Blog Archives

How Social Media can really help Writers / Bloggers?

As a writer / blogger, I have found Social Media to be a blessing! Be it Blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – They all prove to be invaluable for any writer..

So How can Social Media really help a writer / blogger?

1) Research

One of the best ways Social media can help any writer / blogger is for research. Research is an integral part of the writing / blogging process; and most writers / bloggers spend time in active research on the internet. Searching in Blogs, or on Twitter using specific Hashtags, or even simply following an expert on a specific topic on Twitter can significantly simply your research process and reduce effort!

2) Inspiration

Most writers / bloggers need a periodic dose of inspiration to bring out the best pieces of creative output. We all have different triggers / things which inspire us, and Social Media provides it in abundance. The only pre-requisite is you should know what kind of things inspire you (quotes, pictures, emotions, others experience’s, etc.) and you should know the fastest way to get your dose of inspiration on Social Media. trust me! Its there everywhere – Blogs, Tweets, Pinterest, etc. etc

3) Ideas

Many times, a write / blogger needs ideas – On the topics to write about, how to articulate, how to take the story further – And you just can’t seem to move ahead. Again, Social Media can come to your rescue. Sometimes reading totally unrelated articles fuels your imagination (I don’t know how the brain wiring works, but it does!) and propels your forward, Sometimes reading a tweet gives you food for thought, Sometimes a picture / infographic does the trick, and sometimes it is a blog post which gives you that killer idea! Sometimes it is your own past Social Media activities which trigger new ideas  and thoughts :)

4) Easy access to samples of other writers / bloggers

Many writers / bloggers like to read samples of what other writers / bloggers have to say. It can be for very many reasons – To get exposure to alternate styles of work, to gauge audience sentiments, to figure out tips, tricks and best practices of the trade, or simply because they enjoy others work. Again, Social media provides easy and instant access to sample the work of other writers / bloggers

5) Promotion & Marketing

Sharing your blogs / writings has never been more easy, efficient, quick and global as it is today. Any blogger / writer can share their work at the click of a button. So Social Media can aid significantly in Promotion & Marketing

6) A Social Network

Writing / Blogging are lonely activities. It is just you , your thoughts , your words and your tools (Whatever hardware and software and systems you use!). So many writers / bloggers do like to have social interactions with others – After all, it is a basic human need! And the best part of Social Media is you can converse at any time you wish to, and with anyone who is willing to converse with you on any Social Media channel (Be it Twitter, FaceBook chat, etc etc). This virtual social network sometimes is a blessing for most writers / bloggers.

7) Writing / Blogging Groups and Communities

The other good thing about Social Media is the presence of online Groups and Communities. They exist on almost all channels (FaceBook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Google+, etc.) and are formed by individuals who have common interests on specific subjects. Such groups usually share knowledge, information, request for reviews, provide feedback, support, encouragement and many times, also help in Promotion & Marketing of your work. You can join one / many such Groups and Communities, based on your personal interest, the time you are willing to invest and the personal value you see from them. But if you join the right Groups and Communities, you can benefit enormously by learning and interacting from fellow writers and bloggers.

What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know…

What influences your “Writing Style”?

I’ve been actively writing (as a part of my post-graduate studies, through my blogs, at work, as a part of publications, etc etc etc ) for the past 5+ years. As I write more, I have also started to read more.. They both go somewhat hand-in-hand.. And as I read more, I am more aware and conscious about the writing styles of different authors; and also my own writing style…

In this post, I have listed down the key factors which may influence one’s writing style – This is purely based on my observations, analysis and inferences!

(1) Your self-confidence

(2) Your view of the world (in general) – Good, Bad, Ugly

(3) Your past – Experiences, Life

(4) Your future outlook of life – Optimistic, Pessimistic

(5) Why do you write? – For yourself or for others

(6) What does “Writing” mean to you?

(7) Your basic personality / nature

(8) Your view on “sharing” – Writing is one form of active sharing

(9) Your educational background

(10) Your language skills (Command on the language) – You can write in any language!

(11) Your age

(12) Your culture

(13) Your upbringing

(14) The writing habits of people you know (friends / family / others)

(15) Your reading habits

(16) The reading habits of people you know (friends / family / others)

(17) Your immediate living environment

(18) Your teachers / mentors – especially during impressionable / vulnerable years

(19) Your inner network – friends / family

(20) Your self-discipline

(21) Your creatvity

(22) Your observation skills

(23) Your imagination skills

(24) The times (era) you were born in

What’s your view? What do you think influences the “writing style” of an individual.. Leave a comment to let me know

Nischala’s Blog-o-Rendezvous with PREETI SHENOY

About  PREETI SHENOY
Preeti Shenoy,  named among one of the top five authors in India by CNN-IBN, weaves magic with her words and pictures.  An extremely talented and versatile individual, her Twitter bio reads: “Best-selling Author, Artist specializing in pencil portraits, Poet, Yoga-Buff, Ex-basketball player, Blogger, Dobe-owner, Nature lover, Ted speaker and a Mother.
Her interests are as multifarious and diverse as her several academic degrees which include an internationally recognised qualification from UK in portraiture. DNA has described her as a ‘Keenly observant mind’ and Times of India describes her writing as ‘Excellent story telling skills’.  There is simplicity in her writing that appeals to the inherent good in all and her positivity and ‘Live life to the fullest’ philosophy finds a large number of takers, who follow her very popular blog.
Her second book ‘Life is what you make it’ was among the top selling books of 2011 in India and her third book ‘Tea for two and a piece of cake’ which was released in February 2012, continues to be on all the best-seller lists, having sold more than 25,000 copies within two months of its release.
Her pencil-portraits are life like which strike you with a realism that take you aback. She is also an avid card-maker and a poet.  She has written for publications like Times of India, Readers Digest and many more. She has worked with under-privileged children teaching them English and Math. She has worked with several schools conducting workshops on thinking skills and creative crafts.
She says  “Life is short. Follow your heart and chase your dreams. And yes, they will come true.”

And if you’ve read her earlier books, here’s some good news. Her fourth book titled “The Secret Wishlist” is due to for release shortly. You can pre-order this book by clicking here. Not only do you have a chance to get a personally signed copy of the book from Preeti, but also a 30% discount. You can also follow the FaceBook updates for the book here.

 THE RENDEZVOUS
A couple of weeks back, during a random online browsing activity, I accidentally came across Preeti Shenoy’s book titled “Life is what you make it” – Something about the title compelled me to buy the book. I finished reading it in one night. Then I read her other 2 books “34 Bubblegums and Candies” and “Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake” all of which are National Bestsellers in India. After I finished reading all the three, I learnt that she also blogs, so naturally I visited her blogs. I liked her writings (both books and blogs) simply because they were simple, easy to read and written straight from the heart!

So I sent her a request for the Rendezvous and she immediately replied with a “YES”!

In this rendezvous, we discussed about Preeti’s journey into the world of writing and some nuggets about life which she strongly believes in.

Nischala: Hi Preeti. Firstly, Thanks for your time. It’s great to connect with you!
Preeti: Hi Nischala. Thanks for this

Nischala: So Preeti – Firstly, Congrats on the success as a writer. From what I read, all your books are national bestsellers and are doing very well!
Preeti: Yes! Thank You. They are all indeed doing well. Touch wood!

Nischala: So let me start this rendezvous with how your writing journey started?
Preeti: I have always been a writer. From childhood, I have written several short stories and poems – Many of which have won laurels and have been published in journals / magazines, etc.

But looking back, I think the big push for writing came only after I lost my father. In order to deal with this loss I started writing – Writing primarily for myself and more as an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. Writing kept me busy and almost was therapeutic to help me deal with a difficult and vulnerable phase in my life. So I started posting my writings on a blog anonymously and I was happy to see that my posts were very well received. The big boost came when a radio show in the US picked up a post of mine for the “Perfect Post” Award. The traffic and reader base increased significantly after that.

I then started writing more seriously and in more respected publications like Reader’s Digest, Chicken Soup Series, Times of India, etc. One of the main reasons that I took up writing seriously was because it kept me busy and helped me deal with the loss of my father. So I wrote about things which I believed in or which I was passionate about – like life, relationships, animals, bikes, dance, art, etc. I think there are more than 60 articles of mine published in various publications.

And at the same time I received a lot of comments and suggestions urging me to explore writing a book. And that’s how my first book “34 Bubblegums and Candies” was born.  It’s really a compilation of little stories from my life and some of these were already published on my blog.

Nischala: That’s an interesting journey. So looking back, what was your happiest and proudest moment as a writer?
Preeti : As a writer, my happiest moment was when my first book came out. Also when my second book was named among the ‘top books of 2011’. And honestly I write because I enjoy it; and so it has been a happy journey all along.

Nischala: Wow! Congrats. I guess there is something special about the “firsts” of anything in life – Especially your first book . I also see that you write regularly on your blog and also have been able to publish 3 books in the past few years. From my understanding, they are two different worlds. So, what is the key difference between a blog and book?
Preeti: That’s correct. I started blogging in 2006 and since then I try to blog regularly.
Blogs and Books are two different worlds simply because in a book you need to have a storyline, characters, a setting, dialogue, etc. And more importantly there has to be a central theme to your book. While in a blog, you can write about anything you want and publish it! And every blog post can be a separate theme.

Nischala: That’s interesting! So moving on, you have also given a TEDx Talk very recently. How did that happen? And what was the key message? How was the experience?
Preeti: I have given two Ted X talks –one at Symbiosis Institute for Technology and management Pune, where I spoke on creativity in daily life and another at Ted X Sona, where I spoke on ‘5 lessons for growth’.  Both talks were very well received. The experience was great.

Nischala: Preeti  -This is the first time I am talking to you. But in this brief interaction, you sound so positive about everything. So how do you manage to stay so positive?
Preeti: Hmm… Well that’s something which a lot of people say to me. See I think I am generally a happy and contented person in life and it manifests in my interactions with others. I believe that for everything in life you do the best you can in whatever situation you are in. And if things don’t work out the way you wanted, deal with it and move on.

Nischala: That’s a great attitude for life. So what do you think anyone can do on a daily basis to feel positive, happy and alive!
Preeti: Well, there are no universal answers. But here’s what I do and it helps me a great deal.

Do something you love everyday – It can be reading or art or listening to music or meeting friends or watching a TV program – Whatever it is, set some time every day to do what you love. You will be surprised at how much difference it can make in your life.

Laugh – Do something fun that makes you laugh – It can be that you read a joke or watch a cartoon or just fake a laugh. But laughing regularly definitely has a positive effect on your overall well-being

Nischala:  Thanks for sharing these practical tips. I am sure that if anyone did the above regularly, it will have a positive impact on their lives. So, as we conclude any message that you’d like to conclude with?
Preeti: Live life today, Follow your heart and Live everyday
There is joy in little things that you can do every day. Most of us rush from morning to night in doing a zillion things, and we don’t stop to appreciate the beauty and the magic of the world around us like smell the flowers, enjoy our meals, spend time with people we love and care for, etc.  At the end of the day, life should be about what makes you happy and contented. And if you figure this out and know how to get there, then you will end up happy and contented every day of your life.

I truly believe that life is short and so very unpredictable. I am saying this because I have experienced up close of personal what it means to deal with the demise of those who mean the world to you.

And what I learnt from all these experiences is that it is important to focus on living well and being happy today. Finally when you go, you don’t take anything with you – especially not money. And what you leave is memories for others and how you impacted their lives.

I was not like this 5 – 7 years back. But as of today, this is something I believe in and execute every single day this way. So I live life to the fullest today, enjoy every single day and am happy and content at the end of the day. That’s what really matters.

Nischala: Thank you so much for this rendezvous.
Preeti: Pleasure is all mine. Have a great day!

How did you like this rendezvous? Leave a comment to let us know..

12 Most Compelling Reasons for You to Write

Over the last few years, I have discovered my love for writing. Along this journey, I have discovered its many benefits. In this compilation, I have articulated the 12 Most compelling reasons for you to write. I do hope you enjoy reading this and it inspires you to start writing!

1. Writing makes you think
The single most important benefit of writing is that it makes you think, and thoughts are vital in the journey of life. Simply because to think you need to observe, you need to listen, you need to smell, you need to feel, you need to analyze, you need to reason, you need to question, you need to rationalize, you need to appreciate, you need to process, you need to internalize, and you need to conclude.

2. Writing brings clarity
One of the most important prerequisites for writing is clarity — clarity in data & facts, clarity in reasoning, clarity in views, and clarity in opinions. At the outset, you may not necessarily have the clarity to write, but before you finish you should achieve this clarity, otherwise you will not be able to complete a piece of writing to your own satisfaction.

3. Writing facilitates learning
One of the perks of writing is that it facilitates learning, because when you write you tend to ask questions — both to yourself and others. You tend to read, you tend to notice, you tend to reflect; and all of these contribute towards your learning.

4. Writing enables growth
As long as you learn, you grow. Growth can be in one or many dimensions of life such as intellectual growth, professional growth, personal growth, emotional growth, financial growth, and spiritual growth. Growth is a key contributing factor for progress in life.

5. Writing improves your literary skills
If you take the time to write, you will definitely improve your literary skills over a period of time. Not only will you learn new words and improve on the Ps and Qs of writing, but you can also learn and develop alternate literary forms — from prose to poetry. And the only way to improve in anything in life is to continuously work on it.

6. Writing opens new doors
Writing can open the door to new friends, new ideas, new possibilities, new ways to constructively utilize your time, new ways to earn money, new professions, new experiences, new considerations, new contemplations, and new harbingers.

7. Writing makes you disciplined
One of the best results of writing is that it makes you disciplined — in your thoughts, in your daily routine, and in your life. Once you experience the benefits of writing and begin to enjoy it, it becomes a habit… a compulsion… a fascination.

8. Writing gives you ME time
Writing gives you time to be with yourself — to connect within, in your own way, at your own pace.

9. Writing makes you respect other writers
Only when you write do you appreciate the process of writing. This gives you a new found respect and appreciation for other writers.

10. Writing makes you view books in a new light
Only when you begin to write, do you begin to acknowledge all the efforts that go into compiling a book, and only then do you acknowledge and value all the books you read in life.

11. Writing enables to create a personal brand
Writing is a reflection of your thoughts, views, ideas, literary skills, creativity, and opinions. What you write has the potential to influence others’ perceptions of you. This enables you to create, maintain and enhance your personal brand.

12. Writing gives you a chance to leave a legacy
Irrespective of your age, you will always cherish personal writings — be it from your parents, your grandparents, your uncles, your aunts, your nephews/nieces, your children, your spouse, your special friends, your past lovers, your soul mate, your role models, your teachers, your mentors, your students, your boss, or your customer.

And so in the same light, if you do write a note, a blog, a tweet, a poem, a story, an article, a point of view, a citation, a commendation, a paper, a book, it sure has the potential to be of value to someone somewhere — either today or 50 years from now. And that will be your legacy… provided you start writing today.

Published @ http://12most.com/2011/11/22/12-compelling-reasons-write/( 22 Nov 2011); Republished with permission, courtesy of 12 Most

 

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