Rants, WriteTribe

A Self-Help Guide to Battling  Blogger’s Block

 

When-did-blogging-become-such-hard-work

Image courtesy @ google

 Is your marriage to your blog on the rocks?

Did I dream of it or is it actually two months since I posted a single word on my Blogpage? Of course I’m not counting the last one, which was just a quick self-celebratory post of sorts. Yes, after sixty days of inactivity and countless excuses for escaping the might of the pen, I’m now officially diagnosed with Blogger’s Block. So, after a rather futile wait over several weeks for some kind of divine intervention, I decided to take matters in my own hand before things got worse and I found myself being admitted to the ICU. What was that old saying? Self-help is the best help. Yes, it is definitely working in this case.

This prompt couldn’t have come at a better time. Just the day when I finally decided enough is enough and started looking up at various writing prompts for inspiration – what do I see? This wonderful brainstorm by Vidya and CorinneThese are the little things that make me believe in miracles and signs, you know what I mean?

Of course, I won’t go about here explaining what Blogger’s Block actually is. The easiest way to recognize the symptoms is to look out for the day when you feel guilty about neglecting your blog for too long. Someone once told me that relationships are like cars. To get a satisfactory drive, it needs to be well-maintained and oiled regularly or else the hinges becomes rusty and before long it starts groaning. Think of your blog as your partner with whom you have the deepest level of commitment – you see, it is high maintenance and can’t do long without a bit of love. So without further ado, let me tell you how to seduce back your blog after a long interval of neglect and introduce to you my take on five fun ways to recover from Blogger’s Block or SILAS (Self Inflicted Lazy Ass Syndrome) disease, as I like to call it.

A note: I’m still recuperating, and yet to fully regain my rancid humour and collect all my thoughts (which means I’m still not fully functional), so kindly overlook any lapse of continuity on my part in the future. If I don’t adhere to my own medicines, it is because I have a general aversion to tablets and pills of all kinds (yes, I still flush out pills when no one is looking).

 

1. Deal with it:

Tell yourself, it is just plain old Laziness. Had it been like the old days, you could get your mom to thrash you out of the slumber and into the writing desk. Though on second thoughts, it’s still not too late in the day. So, let’s get to work. Who is the most aggressive, the most doggedly persistent person you know in your life? He is your redeeming angel from now onwards. Call him up, now! And put him to task, by putting him hot on your trail, so to speak. His sole task over the next fortnight or the month (or as long as it takes for you to be ready to pull your own hair out) will be to nag you to death and push you to write at least a word each day.

 

2. Let’s take a walk, artista:

Get out for half an hour, early in the morning or late in the evening, depending on which is your favourite time of the day, geared with nothing but a small notepad (or your smartphone). Look around, look inside. Notice the wonderful thing called life happening all around us. What appeals to you most? What makes you happy? What makes you sad? Sketch, jot or take notes – whatever you do, keep your hands busy and your eyes roving like a flirtatious good-for-nothing loafer. Trust me, before you go home, you will find something or the other scrawled into the pages of the notepad that would be oh-so-worth writing about.

 

3. Take a jog down the memory lane:

If you are too busy (or too lazy) to get that ass up and going out, take out the oldest photo albums and peek into the dusty lanes of your childhood or better still, redo your wardrobe. You might be amazed to find that old knit blouse that you paid a mountain to buy out of your meagre pocket money and yet never worn twice. There are apparently two benefits to this – you find something to reminisce (and hence to write about) and at the end of it, Tada! Your once improbably messy wardrobe is now neatly organized.

 

4. Let off the steam:

Make a nice strong cup of coffee and give it to your inner editor – the one for whom none of the posts are good enough to publish – and ask her to take a day off and hit the spa. While she is busy enjoying the coffee (or the spa), open your laptop/notebook and start scribbling the first thing that comes to your head. Don’t wait to think or edit. The bitch will do it for you anyway, as soon as she returns. If nothing else comes to your mind, bitch about the bitch – write about all the time she made your life miserable by trashing all your beautiful words in the recycle bin! That always works… and who doesn’t love a juicy bit of gossip about that little snob?

 

5. Go window – shopping:

If everything fails, start retail therapy – and let me tell you the secret to make this actually work. Grab your purse with nothing but enough change to make it to the nearest mall and back. Give your eyes a treat and make a mental note of the cute li’l dress or that yellow bag or that colour-blocked pumps that made your heart skip a beat and flutter about madly (to the point you could actually see yourself hanging your tongue out lustily towards its general direction). Now, make a deal with yourself. The next time you stick to your schedule of writing at least 500 words a day for an entire fortnight (or whatever that is your goal), you are treating yourself with that piece of lusciousness you made a mental note of…..that should definitely do the trick. See, lust is good! You only need to make it work to your benefit.

 

Linking this to WriteTribe’s Wednesday Challenge

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Rants

And the winner is…..

So, I had recently entered this flash fiction contest arranged by tell-a-tale.com in collaboration with youthopia.in: My Pocket Storywhich was totally on a whim and almost at the last moment; and guess what!! I was declared the winner!!!

mypocketstory-winners-copy

 

 

Never mind that they got the spelling of my surname wrong, the important thing is I need to thank all my readers who took the time out to visit and vote for my submission!! Yes, the final score depended upon both the judges’ score and social voting score, which means I have YOU to thank for it. And this means, after years of blundering through numerous career mistakes, I’m finally doing something right!!

A big, heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you wonderful people! You all made my day!!

p.s: to read my submission, click here: The Solo Cafe

 

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Stories, WriteTribe

No Promises

 

Leave me alone!

The door banged with uncommon brutality, as she ended another showdown with her husband. The migraine seems to be splitting her head into two. It was one of those days. Dhruv wanted her to leave her job and come down with him but something was stopping her.

She realized that she could no longer hide the truth from herself. She was selfish; but then she just wanted to be happy.

Till death do us part. What happened to the promises of young love, she wondered? Or was that a lie too?

Does selfishness and happiness go hand in hand?

***

As she stood on the porch waving her sister goodbye, her knees threatened to give way to the strange shiver of emotions. She has been strong so far, readying herself for this moment from the past one year, since the day they told her not to hope.

The strong gust of wind tore through the silence that had descended on the now empty house, carrying along with it her white dupatta in the dusty air. No color from now on.

She realized that she could no longer hide the truth from herself. Finally, she was left alone. Forever.

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The Institution of marriage has always had me befuddled; how is it that some times, two people who were sworn lovers become sworn enemies? Why does it sometimes become so hard for two people in love to even bear to stay together in the same room? And then you see them who had made it to their old age, struggling, fighting but staying together and it makes you wonder.

Two stories, interlinked, based on the same prompt. Linking this to 100 Words on Saturday, though it comes a bit late in the day. My post – A TO Z – laziness syndrome is finally wearing off and I’m glad or what!  Recuperating slowly but steadily!!!

Do me a favor, listen to the song if you haven’t yet. It’s  beautifully rendered and one of my favorites. I promise you won’t regret listening to it!!

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Stories

The Solo Cafe

There are two things that I have learnt from my travels. First, you can be pretty miserable almost anywhere. Second, being your own porter of a luggage weighing twenty-something kilos can suddenly transform you from a beautiful Diva to a sweating club fighter.

This is an excerpt from my short story submission on the online short story contest – My Pocket Story conducted by tell-a-tale.com in collaboration with youthopia.in

Since the results would take into consideration social voting, I would like to request all my readers to go check it out at this link: The Solo Cafe and vote for it there itself, only if you like it. The deadline for voting closes on 7th May I guess, so please make yours count!!

 

Thanks in advance!!

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A to Z 2014, Poem

Zodiac’s 12 signs: A to Z Challenge Day # 26

First comes the adventurer, carefree and wild

Life has got them completely beguiled.

. . .

The raging bull will always love a treat

Bit of a stubborn, but really very sweet.

. . .

The twins come strolling by, always confused

As they quarrel on which dress to choose.

 . . .

The crab might shield itself under a hard shell,

But home is ultimately where its heart dwell.

. . .

Roaring with pride, flashy and gay

The king of the jungle is here to stay,

 . . .

Then comes the maiden, pristine and white

Imperfectionism is not in their stride.

 . . .

You know in the world everything is alright

When the scales of judgment leans towards the right.

 . . .

Mysterious secret keepers, passion is their thing

Beware of these bi****s ‘cause they can make you sting!

. . .

The archer will explore everything under the sun

Seekers of truth, they love to have fun!

 . . .

For the Goat, the way up is never too long

One word at a time, to create the entire song.

. . .

The water bearer has an inventive mind

 Their vision is a better world for all Mankind

 . . .

Kind and caring, the Fish likes to dream

If they are sad, just give them an ice-cream!

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Z

 

As the great cook likes very little salt, she compensates adding pepper. Wondering if the challenge has finally driven me crazy? You wish! What I have written above is just a little mnemonics for you to remember the 12 signs of the Zodiac.

Now, did you know that the entire astrology is not some hocus pocus but based on the same elliptical coordinate system used in astronomy? Yeah the same NASA uses. Now, just by assigning each constellation and planet a specific set of characteristics (read data) and then predicting the planetary positions, you can actually predict a man’s future. All this discovered in the 7th Century BC and compiled by 2nd century AD by none other than Ptolemy.

Pretty cool, isn’t it? So, next time when the universe is trying to strike up a conversation with you, don’t take your signs lightly.

The challenge is over and I’m secretly heaving a sigh of relief. I have met some wonderful bloggers across the month, and while I couldn’t really give a shout out to all of them, I did try in my small way to appreciate what we all are trying to do here. It has been a wonderful experience, and in a few weeks you might even here me say, bring it on a second time; but for now, I’m donning my blanket and going off to a much deserved siesta.

Signing off, until then!

 

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A to Z 2014, Poem

Yours Truly: A to Z Challenge Day # 25

I am not a girl, not yet a woman

Am I still the child you found me to be?

Or an old lady, too blind to see

The fallacy of prophetic love?

Like the wrinkles etched in my skin,

Unacknowledged, Unforeseen.

. . .

Do you still see the mystery in my words?

The girl with golden wings and pink dreams

Or is she replaced by her cruel nemesis?

Staring at space and searching with faraway eyes,

What was hers and taken away by fate

In the kingdom of lost playmates.

. . .

Would you still recognize my voice, if I call

In the middle of the night to talk about lost time?

Or, have I lost those wings somewhere down the line;

Nimble at heart but no more of feet;

Tell me, who am I then

If not a girl, not even a woman?

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Y

Just one more alphabet to go… probably the hardest. Well tomorrow is kinda busy day for me… it’s v for vote and I have finally decided to make mine count…. by not being politically correct (to add to my confusion, one of my extended family member have decided to represent a party that has nothing to say for itself, but that’s a post for another day).

So I’m waiting for the last letter to arrive with a flourish and a bang! Will be scheduling it ahead of times, in case I get carried away and completely forget the challenge.  Till then, keep blogging!

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A to Z 2014, Poem

Xenophobic: A to Z Challenge Day # 24

There is a stranger in our midst

A mad man, peeking through the skeins of our mind

A sad man, he is.

 x

Lurking, Waiting, to come out and scream

To laugh at your fears

The monster of your dreams

 x

Beware of his sad eyes

His mad eyes, mocking your tears

Your past years, full of lies

x

Take a hold, get a life…

They said…..

x

Don’t let the foreigner out

‘Cause he doesn’t understand the rules of the game,

Even if you shout it out loud.

 x

Don’t heed his words, they say

His silent prayers are blasphemous and tainted with sin

Hide him, if you may.

x

Hide him where no one would find him

In the dark recess of your mind,

Hide him under a pseudonym.

x

He is an outcast, a morbid blitz

Of your own soul, your nemesis

Stow him away, the stranger in our midst.

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X

So, X is for Xenophobia!

Phobia, as we all know, means an intense dislike of something or someone. Xeno means foreigners. But sometimes,  we end up becoming strangers to our own selves. This poem is dedicated to all those lost souls who for some reason, have lost touch with their essence.

 I must confess the last three letters are testing my patience like anything! The challenge is drawing to a close, and in the last week I find it to be the toughest ’cause poetry is not something that comes easily to me.

 But like they say, it’s the darkest just before dawn. So right now, I have rolled up my sleeves, prepared to face the last two days of an amazing challenge with a brave face.

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