“When life tossed lemons at me, I didn’t make lemonades; I made cheesecakes out of them,” says Lipika Sahu, a dedicated writer who always has a passion for writing and shares her unique perspectives on how to make something great from scratch, be it life or writing.
If you’re still hesitant about whether you should start writing or not, I’m sure you won’t feel this way after reading. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi! I am Lipika Sahu. I am a writer, blogger, and consultant.
About the lemons. It was a tumor in my spine that left me quasi-paralyzed for a year and a half. It was followed by a harrowing struggle to stand on my feet & hold my two-year-old daughter.
Following that was my entrepreneurial stunt that tanked despite my putting in everything I could (yes, money as well, but all’s okay now, thank you).
Now the cheesecakes. While the first has made me contented and grateful, the start-up left me resilient and equipped with skillsets that I find crucial in my career today.
Cut to 2020. I had just wound up the business. And Covid had confined everyone to their homes. It was during this time, that I rediscovered the writer in me through Medium.
I wrote on various topics like parenting, feminism, and self-improvement, but the stories on Writing caught on with the readers the most. After that, I started getting requests to write on specific topics, having sessions with aspiring writers, and collaborating with other writers.
It was an entirely new path, and I loved every step. One thing led to another, and today I am a Medium Top Writer in Writing.
Between working for my clients and consulting, I take out time to go back on Medium and write to help other writers.
I keep adding free digital products on Gumroad for budding writers to use and grow.
Engaging regularly on LinkedIn is something that I have taken up lately, and I am in love with the supportive and rewarding community.
And when I am not writing, you will either find me reading a book, playing with my daughter, or cooking some (plate-licking) food!
Yoga & Sudarshan Kriya (Art of Living) are my lifelines.
I love traveling. For me, it’s not an activity; it’s a time to rediscover, readjust, and reset myself for the next sprint.
I believe life is the duration of one breath — everything else is an illusion.
How did you get through your tough times?
I have encountered times that were emotionally trying. Three things that tethered me to reality were the unconditional love & support of my friends & family, unwavering faith in my God, and the desperate need to stay strong for my daughter. I knew that, no matter what, I had to stay afloat.
How did you learn to become resilient?
I used to joke about this — when you are constantly bombarded with challenges, each one more difficult than the last, you start getting immune to them. In simpler words, your discomforts teach you more than your comforts.
What do you like about writing? And what keeps you writing more?
Writing, for me, is like assembling a piece of art. It’s like creating something from scratch, with YOU etched all over it. Writing is also a channel to give shape to my thoughts — making something meaningful out of a mere idea.
And in the whole process, the opportunity to connect with so many people is a huge plus. In short, I build stories which, in return, build me as a person.
My unending list of ideas. The rate at which I write is eons behind the rate at which I generate ideas. The race to catch up is always on. So, writing is something I don’t think will stop. (Sometimes I dread I will have so many things left unsaid before I say my final adieu.)
How do you usually organize your writing workflow?
Having to work on different projects simultaneously demands a workflow that ensures things go smoothly without pulling out the hair. Scheduling and planning my content are two essential aspects of my writing that keep me sorted.
What do you like most about Effie? Are there any features that you find useful while using?
As I mentioned above, planning the content is essential to my writing workflow. With Effie, a major chunk of this is taken care of. I will list down a couple.
Ideation: I have too many of them. So, I have a folder called ‘Idea Bank’ and sub-folders in it for my different projects — e.g., LinkedIn, Medium, Gumroad, and Book (Headline). It saves me tonnes of time scouring for THAT idea.
Distraction-free writing: The best feature, hands down. My writing productivity has improved drastically because of this one thing. The clean slate it provides to work on is a big help.
Mapping the content: I usually write long-form articles that require structuring big chunks of data. Its mind-mapping technique is a feature that helps me visualize the complete picture and hence, helps me plan better and faster. It’s like viewing from a vantage point.
Simplicity: In today’s era of sophistication, I am in absolute love with the simplicity of this tool. It is a well-thought-out software that caters to every basic need of content creation.
Other than Effie, what other tools you often use when writing?
I don’t rely on too many tools. And I like them basic and simple.
Canva: I use it for all the visual content that I require to make as a part of my work. The thing that has kept me loyal to it is its versatility.
Reedsy: I use it for my ebooks. The best part is the flexibility it gives to format my books and the ability to work on simultaneous projects.
Buffer: This is for my post-scheduling. A lifesaver, this takes away a lot of pressure in being consistent on social platforms.
What would you say to those who are hesitant about whether to start writing?
I keep saying that if you can think, you can write. You don’t write; that’s another issue.
The thing that stops many from writing is the fear that people will judge them. Let me spell it out here — people WILL judge, no matter what you do or don’t do.
Yes, the first story will be shitty. But then the next one will definitely be better than the first, and the next one will be the best of the three.
So, just go for it, be done with the shitty part, and take it from there.