Category: Books

How I Break Free From My Mental Clutter

My brain loves working on overdrive. Unfortunately, a lot of what I think about is junk. I am constantly struggling to break free from my mental clutter.

To make matters worse, I get so drained out from organising my thoughts that it often leaves very little room in the day to do some actual writing. As sad as this sound, I tend to think more than I act.

I’ve always wondered how other writers do it. How do they stay up so late working on their laptops or notepads, writing out their masterpieces?

The turning point

I tried it out recently and it was tiring. I wrote a fictional story that had been in my mind since I woke up that one morning. I usually don’t do this. I usually brush aside my imagination and concentrate on client work or things that have deadlines.

One of the reasons I decided to break free and write fiction anyway was thanks to the writer’s season I attended here in Brunei. Not only did I attend, I also spoke – FOR THE FIRST TIME. Talk about unlocking achievements. I had vowed to myself late last year that I would address this fear of public speaking. I didn’t do a fantastic job, but the handful of people who turned up gave me positive feedback. It was a good start.

During the session, I listened to three other writers tell their stories. I listened to how their writing journey started and carries on. I noticed how the key to getting things published is to “JUST WRITE”.

One of the speakers at the event was also an author of multiple books. He spoke about how he aspires to convert all his ideas and all the stories people share with him into short stories or e-books. He was on a roll; having written so many books already, and he wasn’t about to stop.

mental clutterAfter the event, my mind started working on overdrive again. Here I was, not doing much with my writing career. I should be more like that writer. It’s not like I couldn’t do it or didn’t have the resources to do it. But the technicalities of getting things done started cluttering my mind yet again. Back to square one.

Just as I was about to sleep that night, my phone buzzed. It was a message from a gentleman I was speaking to at the time. We started telling each other stories about our lives, and he gave me some advice on how to solve my issues from a more matured, experienced perspective.

The conversation went on for a while. I finally knocked out a few hours later.

And then it happened…

In the morning when I woke up, the story unraveled itself in my mind. I thought of the story based on everything that happened the day before. At first, I didn’t pay much attention to it. Again, thinking it was mental clutter.

I went on with my day.

After lunch, I sat in front of the laptop. I wanted to get some work done.

Lo and behold. Three hours later, I had 5,000 words. It had nothing to do with the initial task I wanted to finish. It was the story idea from that morning. Just like that.

I felt tired after all that writing. If I had to do that every day, I probably have to eat much more and sleep even more. Too much brain juice, too little energy.

Turning garbage into gold

I also realised something else amidst experience that rush of words that flowed from my brain to the page. It hit me that sometimes what I think is clutter – my nonsense imagination – can turn into great stories if I just exercised a little bit of creativity. I was always worried that what I thought was mental clutter was a waste of energy. Now I know that it’s actually just hard work to get what you want done – and sorting out the clutter to turn garbage into gold is not easy.

I’m just going to have to re-organise my thoughts; some experiences may seem trivial but to a writer who doesn’t get out much, I have to make use of whatever it is I can get my hands on. No more throwing away everything. I have to make everything work and come full circle for me.

I thank my lucky stars I even wrote “Escape From The Whirlwinds“.

Running out of ideas on what to write? Download my 179 WRITING PROMPT FOR FREELANCE WRITERS e-book today.


Manisha Dhalani: An Introduction

Welcome to my website!

As it states in the header above, I’m a freelance content manager. What it doesn’t say is that my purpose is to serve clients who are looking to engage someone with the ability to curate, create and correct content with the intention of increasing their brand’s awareness.

But I’m not writing this to tell you about my service offerings (you can go to the Services page for that), let me first recap to who I am and how I arrived to the point of this writing.


My life, like many others, is filled with stories that sometimes connect with each other and sometimes don’t – random, much. I was raised in Brunei for the first seventeen years of my life, after which I arrived in Singapore, excited to fulfill my dreams of becoming a journalist. That didn’t happen. Instead, taking a Diploma in Mass Communication resulted in me being even more confused as to what I really wanted to do in life.

I’ve juggled many professions. My father, a businessman, inspired me to become an entrepreneur at the sheer age of 10 by selling stickers to my classmates. It then took another turn when I realised I was capable of running a newsletter after I proposed and later edited one for my school. In Singapore, I co-founded and edited another two magazines whilst holding several full-time jobs and running side-businesses on a freelance basis. Long story short, throughout my life I have had so many experiences that it is very evident that I am indeed a Jill-of-all-trades.

Being Content

Eventually, it dawned upon me that I had to start focusing on where I wanted my life to go. I stumbled upon several content marketers and the rest, as they say, is history. I finally found the one thing that I wasn’t only good at, but was also passionate about. Plus, it helped me balance my love for too many things and I can now narrow it down to researching, writing and editing – all whilst wearing an entrepreneurial hat since I now run my own freelance business, full-time.

Overall, I am grateful for all the lessons I have learned, and for the ones I am yet to encounter. I must, however, point out that I’m not one to jump the gun and admit that I’m a lover of mistakes for all that they have thought me. It’s a love-hate relationship, really, as I’m only human, bound to make the same mistakes over again and curse myself for doing so.

Still, thanks to all the experiences I go through, you will find that my writing has evolving patterns. While my personal writing can go from light-hearted to tackling serious issues, my professional writing can vary from topics like relationships to consultancy services such as graphic design all the way up to oil and gas. In a gist, I am capable of using the knowledge I have, infusing it with the message you want to communicate, conducting further research, writing and then editing your content. I try to look at it from a 360-degree point of view, as much as possible.

So Much More To Offer

Aside from viewing my writings for columns and work for clients, if you follow my Facebook page and subscribe to my blog (see right sidebar), I will, in time to come, provide you with even more insights into how my lessons can benefit your business.


As a start, I’m offering FREE access to a case study I wrote about a business of mine that started and failed for a limited time. This guidebook is perfect for blog shop owners and online product sellers. It is my aim that, by downloading and going through this resource, you will be able to learn from my past mistakes and identify existing gaps, if any, in your endeavours and possibly attend to them before it’s too late. Do let me know if you do find it beneficial.

I thank you for taking your time to visit this website and to read this introductory post.

Do look forward to regular portfolio updates and future blog posts and books about how you can progress better in your personal and professional lives.

Till then, cheers!