Today, I would like to share my experience with writing.
I didn’t like writing before when I was pursuing my higher education. But the day I began my college education, I felt the need to start writing.
To start with, I was hesitant to write about what should I write, whether or not it will be good or bad. The day I started writing I really felt good. I felt I should continue writing that entire day. My pen wouldn’t stop as my heart was in my writing.
When we start writing we count the words. I believe the more you write the less you feel the need to stop it.
I’m not a born writer, I write about things I feel good about. This is just a short glimpse of my writing. I hope you enjoyed my take on writing.
Bye for now.
See you in the next post.
Juzer Ali Haider is a graphic designer and event manager. He is part of Plush Penchants’ remote team. This post highlight in a short yet powerful manner his conquest of starting an overwhelming task of writing. Stay tuned for more such snippets!
Plush Penchants believe in promoting and celebrating the writer within you!
Did you know we post word prompts every two to three days a week on our Instagram page? We were extremely delighted to have an entry from Nawazish Sayed for conversations. This blog post is an anecdote of Asad and Zyra’s first encounter on a train.
Sayed is an aspiring writer who lives in Mumbai.
This is her story!
Returning to my hometown after 6 years was one of the happiest moments of my life. Travelled all over the world, I had forgotten the fragrance of my hometown. However after so long I decided to get back where I started from. Booked my ticket and soon I was off on my trip to my hometown. Travelling through flights I chose to get through train this time.
Moreover, it was my first time traveling on a train all alone. Being a traveler I was pretty sure I would get along with this trip all alone. Eventually, the day arrived all dressed and ready for my way back home I reached the departure counter, checked my seat and sat in my berth. Slowly, my journey started and near me were people whom I wasn’t quite aware of. My neighbors looked similar to some T.V. actors. A group of people yelling, screaming their heart out and enjoying their games and music but among them was a guy close to my age; seemed all shy and quiet in a corner of a seat sitting still, not uttering a word. I wondered why he was so quite amongst his companions. My journey was going to be interesting viewing these characters but I was more curious about that shy guy.
The regular vendors entered the compartment with tea and pakoras. I glanced my eyes over at that guy, and something caught my eyes. There he was staring at me with a cute smile. At first, I was a bit shy but I looked back with a smile and I saw his cheeks turn pink. There was something he wanted to tell me and I could sense it. For a few times, our eyes exchanged glances and eventually, he came up to talk to me. For the first time, I was a bit nervous.
My personality changed from a confident young lady to a shy person. What was wrong with me? I thought back in my mind.
He came near my berth and asked, “Lady, can I have a tea date with you here?”I was shocked not knowing how to react, I was asked for a date that too on a moving train. I looked back with my eyes looking straight into his and spoke, “Excuse me, have you mistaken me for some other girl?” He replied, “No” He turned back, bought two cups of tea and smiled. I was still figuring out, inexpressible and there he said, “Travelling alone for the first time is always fun” I smiled back taking the tea in my hand and replied, “Do not share experiences without sharing names”. He again smiled and replied, “ASAD” I smiled back and replied, “Zyra.”
Our conversation ended with that smile. He walked over to his berth and me back into my sheets for a nap.
The train halted at a station at 2 in the night. My stomach crumbled as I was hungry and I decided to get down to look for something hygienic to eat. Before that, my eyes rolled to look up for Asad, but he was nowhere to be seen.I walked through the compartment door and there he was standing at the entrance looking up at the stars, engrossed. I interrupted him and he excused me with his smile. I questioned him as I was way too curious to know, why he smiles back at me secretly every time I look at him. He replied, “Zyra words cant express what a smile can. The time I smiled for the first time at you I saw the reflection of my smile in your eyes through your trembling lips. “No matter, his words touched my heart my lips couldn’t utter words because I was so engrossed in his words. I forgot about my hunger and got back to my seat. Asad was still at the door but I went to sleep thinking about what he had said to me.
Early next morning when I woke up he was standing near my window seat holding a kerchief so that the disturbing sunlight does not disturb my sleep. He looked back with a smile and all I could do was smile back engrossed in his smile. He said,”It was nice meeting you, time to leave.” I got up all confused with questions about the smile, the secrets, the inexpressible words and curiously asked him that does he smile back to everyone like he did to me. He looked down with blushy cheeks and replied, “A friend like you will always be memorable…This smile happens when these eyes see you.” There I was, for the first time blushing for a guy who was just a friend whom I had encountered a night before. I replied,”You will always be a memory to me. Just a smile.”
He walked back as his station arrived, as he left, he turned back looked at me and said,”Have a safe journey Zyra..” and walked away with his smile hidden with secrets and slowly I saw as he left.
I wanted to stop him. I wanted to ask him the secret behind his smile for me. I wanted to know his hidden words which weren’t expressible.But he was just a smile which I had felt and continued my journey just with the smile he had given me. In this world of technology, we got so engrossed with the secrets of our smiles that we didn’t bother to exchange numbers or information about each other. It was just our smiles that talked, that we remained in our memories forever and ever as strangers who met in a train and at last my journey to my hometown ended with unanswered questions and secrets but eventually just with a secretive smile.
Pondicherry often colloquially called as Pondy is a union territory situated in Tamil Nadu. The place has stayed famous for it has a cultural blend of the French and Tamils. The city is small, well kept, green and not densely populated compared to other cities of India.
I had booked a hotel with Fabhotel Esparan Heritage. The hotel had an antique, old house, fresh wood smell to it. What I loved about this particular hotel were the vibes. Before I share my travel updates, I want to share a misadventure I had at the beginning of my trip (which I conveniently chose not to share with my parents in Bangalore).
Yeah, I started from Bangalore late evening at around 9:30 – ish. I was supposed to reach Pondicherry before sunrise probably at 4 or 5. The thing with me and buses is that I get uncontrollably sleepy and disoriented when I am on them. Early morning at around the same time that I was to reach Pondicherry the driver passes down the bus aisle and yelled “PONDICHERRY” in a thick Tamil accent. I woke up a bit startled wondering where I was when I realized the driver must have howled a few minutes back and that the bus had started moving again. I picked my luggage, rushed to where the driver was seated. I informed him that I had to get down at the Pondicherry bus stop and if he could take me there. Only to find he couldn’t understand a word of Hindi I was speaking.
I tried, again and again, telling him to stop the bus and take me back to the city in vain; he, on the other hand, was so adamant! He drove fast on the highway and dropped me a good two kilometers at the outskirts. At that hour early in the morning, I felt weirdly uneasy and extremely insecure. I did locate an autorickshaw nearby but felt skeptical to board it.
It took all my courage to ask the autorickshaw driver to take me to my hotel and just like the bus driver he didn’t understand Hindi or English! He looked cooperative though. Which helped me clear my mind off apprehensiveness. Racked my drowsy brain to come up with a solution through which I could get him to understand where I wanted to go.
I CALLED THE HOTEL. They didn’t pick up. I tried four times in vain. They picked up eventually. The hotel operator thankfully understood English! Aaargh! He explained the autorickshaw driver in Tamil where to take me! AND I finally reached my destination.
According to my plan, I stayed for two days one night at my hotel. The places I visited are:
MANAKULA VINAYAGAR TEMPLE
SACRED HEARTS CHURCH
LADY OF ANGELS CHURCH
As this was my first solo trip to any given place, I went well-researched. The first events of my trip left me vigilant for the entire trip. I visited most sightseeing places (according to the print-out given by my very cordial hotel operator) on the first day.
According to the natives of Pondicherry, the climate was ‘pleasant’. Although, I felt nothing close to pleasant till evening on both days. It was humid and sticky. Unlike, other tourists I didn’t go to Auroville. I am one of those people who are not fond of meditation centers and spiritual theories, to say the least.
Pondicherry has a relaxed, retired vibe to it. It gives solo writers what they crave the most – solitude from the noise and a fast-paced lifestyle. I had a ball of a time eating alone, observing people and the streets.
PLACES I VISITED TO GRAB A BITE
Had coffee here!
Cafe near Rock Beach
Pondicherry has many stores and shops that sell antique and craft goods. Most of my second day went shopping for trinkets and souvenirs. I bought mini books of quotes from SABDA, fragrances, candles, and incenses from AUROSHIKHA, paper goods from an Auroville community-managed store. Also, JANAKI sells environmentally friendly goods. I purchased a smart bag from there.
I rented out a bike in Pondicherry as I love riding. It gave me the freedom to explore most of Pondicherry on road. Will I visit Pondicherry again? Probably no. Oh yes, but just for the beaches. Some might ask why I didn’t indulge in any water activities or sports activities. Well, I experienced all of it in Andamans (read the blog) in July.
That is a wrap. I hope you liked reading about my travel experience. If you wish to know more, let me know in the comments below. Follow my social media to get updates on content writing and blogs I update not so frequently. LOL. Ok but seriously, follow.
Let’s take a quick mental field trip today…..into the land of the ever imaginative Roald Dahl. Yes, the guy who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate factory! And no, it was not just a movie, it was a movie based off of the book! Crazy right?
Anybody who has watched the movie is so enamoured by the set and design of the visuals. I mean, chocolate rivers and candy trees; Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory is a dream come true! That Golden ticket is every fiction baby’s fantasy (except you know, our Hogwarts Letters :P), and the chance to live in that world would be so exceptional.
To anybody who has also read the book, this mystical factory is even more magical. And in there lies my disbelief! How is it, that words affect my imagination to grow more than the actual visual right in front of my eyes? How do I get so wrapped up in the words that I can actually see it unfold in my mind?
Dahl’s writing abilities are mind boggling. And that’s where our lesson lies. The main ones being that writing is an art. A writer is an artist and it is the job of an artist to imagine the unimaginable. To be unafraid, to be free and downright crazy. And to build our words into the very soul of the reader.
Roald Dahl was my early childhood….and now when I go back to his words, I can see the power he had. His power was simple, he transported his reader to his world, with and without pictures. And speaking of pictures; there lies our second lesson.
Illustrations and photographs, if chosen correctly can absolutely elevate your content to the highest of highs. Use them wisely and use them often, just like your favourite Roald Dahl books. Just remember to back up the visuals with great content!
On the upside, now that this website is up and running, and self-sustaining; writing blogs for it shouldn’t feel like a task. Especially for a content writer. Writing should flow like poetry, like a lullaby, like a gush of cool wind on a hot sunny day. But sometimes, it is hardly like that. I wish if there were noticeable triggers available to clear conscious processes.
It is not easy to clear writing blocks. Months of procrastinating, socializing, loving, thinking, traveling and reading voraciously don’t help. What are content writers to do? I ain’t a novelist yet. Hardly a substantial author but just a very young thinker and observer. I wished there was magic I could use to transcribe my floating chaotic thoughts on printable devices or machines. Probably then, I would have produced much written organized literature to upload on this website.
Moving and floating, like this written piece, unlike other blogs on this website I share my dilemmas of writer’s block.
Oh but you have experienced it. And illogically, I find myself to be tormented by demons fabricated in my mind which nulls my writing prowess. I wish to kill those demons. But, overthinkers are unable to come up with enough strength to kill these demons. I don’t think I am strong enough.
Prisoner as I am of my own mind and its sensibilities, I find myself now surfacing and clearing clutter. My brain, full of valuable, precious memories and thoughts, is stuffed in a small closet, cluttering and occupying cramp spaces. Its like focusing on one thought removes other, jumbled, stuffed pieces with it. Knowing the amount of time I would need to clean the mess, I decided instead of dealing with one thought at a time, I would focus on decluttering the closet first, throwing all of it on the floor and then probably sifting through them like clothes, deciding which one to organize where, and then getting rid of unwanted thoughts that still cluttered.
After a break up which tore me into pieces inside out, I ended up doing the most cliched thing. I stopped listening to music. And this happened five years back. Till a few months back, the sound of music repulsed my soul and irritated my mind. And now, going through a process of internal healing, I am welcoming sounds, music and words back into my life. I have missed listening to music.
Twenty-four years now, and hating each part of growing up, conflicted to accept a womanly mature face and bosom, here I have laid my greatest demons of adulting. All this time, thinking that writing was an external experience, I got wronged.
Opening my eyes to reality, few days past my birthday, and hoping to have immortality of body and soul, I am here to embrace aging and adulting. Awakening at twenty four, here is my epiphany.
To be a halfway decent writer, you have to be a more than decent reader! Established authors are the pros of the trade…learn from them.
You cannot be a writer without being a reader, and for that reason, I hope to share with you some of my favourite stories/authors and what I have learned from them. Presenting –
BACK TO BOOKS!
Today’s story is going to be short and young but I kid you not, it is going to be helpful to learn from it!(see what I did there? :P) I remember that for me, reading was an activity that I enjoyed even as child, and I am pretty sure that the kid who read Pinnochio and Aladdin is the reason why this adult writes.
Pinnochio played an important role for me, even though I never knew who wrote it. I personally had the Scholastic book’s version of Pinnochio, with beautiful illustrations to boot.
What strikes me about children’s books is that they are so unapologetically imaginative, yet so clean and simple. And so begins the lessons learned from children’s books –
You have a crazy idea, complicated and complex theories to share? Then keep your writing as simple as possible. Do not let the content be confusing and overpower your theory.
Know your audience and put out content that marries well with their level. No schmancy fancy words are needed, leave those for the dissertations and journals of the world.
It’s ok to add a bit of colour and low-key cheesiness in your words once in a while. Just don’t overdo it.
Aim to entertain and engage; learning and awareness will follow!
That’s it for today folks, have a nice day and read a good book! With coffee, obviously!
If you are planning on putting out blog posts, or articles or similar contents.. summaries are a very important part of the process.
You have to admit… every time you open up a newspaper, do you honestly read all articles completely? Or do you just skim through headlines and taglines only? Like any normal person, if the two line summary does not entice you, you will not read the complete article. Ergo, summaries are extremely important! Don’t take them lightly but do keep them light.(read short and simple)
So how exactly does one write a summary?
Step 1- Write your main body of content.
Step 2- Edit, Edit, Edit!
Step 3- Read through your final work.
Step 4- Give yourself some twitter vibes and set a 60 word limit. You can increase the word limit to 80 but try not to go beyond that.
Step 5- Now you can begin writing the summary. Questions to be answered in a summary can be :
What is this article about?
What will it mean to the reader?
What question does it pose?
For what reason has it been written?
Do not ever give away the entire answer of your content. Summaries are not be inundated with all the specs and stats of your article. Just give an overview of what’s to come. For example, the summary for this post can go something like :-
Give your readers a proper taste of what’s to come. Learn the knows and hows of proper summary writing and use them well for your further posts!
In short, a summary is not a condensed version of your article; it is instead merely a gist of what your content is about. So folks, good luck summarizing your thoughts!
I follow this very simple philosophy when it comes to writing;
‘Write like a science student but think like an artist’
Most technical students will write short, concise and precise contents. They don’t ever go around beating the bush or even try to use fancy words to seem cool. They treat writing as only giving out information, that too, important information only! No extra words, no random things – only relevant data finds a way in.
But artists and people who write for pleasure can go on and on and on. More often than not, I fall under this category. I can take a simple sentence and spin it out infinitely, making my work so long that exceeding word limit becomes a lesser worry that exceeding space limits!
Writing content for businesses and marketing should be a healthy balance between these two styles. You cannot bore your consumers with only statistics and facts, neither can you bore them with your entire life story in a single piece.
A healthy dose of information with interest piquing anecdotes or captions keeps your content from drowning in a sea of unnecessary words. Take the brand Chumbak for example- the captions on their Instagram page are short, fun and exactly clues you into what’s going on.
Taglines and captions in this social media-obsessed world are so very important. Every tag and every word live online forever and this forms your brand image.
Remember, content is the hook of your business. Line it well for a smashing sinker!
In the day and age of hashtags and ‘U versus you’, when e-commerce is taking over 3D shops, content marketing can be a total game-changer for your business. Good quality content represents all that is your company and its products/services, it establishes your brand ideology. With just a few well-chosen words, you get to directly communicate with your consumers.
What exactly is ‘good content for marketing‘?
When your content is getting too long, too boring or too filled with grammatical errors – that is when you have officially lost the good content tag.
While looking at product or service descriptions, advertisements, captions etc; consumers will generally gravitate more towards concise yet clear content. The better you portray what you write, the more people will not mind reading and in turn having a look at it. With retail dynamics shifting online, sellers are devoid of physical contact with their customers.
Good content is like your online window display, it attracts people towards your business and piques the interest of passers-by.
Don’t rely on amateur writing; like other aspects of a business, professional help in content marketing can truly elevate the look and feel of your brand.
Charismatic writing and personality are what you look for in your sales team and is what you should be looking for, in the words of your content creator.
Online or offline, make content king; for he represents your entire kingdom!