On Cultivating a Reading Habit

Recently, an acquaintance, let us call her X, asked me how she could start a reading habit. Given that she is close to my age, I asked her what kinds of things she liked to read, thinking I might offer her some book suggestions. Consider my surprise when she confessed that she could remember the last time she actually read a book. “But I read a lot of news and stuff online,” she said in her own defense. When I shared this with some other reader friends, they admitted to their own difficulties with reading as much as they used to. Some said there was enough drama going on around the world, so they did not feel a need to read fictionalized drama. Some, like X, said they read online and did not care about offline reading. And there were the odd few who said they “prefer to experience life rather than reading about it.” Continue reading On Cultivating a Reading Habit

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Some Thoughts for the Struggling Creative

For the many creatives who may be struggling with the non-stop barrage of world events across news and social media, a thread of thoughts. It is important for a creative to protect his/her headspace. Or “inner life” or “reflexes.” Our work comes from ideas consumed/responded to. This is more difficult for creatives because our sensory receptors are, necessarily, always in “receive” mode to external/internal stimuli. Continue reading Some Thoughts for the Struggling Creative

Social Media for Writers (Part 2)

In Part 1, at the end of February, I shared why, as a writer, I prefer Facebook as a social media platform and the ten ways I organize and ration my usage time to avoid that brain-as-scrambled-eggs scenario that makes it impossible to write. In this post, I am sharing ten ways of how I use Facebook as part of my overall writing practice. See, as writers, if we really want our writing to express our way of being in the world, we need to be careful about the words, ideas, opinions we put out there. That is all I am trying to do. Continue reading Social Media for Writers (Part 2)

International Women’s Day 2017: #BeBoldforChange

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been highlighting an interesting, lesser-known woman on this particular day. Why? Mostly for the same reason that we mark this particular day: to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women. The 2017 theme for IWD is #BeBoldForChange. So, this year, I’d like to share the story of Noor Inayat Khan — a bold, badass woman I read about last year. She was also featured on Public Radio International earlier this year as the “Indian spy princess who died fighting the Nazis.” She was a Muslim. A refugee. A princess. A guerrilla fighter, trained in bomb-making, sabotage and secret communications. But above all, she was a war hero. Continue reading International Women’s Day 2017: #BeBoldforChange

Social Media for Writers (Part 1)

This is the first of a new series of posts. As a full-time writer, I find Facebook to be more of a writer’s medium than other social platforms and use it to augment my daily writing practice. That said, given the 24/7 nature of news and entertainment media, and the over-sharing that goes on, it is easy to lose hours reading, commenting, sharing, liking stuff on FB rather than focusing on the real work of writing. Not to mention what it does to one’s creativity — think of the image of a whole, smooth egg with the caption “This is your brain” and then the image of messily-scrambled eggs with the caption “This is your brain on social media.” Yeah. It can be like that. So, in this first post of the series, In this first post of the series, I focus on why, as a writer, I prefer FB and how I try to organize and ration my usage time to avoid that brain-as-scrambled-eggs scenario. Future posts will be about how to use it more effectively to collaborate with other writers, engage meaningfully with other readers, and promote oneself as a writer. Continue reading Social Media for Writers (Part 1)