Tag Archives: writer

Of cool writer dudes

So you go to a party and are introduced to a stranger  for the first time as a writer. Said stranger moves his chair up to you and decides to be nice. “So how’s the writing coming along?” he asks. Or even better, “What’s your novel about?”

It seems to me that only writers are graced with such pleasant conversation starters.  Imagine someone wanting to make small talk at a party with a person from a different profession. “So how’s the coding coming along? “And how’s the plumbing going?” (unless you are personally invested in the results of said work) or “So how are the surgeries keeping you occupied?”or “What’s your criminal case about this week”?
Continue reading Of cool writer dudes

A writing hiatus

Have you ever thought of taking a break from blogging? Did the thought of going dormant for a few weeks, hibernating, practicing detachment and forgetfulness ever occur to you? Did that idea of no writing week seem blissful or somehow empty? Did you wonder if you would miss your posts, the jolts of affirmation, the conversations? Or did the peace and quiet of no writing at all seem calming?

Is it good to take a break from writing? Continue reading A writing hiatus

Why we share and what can go viral

What makes some quality pieces of writing more shareable than others? What makes some writing go viral while others stay quietly dormant where they started?

Good content is a must for a strong chance at being shared (I can see some rolling their eyes here and I agree. “Good” is a term subject to interpretation. Good here would be a measure of how far the writing has met its own goals which might not not necessarily be aligned with a universal standard of wholesome writing.)

There are too many “how to write viral content” articles out there for me to rehash here again. What intrigues me today is not so much the writing itself but the people involved with the writing in some form or the other–the readers who read, discuss and share–with or without having read the article. 

The desire to share

Jadavpur university bookstore
Jadavpur university bookstore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where does this desire to share come from? Do we gain anything from sharing an article written by somebody else, most often a total stranger? Could we understand the shareability factor of writing by not just looking at the writing itself but at the people who share? Is this new phenomenon really as new as it sounds?
Continue reading Why we share and what can go viral

How to stop worrying and start writing

Many of us just know we have it in us to produce some good writing of value. Yet, either anxiety doesn’t let us get there or makes us so slow that there’s no progress over long periods of time.

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

Some of us lose ourselves in the rituals we develop around writing–getting coffee, cleaning our desks, decorating a study room. Others wait for the perfect moment when writing will appear with the muse.

I’d say the only thing that can exorcise writing anxiety is a few pages of writing itself. And the only thing that can make you better at writing is more writing. Lots of it.

So how do you stop worrying and start writing?
Continue reading How to stop worrying and start writing

Must you keep blogging Mr. Blogger?

How do you stand out in the blogosphere?

Do you want to?

It’s important to ask that second question first because it’s tough work. Blogging.

Because the work never gets done. And just when you think you’re done, say, when you realize you’ve reached a certain number of regular readers or a certain number of strays who click on your page for some mysterious reason, you realize how sensitive those readers are to quality.

Those with short attention spans want good introductory hooks or great visuals. The deep ones want, well, depth. The busy ones want good timing. The “fans” want something every few days and the strays will come only if there’s excellence every time. Some will even start at the bottom of the post and read upwards. So the ending has to have a kick to it.
Continue reading Must you keep blogging Mr. Blogger?

Writing and detail

How do you write your descriptions? How to you remember the little details that are oft forgotten and fall by the wayside of our memories? How do you bring a moment to life exactly as it was as you were going through it? Above all, how do you get your memories to lie like truth? How do you create moments that make us remember things that were yet were not to lead us to our make believe worlds as though we were in them with the clarity of a memory?
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Notes on the condition of writers in the present day

It’s a rainy day today. The river is gray, the air is dense and foggy and the drenched people huddled under their umbrellas also seem bereft of colour. It all reminds me of a line from O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi when the young woman saw a “grey cat walking a grey fence in a grey backyard.”

Likewise, my foggy thoughts have condensed with the rain today around the rather gray topic of the difficulties of the writing profession in the present age.
Continue reading Notes on the condition of writers in the present day

Why writers must listen

All writers must be good listeners.

They must listen to the other without interrupting, without imposing themselves, without guiding the other’s train of thought.

Later, they cannot tell. They cannot tell the specific stories of others.

Yet, tell they must.

When they tell the stories, those stories must undergo a transformation and be unrecognizable.

The reader must find every person in the one person’s story and no one person in any story. Continue reading Why writers must listen

Why blog?

Sketch of gallery
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay. So I decided to write something little, something small whenever I feel like it. Isn’t that really what writing is all about? I mean, writing doesn’t really move mountains, or solve the economic crisis. You may try to hit someone hard with words, but a baseball bat is better. A few years ago, I saw a big cow eat an entire book. Didn’t make the creature any wiser. She was still standing, tied to a pole, the last I remember. Continue reading Why blog?

On grouping blog posts innovatively

OR On blog content arrangement Part 4

Once readers have been drawn to your blog, they may want more. At this point, you would need some kind of underlying idea to classify your posts. The more critical thinking you put in the classification aspect, the better your blog will be. The underlying principle has to come before you make use of the great features that will enable you to group blogs such as categories or custom menus. Continue reading On grouping blog posts innovatively

On a reader-friendly arrangement of blog posts

OR On blog content arrangement Part 2

We talked about difficulties of navigating blogs without proper cues yesterday in Part 1. Let’s think about a few principles of arrangement of posts on the page today.

On a reader-friendly arrangement of posts

So how can we arrange content on our blog so that it’s more accessible to the reader?

There is only one answer.

The easiest way to do this is to put ourselves in the reader’s shoes.

We won’t be able to know how it feels in the reader’s shoes unless we first know what kind of content we are generating which in turn is attracting what kind of readers. Continue reading On a reader-friendly arrangement of blog posts

On blog content arrangement

Part I

Have you ever seen a blog that you’ve wanted to see more of? You’ve tried to spend a minute or two trying to figure out how, been frustrated, and then moved on?

Haven’t you wondered sometimes how some bloggers put a lot of effort into writing a post, then select great pictures, put colourful badges, icons and a lot of other pretty things around the page and then put little thought into how the reader would navigate the blog? Continue reading On blog content arrangement

Letter from 2199: On E Reading, Books and Learning Technologies

Dear Great-Great-Great Aunt Bottledworder,

I cannot believe it’s mid-April already!

We’re nearing the end of my Spring semester. It makes me quite agitated to think that I still haven’t gotten my act together about even the first of my new year’s resolutions. That blinking reminder keeps mocking me from the corner of my screen — “Ten for Twenty: Ten Resolutions for 2199” ! Continue reading Letter from 2199: On E Reading, Books and Learning Technologies

Of bloggers, Birbal and birds: How to make yourself heard

How many of us bloggers are out there?

A mind-boggling number very hard to grapple with for sure.

Our sheer numbers  reminded me of a well known tale of Akbar and Birbal I came across recently on my flight back to the US from India. It was a version of the story in animation adapted for kids which I watched on the screen trapped in my little space in the sky.

It goes something like this: Continue reading Of bloggers, Birbal and birds: How to make yourself heard

Five observations on writing

I often think of this Indian vegetarian "thali" I had in Journal Square in Jersey City when I think of perfect writing. The ingredients come together well in each item in its own bowl and then all the bowls come together in a beautiful arrangement making the eating experience fun.
When I think of perfect writing, I often think of this Indian vegetarian “thali” I had in Journal Square in Jersey City . All parts are well integrated. The ingredients come together in each item in its own bowl and then all the bowls come together in a beautiful arrangement making the eating experience fun.

Food is fun but this post is about writing. But I’m okay with calling it Cheesy Nuggets of Wisdom about Writing from Bottledworder if that makes us feel hungry for words: Continue reading Five observations on writing