Last week, I was biking home with my son after picking him from daycare. The road was just then passing through a wooded patch. A handyman’s van was parked half on the curb, and beside it, the handyman himself, by the looks of it, was stooping over a girl that was sitting on the ground beside an overturned kick scooter. The girl was perhaps ten years old and had clearly been crying. There were a couple of kids farther up the road watching.Continue reading “Passivity”

To the dreamers (living with the demons)

I’ve watched a fair share of mediocre B-movies on a rainy day when I needed a bit of easy-going cheering. In them, the protagonist often has a dream, lots of setbacks, then rolls up the sleeves and after a sequence of scenes showing hard work of some sort, the protagonist gets to live the dream.

But what does it really mean to fight for a dream and then, if so fortunate, to live the dream? I think that the reality is not as rosy, especially when the coveted dream does not align with social axioms.Continue reading “To the dreamers (living with the demons)”

I am every breath

I’d like to share with you a small philosophy that came to me recently.

I don’t meditate as often as I would like to, but each time I sit down to this honorable activity, my respect for it and for the people adept at it grows. I was meditating a few days ago, and was constantly trying to stop my mind from thinking, “Yes! Now I am only thinking about my breathing!” Because the minute I thought that, I was no longer focusing solely on my breathing and, consequently, I wasn’t doing a very good job at meditating.Continue reading “I am every breath”

Dasung’s Paperlike E Ink Monitor: A review from a writer’s perspective

I often write in the evenings which hitherto meant torturing my eyes with an LCD monitor after dark. This is why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the world’s first E Ink monitor offered by Dasung – a Chinese startup. I bought my monitor on IndieGoGo.

I have always found it a pity that not more is beeing done on developing E Ink monitors. They, of course, have limitations such as the lack of color and the relatively slow refresh rate—I wouldn’t watch a video on such a monitor—but for certain types of office work, an E Ink monitor is superior to an LCD screen.Continue reading “Dasung’s Paperlike E Ink Monitor: A review from a writer’s perspective”

To word count or not to word count? A lesson from Camp NaNoWriMo

Now that Camp NaNoWriMo is over, I have a confession to make: I didn’t reach my word count goal. I was not even close. I will not give any numbers because it’s embarrassing. I won’t use excuses such as I had a busy time in my day job (which I had) or that I had to travel (which I really did). These could have been the reasons, but they weren’t. The real reason behind my NaNoWriMo failure was that sitting down to write with a specific word count in mind doesn’t motivate me; on the contrary, it blocks me. I suspect that there are others out there with a similar allergy.Continue reading “To word count or not to word count? A lesson from Camp NaNoWriMo”

Writing at home: strategies not to get sidetracked

This post is for writers who write at home, who are neat-freaks, who can’t have loose ends dangling while they write, who need to have a tidy house before they even sit down, who for some reason can’t go to a library to write, and who don’t want to change how they are (this is anyway generally impossible).

With some reorganization and expenditure of finances for daycare, I have two half days a week cleared up for writing. This in itself is amazing! I have never before had such luxury. After the initial excitement, though, I ended up frustrated most days because I used only a fraction of the time for writing. I would send husband and kid out of the door and then notice all the things that need doing, and I just couldn’t tune out the surrounding disorder and focus on ordering words.Continue reading “Writing at home: strategies not to get sidetracked”

The best advice for writers is perhaps no advice at all

I’m a pantser: I write without reviewing or editing until I reach “The End”, and then I fix my complete (if this is the right word in this case) draft later.

I know there are also the semi-pantsers out there who first write a chapter or a section to the end and then fix it up before going on. There are also the edit-as-I-goers who prefer to have a well-edited work, albeit still incomplete, before writing new material on it. And there are of course the plotters who wouldn’t start writing without having a detailed plot laid out first.

Which method is better?Continue reading “The best advice for writers is perhaps no advice at all”

Picking up the good fight

I’m back from lazy beaches and cerulean seas. There’s nothing like the sound of waves to bring me to a thoughtful state and no better time than being on a holiday to take stock of my life. Taking myself out of my daily routine – out of my context – paid off though the experience was jarring.

It all started with encountering the phrase “the good fight” in Paulo Coelho’s book The Pilgrimage. Coelho attributes the first mention of this phrase to St. Paul. In any case, it struck a cord with me.Continue reading “Picking up the good fight”

Abolishing the writing routine

I shared in an earlier post that having a baby (my son was born a year ago) was the catalyst for learning to write in any small available moment. I was up until recently convinced  that a routine is critical to sustainable writing. So, I never thought that writing in this on-and-off way will ever do for me who before needed to have her desk and a comfortable chair, and then her cup of tea, and the exactly right keyboard, and enough time ahead of her not to feel pressured to produce, and then would figure out that perhaps writing in the library was better because of the fewer distractions, and so on.Continue reading “Abolishing the writing routine”

Chasing that elusive word count goal

The way I see it is that every writing advice out there homes in on the following mantra: write every day, no matter what. Some, like Stephen King in On Writing, even suggest that you will never really get anywhere unless you write a few thousand words a day.

I partially agree with this advice. I do believe in steady writing. Also, I think that if I were to write only 250 words a day, it will take me an awful lot of time to finish my novel. And what about all the other ideas in my head?Continue reading “Chasing that elusive word count goal”