A minimalist at heart, with every passing day, she finds herself moving farther from the never-ending quest of owning material possessions and a step closer to owning a vast ocean of experiences. In 2016, at twenty-three, she packed a rucksack and left Mumbai, in search of her true identity. She met people with extraordinary stories – the travelers, the entrepreneurs, the artists, the visionaries and the saints, who inspired her to the core and gave a new direction to her life. Her book – ‘on the open road’, draws inspiration from her real-life experiences.
She is a post-graduate in management from the prestigious B-school IMI, New Delhi and a graduate in Computer Science and Technology. She has worked with corporates like HSBC.
Quote from the book
“Somewhere between the right and the wrong, the past and the future, there lies a now. Don’t let it go. For ‘now’ often leads to a new road!”
We will talk with Stuti about her new book ‘on the open road’.
What is the story behind your book. Where did you get your idea for the book?
On the open road is a heart touching and inspiring journey of three souls who resolve to pursue their dreams and battle against all the odds to startup a company. Myra, Kabir and Sandy, the main characters of the story are 20-somethings who battle the societal taboos and their inner demons to live life on their terms. The story is about breaking free from the old routine lives to be able to embrace the new. The journey, the emotional journey, that one has to take to be able to live their dreams.
On the open road happened during my stint at a major corporate. I was making money, a lot of it, but somehow felt empty on the inside. My heart would tell me to pursue my long lost dream of becoming a storyteller whereas my mind would warn me about the risk and its consequences. Finally, I gave in to my heart and set out on an expedition around India and Europe. I met travellers, entrepreneurs, investors, saints and artists who inspired me to the core and gave a new direction to my life. I hope to inspire the youth with my story – to break free, to discover their true self, to pursue their dreams and to never give up!
Challenges you faced while writing this book and in your life as an author?
When I finally completed my first book, I felt victorious. I thought that the most significant hurdle had been crossed until I started writing to publishers and never really heard back from any of them. My heart shattered into pieces like a glass, literally. Then, I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing through the Pen To Publish Contest. It was a chance to be heard. It was a chance to reach out to the readers. I participated and was overwhelmed by the reviews my book garnered. Positive reviews started pouring in, and my heart was back to its original shape. Perhaps, stronger than the previous one!
What is your life mantra?
In the end, everything that does not work out sums up to the things that do. The idea is to never give up, never give up. Believe in the beauty of your dreams. Follow your heart with courage. There’s no shortcut to success. The only way to explore one’s full capacity is to keep at one’s inner calling. The journey is much more crucial than the destination. Enjoy the journey! Hustle.
What is your writing process like?
I sit down with a cup of coffee and write for at least 4 hours at a stretch, every day! I love to write while I am on the move. Cabs, metro, train or flight! I look forward to the day when I can just travel and write. Travel places to write more. I like to change the routine every few weeks to get new ideas. If you’re at the same place, all the time, you can’t expect new ideas to come in!
Anything special about your book that you want to share?
My book has crossed 2000 in sales within 137 days of its release. It’s a remarkable number for a self-published author.
According to you, what are the three qualities an author must have to achieve success?
I believe that self-belief is the most important quality that one must have when they start out on their own. Perseverance is the second most important quality as great things do not happen overnight and one must keep believing in their idea when nobody does. Maybe, the third one is to have the above-mentioned two.
What are your plans for next book?
I have started writing my next. I should be able to come up with the first draft by May 2019. In fact, I am traveling to Kashmir this weekend to get the writing activities on the right track.
What advice do you have for young writers?
A message that I would like to give to everyone is, don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can not do. A lot of us have a misconception that to pursue our ideas, to startup companies, we need to be super rich, or blessed. It’s absolute nonsense. I come from a middle-class family, and yes, it is hard to convince your parents at times, but in the end, nothing is impossible. It can all happen.
Share a quote or line that has been your inspiration.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost , The Road Not Taken