"I might share great moments of my personal life, but I've always had walls up and been very private, and I open up in my book," the actress tells PEOPLE

By Dana Rose Falcone
Updated October 02, 2020 08:45 AM
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Priyanka Chopra Jonas made good use of her increased time at home these past few months.

"I have to say, quarantine for me was very productive," the actress, 38, tells PEOPLE.

That's because Chopra Jonas has been hard at work writing her upcoming memoir Unfinished, the cover of which PEOPLE can exclusively reveal. "It was great to have this on my plate during quarantine," she says. "It really kept me sane."

Unfinished didn't start out as a quarantine project, though. "I had started this conversation with [her publisher] Penguin Random House two years ago when I knew that I was heading towards 20 years of being in the entertainment business," Chopra Jonas says. "It seems like the right time to introspect on my life, that was my reason for writing the book. And I think I cursed it when I called it Unfinished, because it took me two years to finish it!"

Priyanka Chopra Jonas's memoir Unfinished

The Miss World 2000 winner enjoyed writing outside at the Los Angeles home she shares with husband Nick Jonas "after my workout when it's quiet, and Nick's busy doing his thing," she says. "I would put on some soft music and just delve into the time of life I was writing about."

Chopra Jonas also spoke to her mom, teachers from her childhood and key people from her early career days to help inform the personal story that spans her lifetime.

"There's literally every year of my life in this book, which is why I'm so nervous," she says. "This is me baring open, from the time I was a kid to when I got into pageants and what that felt like as someone who had no experience of the pageant world, and then being thrown into the Bollywood system and wanting to change my career path in my 30s, which is [a time when] girls are told it's beyond our prime to start all over again. I've had to push against the norm a lot through my whole life, and I discuss that in-depth."

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Chopra Jonas realizes that, because she entered the spotlight as a teenager when she started doing pageants, "You can Google anything about from when I was 17. But I call this the in-between interviews book. Everything I talked about in my interviews is public knowledge, but what happens when I go back into my trailer, or when I go home at night? I might share great moments of my personal life, but I've always had walls up and been very private, and I open up in my book."

Unfinished will see Chopra Jonas open up about "things that fans may have always wondered why I have not commented upon," she says. "This book helped drop the curtain and share my vulnerabilities."

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The memoir will even offer an inside look at Chopra Jonas' relationship with her pop star husband of nearly two years. "There will definitely be insight on this extremely important chapter in my life," the Baywatch star assures. "My partner is one of my greatest pride and joys. He is a true partner in every sense. There's a big insight into our wedding, our love story, into my life before Nick and my life now."

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas.

Ultimately, Chopra Jonas wants to empower readers to chase their dreams, something she did because of the encouragement she received from her parents as a kid and details in Unfinished.

"I hope that by the end of the book they see the importance of providing, specifically girls, with wings," she says. "And I hope that people who read the book really take a chapter from how my parents raised me, because they raised me to be fearless. The most important thing is to not be told that your dreams are small or silly, that they're not practical. I say be impractical. Push the limits. Be fearless."

Unfinished is out Jan. 19 and available now for pre-order.

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