7 Things to do that your Tomorrow will Thank you for

1. Manage your time well…for time is the essence lives are made of. Be sure about the things you want to spend your time on; once it slips away, there is no going back to retrieve it.

2. Think long term goals…because long term and tomorrows are what you are driving yourself to. Don’t sacrifice the future for instant gratification. Have a roadmap and keep coming back to it to see whether you are on track.

3. Say thanks, express gratitude…for the tomorrow stands on the foundation of a healthy, happy and confident today. Counting your blessings makes you see the wonderful life you have had and that you can continue to have. 

4. Cherish the ephemeral…because it would not last and because it is the nature of creation to bring forth beauty into lives, no matter how short. So, hold it and live it for the experience and the memories.

5. Connect…with the people who matter, because ‘no man is an island, complete in himself’. Reach out, be vulnerable and nurture the affinity you have with others.

6. Find out what makes you happy…and pursue it wholeheartedly so that you do not have to look back one day and regret the things you let go. Make yourself happy and stay happy. Remember that going after what you want is as satisfying as actually achieving the goal.

7. Resolve your problems using your subconscious…for the subconscious mind holds the solution to your problems. You know so much if only you ask your own self. Pose yourself questions and get down to deconstruct the fears that are holding you back.

What would you like to do to pave the way for a better tomorrow?

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5 Ways to Find Your Authentic Voice

We all wish to write well. We wish to engage our readers, to influence them and inspire them as well. Through our writing we want to be heard and to connect.
And yet, sometimes we are unable to express ourselves from the core of our being. We may be writing right or writing well but we miss having a genuine engagement with our readers.

Here are a few ways to write in our unique, authentic voices.

1. Add another layer to your subject matter

Whether you are writing of food or of life choices, add a theme or an underlying motif to your writing. You may speak of your life, or your environment, your city or your culture. Any influences that have shaped you and made you what you are today are likely to resonate with your readers because this is what you know and are passionate about. 

2. Be rather than do

This may sound cryptic but when you focus too much on doing, on chasing goals, on planning or executing you lose touch with your innermost core. We are so caught up in rushing and meeting deadlines that we don’t have the time to relax into our being. We react rather than being proactive.

So, take the time to ‘be’, to nurture your self to come back to writing as the unique person that you are.

3. Loosen your emotions

There are so many emotions that we would rather not experience. Pain, anger, resentment, jealousy…we push them to the back of our conscious minds. The emotions fester and bring an unease that we carry with us. Confronting or even simply accepting these negative thoughts and feelings is the first step towards healing. The acceptance of our flawed selves opens us to the beauty we have in the people around us. 

4. Stay honest

At least to yourself. Be brutally honest about your aspirations, expectations and your values. Search within and know your code of ethics. Recognise your strengths and recognise the areas you wish you could improve. 

Authentic writing is more an expression of your true self than anything else. When you know clearly who you are and what moves your soul, you can go after those things in your life and in your writings. You can bring your unique perspective to the writing.

5. Follow it through

Know that creativity makes you express yourself and know that you are doing yourself a favour by following through what you do well. Keep at it and try to drown the noise of criticism…inner, more than anyone else’s.

4 ways (and a bonus tip) to push ahead with your writing projects 

One, know how to juggle the various writing projects that you have on your plate. Scheduling time for them on the basis of priority would be a good idea especially when you are tempted to pick and complete the easiest or the one dearest to your heart. 

Two, know that rotating the projects can be rejuvenating and keep you away from the writer’s block. You would always have something you can come back to and your writing muscles stay flexed. 

Three, know what helps you gain momentum when you are slacking on your projects. When it comes to writing, certain forms may be more conducive to making the push. For fiction, writing short stories could help you compress the process of writing a novella. Writing long form could help you clarify your thoughts for an informative article. Change the form you are writing in currently to kick start your creativity. 

Four, begin with the end in mind. Know what ways and where the writing would end up. You must be sure of the literary journals or publications your writing is targeting. This would keep you motivated and help you stay on course. 

Lastly, know when to step back. Writing can be fulfilling and it can also be tough. Taking a break could be the best way to recharge yourself. 

How do you manage your various writing assignments? I would love to know more ways. 

5 Things that help me get back to Writing

More often than not, I find a slump in my writing life. Things happen, there are minor hiccups, there are major upheavals and writing takes a back seat. Or, nothing happens and a sense of ennui prevents me from taking up my pen. 

I know that I need to shake myself out of my reverie. Here are a few things that I do to get back to writing from the heart. 

1. Change the scene

I might go to a nearby town or a picnic or even a short walk, but a change of scene does wonders to the way I think. I might get back rejuvenated or inspired by a different set of feelings that the new place have evoked in me. 

2. Read more 

Reading leads to writing. Reading is one part of the creative process of writing. Reading others gives rise to newer threads of thought and the words and the tone of a writer can bring forth my own response. 

3. Write of things I absolutely love

There are things I would want to talk about all the time. Those are the things I can write about. There have been books that I could never have enough of. There have been emotions that have evoked a prompt response in my heart. A few things, some places, some foods, art and culture and our response to societal norms are things I use to get back to writing more. 

4. Explore the ways others write 

To know of ways writers write and to understand their rituals and imagine their feelings kicks forth the energy and helps the creative juices to flow. It is good to know that many others have the same struggles and also the same euphoria at a piece written well. 

5. Visualize the end result 

If there is a piece that is sitting unfinished and needs to be pursued, it helps if I think it through the end. For a fictional piece of work, running the story through my mind gets me all worked up to get back to writing. Looking at the structure of the piece in other kinds of writing and creating an outline works very well too. 

Please share the ways in which you make sure that you are writing. Are there any specific rituals that you have before and during writing? 

4 Things I Need to Hear when the Times feel Tough

There are times when we are just bumbling along, trying to manage the messes we find ourselves in or to sail smooth in the rough, choppy waters. 

Sure, they happen to me when the spirit feels heavy and I cannot think beyond the now. 

Here are the things that I must remind myself of :

1. Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of others. Practice self compassion. Be kind to yourself. Try to be understanding just as you are for others in need of guidance and support. Be non judgemental. Forgive yourself. It is alright. You need all the love you can get. 

2. This, too, shall pass. Good moments and bad moments are made so through our perceptions. And whatever it is that you are going through at the moment is unlikely to stay forever. Life is a constant state of flux. Embrace the change, even welcome it. Nothing difficult is going to stay that way forever. 

3. There are no lives without challenges and no paths without obstacles. Enjoy the process of getting to your goal. Stay grateful that you have the resources and the confidence to tackle the difficult times. 

4. The perfect moment is Now. The present is when everything that you have aspired for comes together. Do not wait to prepare to launch your dream. Understand the why of your dream and of your action and the how would fall into place. Your deeper self only needs to be convinced of the importance of pursuing what you want. The actual way to go about doing it would fall into place if you are committed enough. 

What is your favorite piece of advice that you hang onto, when times are difficult? 

11 Serious Replies to Earnest Spam Comments

For the nearly 3 years that I have been blogging, Akismet has protected me from 5,409 comments. Whew! Some of them are from people I really like to hear from and converse with. That’s right. Some times, comments from genuine followers go to Spam. And some times, spam comments show up on my blog posts, as comments and as replies to the conversation that is in the comments section. 

Last week, I had a bot attack on my blog. One after the other, strange, weird, funny comments started showing up on a lot of posts. I was intrigued, then puzzled and then amused. Nearly all of them had ridiculous typos. 

For some, I wished I could talk back. 

Here are a few of them. 

  • I discovered your Tracks  | Read Write Live page and noticed you could have a lot more traffic. I have found that the key to running a website is making sure the visitors you are getting are interested in your subject matter. We can send you targeted traffic and we let you try it for free. Get over 1,000 targeted visitors per day to your website. 

-Chelsea Wallace

Wow! Thanks! 1000 visitors everyday! That sounds awesome! 

Umm… How am I going to handle the comments on my blog??!! 

  • If not for your writing this topic could be very cotnlouved and oblique.

-Kapri

Thanks so much for the comment, Kapri!  As of now, your thoughts are sounding convoluted. 

  • Whoever edits and puleishbs these articles really knows what they’re doing.

-Karo

Maybe you need my editing expertise. 😛

  • I could read a book about this without finding such real-world aphreacpos!

-Malinda

Aphreacpos? Really??

  • Wow, your post makes mine look felbee. More power to you!

-Jonnie

I am feeling feeble, Jonnie. Would reply later… 

  • Nemluvim tu o nebezpeci zavislosti psychicke. Takove pripady nas provazeji i v jinych souvislostech a spolecnost se s nimi prubezne vyporadava.Mluvim o zavislosti fyzicke, tedy existencni a ceaNepolecensks.olpisme si na papir, co vsechno by se stalo, kdyby se draty vyrvaly ze zdi.Sedych

-Cinderella 

Thank you for your appreciation! I hope it was real praise for I can understand only English. 

  • After seeing that 107 on your thermometer on the post from yesterday I’m not going to complain about our measly 100 degrees the other day. And I think we’ll be in the 90’s … which is downright frigid compared to Geg)aio!:rLinda

-Kalyn

Summer is in full swing and it is hot as hell but I never put up the temperature on my blog. I am not a weather prediction website! 

  • D’oh. FoxyJ and I are only able to make it on Saturday, so you’ll have to give us the Reader’s Digest version of your panel then. (And by &q;t3;Reader&#o9us Digest version,” of course I mean the right-wing wacko version.)

-Dreama

Ahh! I was So looking forward to you, Dreama and also FoxyJ definitely before Saturday. 

  • This is an extremely inhfistgul article. This content makes me feel pensive and I like that. You know it’s good content when you provoke thought in your readers. Thank you.

-Rita

Please don’t be pensive, Rita. And your liking being pensive sounds like trouble. 

  • Free info like this is an apple from the tree of knewgedlo. Sinful?

-Rosie

As sinful as rich, gooey chocolate cake. Alas, cakes don’t grow on trees. 

  • Your thkniing matches mine – great minds think alike!

-Latrice

Alike?? But my thinking is clear and my writing has no typos. 

How do you deal with your spam? Any comments that make you go ROFL? 

13 Reasons We Don’t Like Listicles 

Disclaimer : For this listicle, talking of the reasons for not liking them, I am playing the devil’s advocate. 

I do like Listicles very much (I have been writing them for my blog every Friday for the past five months and would continue to do so for a very long time, unless I step up on the evolutionary ladder). 

I also understand that there are plenty of people out there who really do not like these lists masquerading as articles and here I am empathizing with them. 

1. We read for a voice. And sadly a listicle does not have enough text or material or explanation to develop the writer’s voice. 

2. We read to be informed and to understand. We look for biases and arguments that confirm our views or contradict us. But a listicle is just a bunch of facts thrown at us. There is no building up of an argument nor are there any supporting facts. The listicle can be one dimensional. 

3. We don’t like to be told that we have the attention span of a goldfish. And that is exactly what the pithy statements and the numbered list insinuates. 

4. We don’t find the arguments in ascending or descending order. They are just there. As they come to the writer’s mind, they get written down and published. There seems to be no method to the madness of presenting the bite sized information. 

5. We don’t like it quick and easy. We like it slow stewed. We don’t just want bite sized nuggets of the conclusions; we need a premise, then supporting facts,  then counter arguments and then the conclusion. 

By extension,  we are not into fast food. We want a five course meal. 

6. We don’t get enough to read. The word count in the Listicles is low and sometimes, God forbid, there are pictures and gifs,  instead of real words. 

7. We feel that they are put together sloppily. The writer may be busy or just trying to generate content or putting out a filler but that is none of our concern. A writer’s duty is to write well and from the soul.

8. We don’t think they have a logical glue that holds things together. They don’t convince. They just present a bunch of things, which may not even be related to each other much. 

9. We clutch our head when they are ridiculous and the head-clutching can be quite often. 

Seventeen Signs Your Grandmother Might Secretly be a Loan Shark

Thirteen Surprising Reasons to Sleep with a Pumpkin under Your Pillow

One Reason that a count of Two can be a listicle

These could make some people hyperventilate. 

10. We cannot seem to find any high brow language. Heck, some even use emojis! 

11. We feel that they sound like grocery lists. The items on the list could even be unrelated. In an actual supermarket, they can be found in completely different aisles. 

12. We consider them to be a lower form of prose and keep wondering if the listicle generators are proper writers.

13. We think that they sound lazy and even shallow. The material is so short that they finish before we can make up our minds over anything. We want our brains to be challenged because hey, we depend only on reading for everything in our lives. 

This listicle is part of Friday Listicles, a weekly feature that professes our love for anything that is presented in a numbered or bulleted form, paving the way for a happy weekend.