet journal method by Ryder Carroll. …

This is the system I’m using for the herculean task of writing and editing my novel, while building a strong self-care foundation.

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I have a confession to make — my Bullet Journal setup isn’t going to be spartan. It’s still minimalist, but I have grand plans for September, so I created a more intuitive way for me to achieve my goal of making substantial progress on editing my novel.

I’m a utilitarian girl — I chopped off my waist length locks, a few months before a series of important exams, to save the time it took to properly care for them— and need a Bujo to keep track of stuff and get work done.

But there’s a catch. I’m a creative. Although…

Emma, who’d been busy bee for most of August, has a life changing epiphany.

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Emma had had enough — August was turning out to be a ghastly month. Far too many days had been spent in bed with migraines. Her migraines were of the beastly sort — resistant to medication and lasting several days; she could barely look at a screen without wanting to throw up. Work had to be postponed.

Emma was a writer and, like most writers, needed a clear head to make a living. If she didn’t do anything useful today, she wouldn’t be able to keep…

Not just the habit of choice of ‘creatives’.

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

It’s no accident that I decided to become a writer, in spite of my training in Engineering and Management, after doing Morning Pages every day for 3 months. I didn’t just flirt with the idea either; in a few months, I’d written the first draft of my novel during NaNoWriMo 2018.

There was a cause-effect relationship at play. Looking back through the reams of writing I did, I can trace my journey from self-doubt, confusion and fear to calm, clarity and, ultimately, determination to become a writer.

I was no stranger to writing; I’d started keeping a diary when I…

Hint: It depends on why you’re doing it.

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What if procrastination isn’t just some gremlin that possesses us for hours on end, only to depart when it’s gobbled up precious time? What if procrastination, in moderation, can be good?

Given our productivity obsession, anything that diminishes productive time should be axed, right? I certainly thought so; Interrupting Interruption and the Art of Refusal is one of my favourite chapters from The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.

It was only when I started writing my debut novel that I realised how non-linear the creative process was. …

We’re in the middle of 2020. The final edits on my novel should have been done by now. They aren’t. Here’s how I’m picking up the balls I dropped.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

On the whole, I did pretty well during the first quarter of the year. As incredible as it sounds, I wanted to finish the fourth draft of my novel in the first quarter. What can I say? I had a shiny new Bullet Journal to excite me.

My fantasy novel is nearly done. But I have a mammoth revision ahead of me first. Here’s my revision plan.

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My novel’s been resting for a month now and it’s finally time to get the revision show on the road. I spent most of the last month dutifully reading fiction (since I don’t tend to read fiction while I’m writing), watching some spectacular movies and generally topping up my creative well. Now I have enough creative mojo to tackle the mammoth project.

If you have an old manuscript lying around, tucked away in a drawer somewhere, now’s as good a time as any to dust it off and start working on it. …

Like old ink, the vestiges of the old often linger, ignored, in our lives, until we can’t ignore the signs anymore.

Picture of fountain pen dripping ink.
Picture of fountain pen dripping ink.
Photo by Nicolas Thomas on Unsplash

I was cleaning out my fountain pen of the recently used bright red ink, when I noticed the water turning dark. Surprised, I pumped the little squeeze tube a few more times and then the water turned green. It took me a long time to clean my fountain pen and I was stunned by the amount of residue I had.

I’d changed the ink in my fountain pen from dark green to bright red about a fortnight ago after…

Mallika Kamat

Computer Engineer. On a wild adventure to become a published author. Love my writing? Get the newsletter here:

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