The Worst Advice I Have Ever Heard About Writing

Ladies, and gentlemen. Members of the jury. Today, I will be writing about writing. Yup, guilty as charged.

I have a little dilemma. Actually, let’s call it, “Thinking out loud.”

Be honest if you ever tried this.

You have an interesting idea, and though it is about your life experience, somehow there is a universal theme. Something that can be googled. So, you type the keywords, and you try different variations. Before you know it, it has been an hour and your browser window is filled with dozens of open tabs.

All within your theme. And maybe some on the edge of it.

The point is you end up being overwhelmed with some ten, twelve thousand words and you shout, “Oh Shit! All of it is already written.”

You feel sad, even depressed (Though that’d be technically wrong, sad and depressed are on the entirely different spectrum). You pace in your room and after a while, you end up wandering through parks.

Suddenly you get an epiphany, “Hey! How about I modify what everyone has written, add my own experience, and voila, I’ll have the best blog post ever.”

What? It’s only me?

Hmm, Shit.

So, back to the matter at hand. You reread the twelve thousand or so words, and you start modifying it. You know, changing synonyms, shuffling, adding and whatnot.
Hours pass, and you end up being exhausted. You check the word count and shit. Only four hundred words.

Flashbacks anyone?

Liars.

I have said it countless times (I am not joking), there isn’t a point to originality. There is nothing new under the sun. And yet when we write from memory, our words flow smoother. All right, maybe not smoother but better than the whole modified writing.

Isn’t it interesting?

When you write what has already been written, there are two ways to do it. One is by experiencing it. Some of us experience by reading too, so let’s keep it aside for this point. All right?

Right now, let’s talk only about real life experiences.

When we write what we know, we end up giving the words a personality. It is true. Swear to God.

Creative fiction is all well and good, but every piece of fiction has a shred of reality. There isn’t any other way.

Writing what we know. The only mantra I follow.

Shit. I am back on the same kind of post I have written dozens of times. Like I said, there isn’t anything new under the sun.

**
Via Daily Prompt: Agile

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Seasons Of Life

As promised, here we are.

Shall we do introductions, or straight dive in the conflict? Why are we even bothering, we all know what I am going to do.

There is a hindi proverb (I’m Indian after all, though people have their doubts).

“Waqt se pehle aur kismat se zyada kisi ko kuch nahi milta.”

The closest English translation would be, “No one gets anything more, or before time, than what is written in their fate.”

Hey don’t look at me, my hindi is horrible. Like I said, people have their doubts.

I won’t agree with the fate part, but I do agree with the part about time. Unless you do your due diligence, you’ll never achieve the results you wish to achieve.

I’m a biochemist so I can only talk from that point of view. Unless I did my masters, unless I performed necessary experiments, unless I developed the skills required for an immunologist, I wouldn’t have been able to do justification to my PhD.

You see how I didn’t use the term I couldn’t have been able to get into PhD? Sadly, these days almost anyone can get into a PhD program in India. Believe me, I’m not joking. And before I end up sounding like a bitter jealous scholar, let’s drop the matter there.

See, I’m a nerd, that’s who I am, so I’ll always talk about science. But the truth of time will hold true. Always, and everywhere.

Can you get into a six figure paying job unless you do your due diligence? Unless you suffer for years? Actually suffer is too strong a word. Let’s say, unless you sweat for years developing your skills.

That’d be more in layman terms.

There are phases for everything. Life teaches us all different lessons. There aren’t any good or bad lessons, just different lessons.

Everything teaches us something. Everything has its season.

**

Via Daily Prompt: Loophole

How To Define A Successful Blog

Blogging.

One word with so much potential.

If I ask you to define blogging, what will you say? And keep in mind, you aren’t allowed to google.

If this post ends up being read by hundred people (Which is highly unlikely), there will be hundred different answers.

The word is so versatile and diverse. Million people, million definitions.

I’ll tell you mine. For me, blogging represents artistic freedom. There is no right or wrong way to blog. There is only blogging.

Brilliant? Maybe not.

dog sitting in front of a computer/laptop - humour, funny

Successful, and unsuccessful, that’s another deal.

Tell me something, how will you define a blog as successful? The one that earns million dollars in revenue? The one that contains the relevant information for which you read it? A blog that provided you an escape from the pain?

I can give hundred other examples, but I guess I made my point clear.

Successful blogs, like the definition of blogging, are based on an arbitrary notion. Million people, million points of views.

One general conception of blogging, for writers, is that blogging improves your writing skill.

That’s a generalized statement.

Blogging does help you improve your command over language, I’ll agree to that. But how do you define improvement of writing skills?

Let me carry it forward as a reader rather than a writer.

**Nerd alert.**

When I read a blog, I expect a post to contain simple language, and easy to digest bits of information. I also expect it to be a standalone story. if it starts something, it should end it on a satisfactory note too.

At least satisfactory by my standards.

When I read a novel, I do not expect that. I do not want easy to digest chunks. I want a complicated story in which the information on page ten suddenly becomes relevant on page two-hundred-fifty.

I can give more examples, but that sums it up nicely.

Blogging is about conversing. At its root, it’s all about informal conversations. Come to think of it, even creative writing, at its root, is about conversing.

But that’s a different style of conversation.

#11 Steps To Eternal Bliss by Another Douche

We are driven by our fears. Everything in human civilization could be traced as an attempt to overcome fear.

funnel that filter everything.

We all have pain that we hide, a part of us that we just aren’t ready to share with the world.

It can be difficult at times. Even impossible. But being true to ourselves, it is always easy in the end.

So what if we suffer? Aren’t our sufferings a part of our life?

Life is an amalgamation of everything. Sad. Happy. Despair. Anger. And whatnot. Life is life.

Then why do we always chase happiness? Isn’t that a concept too?

Come to think of it, what is happiness?

Accepting some hypothetical series of hormonal impulses? Because believe me, that’s all their is to satisfaction. A surge of feel good hormones.

Everything comes with an expiration date. And the only absolute truth is death. I’m not saying that we should simply stop living, and wait for death.

I’m still not that gloomy.

But why? Why do we chase a hypothetical when in reality, it is never possible. Something will always trump whatever pleasure, or happiness, you are experiencing right now.

There is no such thing as pure bliss. It’s only accepting our tale of life.

That’s all there is to it, accepting things for what they are.

Now, before you think I’m a negative speaker, let me extend it like this. Can’t my words, accepting the situation as it is, be used as a driving force? I’m ambitious, so rather than worrying that I’ll never achieve the greatness I so dearly wish for, how about I accept it, and let it fuel me?

One step at a time.

Rather than chasing the high of an eternal happiness, a satisfaction, why not accept the misery of ambition?

I sound like someone who just took LSD, or maybe some other narcotics.

It’s all the over the place, I guess. But that’s how rambles work, don’t they?

Actually, life lessons work that way too. There is no fucking manual.

#11 steps to eternal bliss by another fucking douche.

Life is life. One step at a time.

Failed Experiments

Today, I’m running short on time. I’ve been in the lab since nine in the morning and, most likely, it will extend till two in the night.

But I’ve to write. Not because of my commitment to write everyday, but because if I don’t, I won’t be able to sleep.

Few days back, I wrote a post titled, “The Greatest Teacher.” In the mentioned post, I talked about the importance of failure.

Today, I’ve another write-up, another unoriginal post. We, as scientists, correction, certain people take offence when we call ourselves scientists. So, as PhD scholar working extensively with different aspects of molecular biology, I often run into troubles with my experiments.

Actually, nine out of ten times, I either get a negative result, or some other form of unexpected results. And when we get that, as researchers, we use the fancy term of troubleshooting. It is nothing but working around, or correcting, our mistakes.

I do get lucky, every now and then, and get positive results too. But as much as I’ve learned because of those negative, or unexpected results, I never came close with positive results.

Sure, I feel happy, actually elated, when I get that positive PCR band, or a perfectly cloned DNA. But if it wasn’t for all those unexpected clones, PCR amplicons, or sequencing, I wouldn’t be the same researcher I am today.

Shit, I wrote too much again. Damn, I can’t shut up, can I?

Well, there you have it, another researcher praising his failed experiments. Actually, I guess I am the only one.

Scientists, sorry researchers, take offence if you say they can make mistakes.

Not Every Story Is Worth Telling

There is a saying, “Not every story is worth telling.”

You know, I have the perfect answer to that. If such a thing was true, if every story wasn’t worth telling, shit, so many scriptwriters would be out of the job.

It is a struggle which we often have. What should I write about? If I write another post about writing, wouldn’t I be cheating? Won’t I be another hypocrite?

At least I think that way.

Let me tell you a little tale. A treat, maybe.

Yesterday, one of my good blogging friends, Grabbety Covens reblogged an article by Mr. Funk E. Dude. Give it a read. Believe me, it’s beautifully written.

Continue reading “Not Every Story Is Worth Telling”

The Oldest Writing Advice

I have a rather complicated relationship with writing.

I know it sounds strange. What kind of idiot says he has a relationship with writing, Right?

Maybe some other day. One day, when I would have exhausted all that I could and finally become filthy rich, I might write a little memoir about writing.

But let’s write a little synopsis right now, shall we?

Continue reading “The Oldest Writing Advice”

The Shackles Of Doubts

In any discussion, there is a certain point where you run out of things to say, you realize you’ve exhausted all the arguments you could have made, and then you find yourself stuck in a vicious cycle of thoughts, repeating itself over and over again, a cycle made of drivels.

Don’t worry, it isn’t random. Though I do like starting my posts like this.

A straight dive into the conflict.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with writing. It isn’t the part where I lay down words on paper (A screen in my case), it’s the part where I think of sharing it with others.

Fucking standards. You know, I believe I’ve already written a post quite similar to the one I’m writing right now.

Only so much you can ramble before you repeat yourself.

Again. 

And again.

Writers who can work around their doubts, they are the ones who find writing to be easy. For some of us, me included, the shackles of doubts are too strong. So, we struggle.

We struggle finding our worth. Even though we know there isn’t anything new under the sun. Just the same old story, but different tellers.

You would think after writing so much for such long time, it’d be slightly easier, right? Well, you thought wrong.

It’s the second one where the real struggle lies. First one, people often attribute to beginner’s luck. Fuck people, even the writer, himself or herself, attributes their first work to luck.

It’s easy to go from zero to ninty, it’s the last ten where the entire battle is done.

The second step.

When we take it, we already have the weightage of the first one. We have already committed, so there isn’t any going back.

It feels so fucking heavy.

See, I don’t want to carry this thought anymore. I started the first step, and the second one, the one where I’m supposed to resolve this post, I do not want to take that step.

If you deal in art, then suffering is your currency.

Like I said, I feel as if I’m repeating myself over and over again. So, what would be the point of resolving the conflict?

I’m pretty sure I must have written the answer in one of my previous post.

Nature of The Life That We Chose

watercolor painting of pink flower on a spring morning

Straight, no self-justification.

You write long enough and you’re bound to end up writing for others. Maybe a bad analogy but it is the closest thing I can think of, “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.” OK. Maybe a little passive aggressive there, but you can feel my unrest, right?

It’s amusing how I can relate everything to writing, how I can create analogies that revolve around written words. Like a heretic, I’m alone and abandoned. Nature of the life that we choose.

Rhetoric and real lives, they are two completely different things.