• Personal,  Writing

    The Struggles of Writing a Novel

    This journey of writing my novel started way back, I believe it was almost 8 years ago when I got the idea to write a book. I started it off and a year later I changed my mind and didn’t continue with that story. It all went back and forth and I was having inspirational periods of time when I really put all my energy into it, and becoming disappointed at the process a few months later. The struggles of writing was a fact. I had always been writing poems and journaling, so that never really stopped throughout this time – but my book story was halting and was eventually paused for a few years due to lack of inspiration.

    I intended to write a story that involves a lot of multicultual aspects to it, and things were by that time happening in my life that made me feel that I didn’t need to write that story anymore, until I went to India a couple of years ago. Something really hit me during that trip and everything came back to me, my desire to write my story. That is what I am doing right now. I am more determined than ever to complete it this time around. The intention is to write almost everyday, or at least sit with it every day and see what comes to me. If I ever find myself doubting or having writer’s block, I now know that I can get through it and move past it. It’s all about how much motivation and desire to write the book you have, because if you don’t have that, the book is never going to write itself.

    I have made myself a little soft deadline to follow, which makes it easier for me to follow through. By the end of this year I will have a complete draft version of the entire story. I will edit it several times after that and ask very nicely to one of my dearest friends if he wants to read it, which he’s promised to do. 🙂 I just haven’t finished the book for more than 6 years. Long overdue. The idea is to try to get it published, otherwise I will self-publish it and distribute it myself. For me the importance is to get it out there and have it completed, that is my ambition and goal. I hope that my story can can help someone who’s been in my situation as well.

    Stay tuned here for more information on this topic. I know several of you have been cheering on throughout the years and wanting to read it, I am very grateful for having all the support from people all over the world. Writing is our passion but it is just as well a very difficult passion to have. No matter what, you can’t live without it.

    Peace and Love,

    Kimmi Niroopinder Sandhu

    P.S. Some of you might have noticed me using my real names interchangably, and there is no other explanation than an identity crisis. 🙂 Swedish vs Indian. Always struggling, always real.

  • Inspiration,  Thoughts

    Audio Books | Yay or Nay?

    I have an account at Good Reads where I update every now and then which books I'd like to read and which books I'm currently reading. I love that platform because you can review and find books so easily and share it with your friends. What I'm not as good at is to actually read the books I enter into my Good Reads account. Either I have to buy a bunch of books, which I do every now and then, but I also have to carry them in my purse to be able to read them on the metro or tram. I have come to the conclusion that it's not working out very well for me, this way of reading. I love books and I love that they give us insights into topics or stories we never have heard before. So I would like to read a lot more from my list of "to-read" books.

    I came across a free try out subscription of an app via work, which we may use for 45 days to listen to audio books. When I was younger I had made up my mind that I am not an audio books kind of person, because I didn't think I had the focus or concentration for following someone else reading it aloud for me – I had imagined that I need to read along in the text to be able to understand whatever the person is saying. I can admit that to some extent it might still be a little true, but given the right situation, mindset and also believe it or not, headphones – I don't normally have a problem with that anymore. If I use more noise-cancelling headphones and I am not distraught with other thoughts or stressed over something, it can be pretty nice to have someone else read the story aloud for you while you're walking down the streets or passing through a lot of people in the metro. It gives me a whole new dimension to the otherwise pretty boring commute through the big city, I even get to learn something new on the way to work.

    It all started with podcasts actually. I started listening to a Swedish podcast which deals with philosophical questions, called "Filosofiska Rummet", it's a very reflective talk-show with very interesting guests and questions that they're discussing and sometimes able to answer in their own way. I love walking down streets listening to philosophical debates and having my own thoughts lingering on while I hear their reasoning.
    Or the podcast from Darren Hayes (ex. Savage Garden) with his friend Anthony Armentano discussing and analysing films they've watched during the week. "We Paid to See this" it's called, a highly recommended podcast to listen to if you're interested in finding out about which films you really should go for and which ones you can safely stay away from without missing a thing.

    A light-hearted comedic spoiler free movie podcast focusing on the week's new cinema releases. Darren Hayes and Anthony Armentano spend their hard earned (or borrowed) cash to see the latest film releases and tell you what they thought. Because they don't get in for free, their opinions are honest. Honestly! May contain funny bits (they're both Groundlings trained improvisers) and strange non sequiturs (Anthony has a degree in film and Darren has an Olympic medal in rambling). Maybe some naughty words too. – iTunes

    These podcasts were the ones making me take the step to listening to audio books eventually.

     I don't know what happened after my mid-twenties, but I have become much more thirsty for knowledge. Every day has to teach me new things, I crave new information more than I did back in school. It's strange that it just gradually became this hobby of wanting to know more about certain topics, I actually enjoy it and I'm glad for this new found interest.
    I'm going to become better at reflecting those thoughts on my platform here in this blog. Sometimes it feels much better to be able to share it in writing rather than walking around with thoughts that aren't complete. It seems as though when I write sometimes I get into a flow and the thoughts just finish themselves.

    Peace and love,

  • Personal,  Thoughts,  Writing

    New City – Friends

    Today is the first day since my move that I felt a little lonely even though I was amongst people. I have never been the type that would rely my whole life on someone or some people to entertain me or to hang out with. But today I felt like this new city life, the tough parts of it, are catching up on me. To have some own friends to just call up and go out with, to go downtown shopping with someone who just happened to be nearby.. all those things. I do have some friends in this town to start with but you need to build a network slowly and that’s what bothered me today, that I don’t have that starting point that people usually do when they’ve lived in a city all their lives. I need to work out how to get a little more acquainted with the city so I can find myself around a lot easier and to meet new people that I can call my friends.

    I went to a café today to write in my book. Anyone who writes knows what a struggle it is to keep that spirit going and to keep on writing even the days when you feel like it’s not giving the results you want. I love the topic I’m writing about and it gives me strength and hope in my everyday life; so I love the process when I’m actually in the process and writing. It’s all about getting in the process in the first place, to sit down and start writing those few first words that get you into a flow. The flow is all you’re looking for, but that’s usually what hinders you as well. What if you can’t find the words, what if it doesn’t become as you want it to, etc.. That’s just your mind putting doubts in you. I believe it’s all about getting those moments for yourself and write from your heart, then all the words you want to write that particular day, they will come to you, the flow will come to you.

    I’m going to be updating you all about my writing soon in another blog post, some more details about what I’m writing about. If you’re interested to find out a little bit, there’s a post further down that explains a little bit on a higher level what topics it covers.

    Peace and Love,

  • Personal,  Thoughts,  Writing

    Indian culture and my book influences

    I’m going to share a little piece of what my book is going to cover. This is something that I’ve been thinking about for the last few years and it’s a very personal topic, and I’ve been very unsure over those years whether or not to share it with the world.
    The topic is: arranged relationships (or marriages) vs. love relationships and related stories. It’s going to be a very personal book, very close to my heart and it’s going to be about cultural differences between western and a mixed Indian culture.

    I don’t personally have any experience in having to be in an arranged relationship (thank God!) but I am very interested in the subject and how it’s still a problem for some young people to get out of (if they wanted to). They are usually expected to follow the family traditions and they therefore agree to go through with it to avoid bringing family shame or damage the family honour.
    Why would there be family shame if they choose their own partner? Why shouldn’t we be able to love whoever we want and choose to spend the life with that person be enough to please the family? Those are some very difficult questions to answer but I’m very eager to dig deeper into the whole concept and find out more about the pros and cons of such an arrangement. Isn’t the individual happiness what should be in focus, since we’re the only ones who are going to live our own life?

    Another interesting observation is how girls and boys are treated differently and the expectations and pressure are also very diverse depending on if you’re a boy or a girl. A boy might be able to date more openly before a marriage in some families, while girls should not even talk to a boy before she gets married. I know I might take the most extreme examples, but they do exist, unfortunately.

    From a Western perspective I have a hard time accepting or believing that one would ever want to marry a stranger and build a family with them, but somehow it’s not hard to accept for true followers of this tradition or culture.
    What is interesting to know about Indian culture is that it’s very intertwined with religion; so there is really a fine line between the two. One can be non-religious but still follow all traditions and celebrate religious holidays, just because it’s natural to them. I compare it with celebrating Christmas for example, not many people in Sweden are religious but we still celebrate Christmas here. It’s fun to receive gifts and have the whole family gathered – but it’s more for the social aspect than it’s ever going to be religious. At least here in Sweden, which isn’t a very religious country.

    I guess growing up in a very nonreligious country together with having a family which is Indian and having that Indian culture with me has made me question many things while growing up. These are just a very few of my thoughts that have triggered my need to write my story, as raw as it might be, because I believe that it’s necessary to shed some light on these topics in today’s modern society where we might think that everyone has a free will. At least here – in the West.

  • Inspiration,  Thoughts

    “I would take a bullet for you”

    I now know what this sentence means. I’ve been wondering for such a long time what it would  mean to be able to say that for someone. This occurred to me while I was reading a book. The book’s name is “The fault in our stars” by John Green. Mind blowing book, it made me smile and cry – but mostly it left me with a melancholic feeling.
    I won’t go into depth what the book is about and spoil the story for you guys, but I wanted to share the feelings the book gave me – like all kinds of art do in different ways.
    The book covers a lot about life and death and everything in between, to capture the small moments and to live your life in the present – because one day it might end suddenly. It’s not a dramatic book, which I love, it’s very humble and honest about the whole topic which is what makes it so great. I’m not very scared of death itself, but more of losing someone I love – I honestly don’t think I’m made for that. Reading that book made me realise how fragile I am in that sense. Or sensitive I would say. Far too sensitive that I let a book story get to me like that…anyway. The book is also about love, and this is the point I wanted to share more about.
    The innocent love between the couple in the book is just so beautiful and inspiring. One thing I’ve learnt is that one should never hold your feelings back, always show your warm feelings to the person you care about so they know and are aware. I can’t emphasise enough on the fact that I more rather give love endlessly to the people I care about, than to only care for receiving love. To be as selfless as possible has always been my goal, and this is what I find here in this book between the two of them. Selfless love. Or maybe that’s another word for unconditional love. Usually it’s not the moments and particular memories you will think of when you remember a person, but how a person has made you feel. It’s just amazing how when you remember memories all the good ones that made you feel happy always pops up first – at least for me.
    I just wanted to share some words on that book and that I do recommend it to everyone, especially young audiences since it’s about this 16-year old girl. But it totally works fine for older people as well since it deals with such a universal subject that everyone can deal with. The reason I recommend the book is mostly because it makes you open your eyes a bit for your surroundings, and to not take your near and dear ones for granted.

    Love and Peace,

  • Inspiration,  Personal,  Writing

    2012 – an Amazing year

    This year has been amazing. Year 2012. The first complete year I have worked at HP – at my first real job. It’s been a great journey and experience so far and it will continue into 2013.
    I have travelled to some places in the world – as I try to do each year. This year I’ve been to beautiful Vienna, amazing Budapest and incredible India and I started year 2012 in Copenhagen. I wonder which adventures 2013 will take me on. Some places/countries on my list would be: Stockholm, South of Europe, South India (Mumbai, Goa, Kerala e.g.)… and the list goes on. Most of these journeys that are nearby Sweden would have to be done over weekends due to my job, but that’s okay. An extended weekend is always a nice way to get away from work and stress, a good way of relaxing (unless you plan to tourist around hectically for two days).
    The trip to India was the most amazing thing during the year – something I’ve wanted to do since I last went there 10 years ago. I promise myself that it won’t be as seldom as every 10 years from now on. I really started to connect with my roots this time and I really believe that the more I go now that I’m an adult the more I will feel comfortable there. It’s hard to imagine the future when I might have to go without family and rely on my own judgement when it comes to India – it’s such a large country and so much to learn – it’s just mesmerising.
    I have started my writing journey for real this year, I have made a lot of research for my book writing process and I have jotted down many ideas for it. Looking forward to 2013 when I will focus a lot on my writing and reading inspiring books.
    I’ve met some inspiring people through work and that has made my job more fun in the office – it’s just too bad to see them go when projects end. That’s when I think about the fact that the world is so large and the friends feel further and further away from me – all spread out in the world. I suppose that’s when we all should be thankful for technology and IT – to be able to connect worldwide with people we want to stay in touch with. But still, it’s not the same as sitting opposite to someone and have a real conversation – that’s precious.

    Happy new year, everyone! 🙂 Hope 2013 brings you a lot of joy, good health and insight. I intend to make it a great one!


    Endless skies

  • Writing

    Journey of writing begins

    It’s a cold spring day of April and the sky is cloud-free and blue, birds are singing and it’s pretty calm inside me. I am not rushing to work, nor am I rushing to meet up with anyone. Today is the day, when I get back to writing, when I find that inner peace that I have been looking for so long to be able to write again. So this blog today at this moment is a sign for me to continue on my writing journey, and I’m not referring to the blog, but to write in my book again. Writing a novel is not an easy task, hence I have been going back and forth with these ideas I have for some years now. When contemplating over the topic and my story, I still conclude that it is very relevant for me to still write my story for others to read. That journey is starting today.

    I have had to make some hard decisions regarding this book, but I have finally come to decide what language I will write in. My native language is Swedish and I love English. All my poems are always written in English and that’s what I feel comfortable with. It is also a very international language which means that I can reach out to so many more that can read what I have to say. I can’t share too much about what it would be about, but I guess you’ll have to stick around to see what I have in store. It’s a deep and long journey into my darker and more vulnerable self; which is why I can’t share more than I feel is right.

    Another decision I’ve taken is that it will be written in thoughts-form, from one person’s perspective. It has a lot to do with cultural differences and what a young girl has to struggle with when caught between two world’s. One is modern and independent, but yet very lonely. The other is strict and suffocating but also a very narrow world. It’s a very deep journey to take on while writing this book, which is why I have been waiting until now to write it. I believe I am strong enough to deal with it now, and it will make me stronger while writing. I have always felt that writing makes me feel stronger, whether I write poems to reflect what I feel or if I write in my personal diary about thoughts I think.

    So today I’m embracing the day when I will start this journey. I will keep this blog updated on my progress without sharing too many details about what I write, since that is a surprise. 🙂

    I was looking through old notes and found that the song The Power of Goodbye by Madonna was a key for me when I decided to let go of the past and move on towards being more free, and be myself.

    “Freedom comes when you learn to let go,
    Creation comes when you learn to say no”