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How to write a novel-Ideas a plenty

So many people in the past have told me “I have an idea for a novel” or “There is a novel in everyone” or “Bah.. I can write better than that novel that I just read”.

Translating these words into action requires, brace yourselves,


Nope, wrong answer. The answer is actually very simple - writing.


  • learning about writing
  • reading other people’s work
  • contemplating how your fans will be clamouring for your autograph once your book reaches the top of the book stack.

In this series, I’ll detail out my process of writing a novel. How I converted a simple idea into 70,000 (Scrabble Queen) and 80,000 (Penniless) word manuscripts?

But, is it just writing? So, if you keep writing for a year, will you have a novel at the end of the year?

Yes, in many cases. In my case, my intention was to plan out the details of the book first before diving headlong into writing.

I consider this an architect or an engineer’s approach to writing fiction.

More posts will come out soon detailing the process. Hang tight!

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Ask the Design Thinking Doc - How do I visualize the pet-hair clothes problem?

Design Thinking as a skill can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 25,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love :)) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to whoever is either a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “How do I draw out a customer journey map for a pet hair on a human being?”

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Knowledge Management - A tough nut to crack

Knowledge management is the preservation and continuation of knowledge with a group of individuals. This could be in a company, family/household, college, roommates, etc.

Larger the group of people, the trickier it gets to manage the flow of information and preservation of knowledge, as we in a company that I worked for, found out. This was the time when I worked for a high profile team in a large company, not so difficult to guess, considering that I only worked for a few companies in my adult life :)

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How to attain a mind-like-water status - Weekly Review

I sat at the shore of a lake in the Himalayas, in a place called Rewalsar in Himachal Pradesh. Crystal clear water. No ripples. Birds chirped. Lush green trees dotted the lake. Buddhist monasteries, a Gurudwara 1 and Hindu shrines adorned the small town. Burning lamps and incense gave out a distinct smell that you can associate with places of worship.

A stone plopped on the surface. Then another one, then another one. There were a lot of ripples, with those waves dashing against each other. Then, the stones stopped.

Weekly review is that phase of the lake when the waves reach the shore and the waves slowly die out, leaving the lake waiting for the stones to return. The lake doesn’t hate the stone, but it seems to be enjoying the show.

I first heard, David Allen, the productivity guru, talk about mind-like-water. I remember reading somewhere

A week without review is weak.

We will see how to review your week, so that on Monday, your mind becomes the lake which enjoys the show of stones (tasks) hitting the lake.

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