30 Minutes timer to just write.

30 Minutes timer to just write.

What is the thought that first comes to mind when you sit down to write? Many a time, the mind is blank, because you did not plan on writing, but you had to write something. Maybe it is for a prompt and you have only that much time to write a post and mail it before the deadline.

Maybe, you are to take part in a blogging contest or some such thing and having wasted the entire day you now have only some minutes to write and so there you are at your desk, scratching your head about what you can write!

Sometimes, thankfully, you are all ready with your topic, with a rough draft in your diary or even in your mind as to what it is that you are going to write about. In that case, kudos to you! You are a very good planner and always do your homework on time, so, here’s a pat on your back!

However, if it is the former scenario, then, I know what you are going through! A thousand ideas crowd your  mind and you are at your wits’ end trying to choose the right one, the ideal one.  At such times, you still are lucky – at least you have some idea floating around in your  mind.

But, there are also times, when the mind is blank; you suffer from the curse of the  ‘Writer’s Block’; you  berate yourself in turn for being so tardy. “Why can’t I come up with a simple topic to write about?” 

And, then, to fight those blues, you just decide to take a quick break and go off to Facebook, or Instagram, or some such place to hang around for a while. And, before you know it, 30 minutes of your time has flown away! You curse yourself again and come back to your blog, wringing your fingers in distress, trying your darndest to come up with something, anything, to write about.

This is exactly what happened sometime back with me. Sometime, as in a while ago, when I sat down to writing a post for tomorrow – my day of posting on my blog. I publish a post on my blog Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and more often than not, I prepare the post a day in advance, choosing the topic from a list I work on in my diary.

Yes, I am a good girl like that, but I too have days when I lag behind in  doing my homework and thus fall short of time as well as ideas to write about.

So, as I said, I was blank a while ago when I wanted to write something. I left my table and went off to the kitchen to finish a few chores. I also stopped to chat with my pet parrot and click a few pictures of my colourful coffee mug ( what if I need the picture someday to post on Instagram?).

After spending  a lot of time on all of the above activities, I came back to my table and fired up my laptop. Going for a ‘walk’ to one of my favourite addas (Blogadda, I mean) I found the perfect  prompt for ‘Write Over the Weekend’ (WOW).

The prompt was to write a post in 30 minutes – after setting the timer –  with whatever comes to the mind. No thinking, no reflecting, no pondering…nothing. Just write.

Let the fingers fly over the keyboard and see what comes up! I found it to be the perfect topic to write about, and well, here I am. With my post almost done and 17 minutes to go!

Isn’t that great?

At the risk of sounding like a braggart, I am not bad, at all! I could indeed write a decent post within 30 minutes! Thanks, of course, to the prompt, without which I would still be sitting twiddling my thumbs, scratching my head and cursing myself for not able to come up with a single idea to write, despite being a blogger for the past four years now!

So, thank you, Blogadda!

 

Have you tried this exercise ever? If not, then do try it out.

Set the timer for 30 minutes and write whatever comes to your  mind. You will be glad you aren’t as rusty as you thought you were! And, it’s fun, too! 

 

Love,

SHILPA…

P.S.

I completed this post in 30 minutes and I swear I did not cheat!  

 

What to do when you face the Writers' Block.

 

 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Scribble your heart away!

Scribble your heart away!

The Creative Women’s Journal

I gaze at his picture and wish he would just leap out of it into my arms – my son, Chikoo. The laptop sits in front of me, on the table; the keys waiting to be tapped and words waiting to spill onto the blank screen. But, not a single thought enters my mind, except that of my baby. I ought to begin living again, but, the heart has a mind of its own, and it won’t pay heed to my practical advice. And so, there I sit, lost in Chikoo’s thoughts, unable to bring myself to write a word. Of course, there are days when I write like crazy, but those days are few and far between.

Most of the days are such, you know, when there are a hundred thoughts swarming around in the mind, but the heart is just not into it. No post gets written, no sketch gets made, the mundane chores of everyday life get done haphazardly. Nothing seems to  motivate me to get up and get going. Thankfully, my luck, it seems, can’t bear this sight of me sitting idle with a wan smile, looking all lost,  and so it brings a beautiful  ‘something’ for me that it knows is bound to cheer me up!

First, it gets my blogger friend Shalini Baisiwala to tag me in a post on the Facebook Page of Matrika Paper Products;  then,  it gets me to register on their site where I discover the amazing Creative Women’s Journal. Finally, one fine day, when my energy levels are at their lowest, my luck knocks on my door and hands me this vibrant,  red notebook with a beautiful golden quill on  the cover with the word, “Write” at the top.

And, that’s just what I begin doing!

Colours, as we know so well, add life to the world around us. The vibrant hues are those that rev up the energy levels with their brightness,  driving away the gloominess and adding zest to life. So, if one was to receive such a vibrant gift to be used to write, doodle, scribble one’s thoughts, dream and plan for the future, how wouldn’t one feel alive again? And, alive is just how I have been feeling ever since the beautiful journal landed in my hands.

My first colouring activity and some thoughts I penned.

The journal opens up to the first page where you fill in your details, and then turn over to a short note for its users about all that they can expect inside this magnificent little book. It consists of 8 adult colouring pages with pictures inspired by nature. Colouring is the most therapeutic activity I have indulged in right since childhood. However, since some time now, I have been away from it for lack of enthusiasm, so, these colouring pages feel like manna to this gloomy soul.

The journal also has some plain pages for all the times when one feels like doodling their thoughts away. Like I do when I write in a book. The margins of most pages are crowded with doodles that tend to help me creatively in a way I really cannot explain. For me, doodling is cathartic and this pretty book gives me an opportunity to doodle when my mind goes on its own trip to some fantasy land, leaving the words aside for a while. So, there will be not just writing, but colouring as well as doodling! Isn’t that great?

The stickers that voice your emotions.

To add to the list of lovelies in this pretty journal, there are stickers for the various moods that we experience at any given time, some encouraging messages, some to-do stickers to embellish your to-do lists and motivate you to reach for those stars. There are also pages with “Books to be read” and “Places to be visited” lists at the end that I intend to fill up, soon.  These are going to be my dreams, for myself. We all ought to have some dreams for ourselves and work towards fulfilling those dreams. The satisfaction one gets at the end of it all is unparalleled. I am sure you know what I mean!

I began by colouring the first picture in the journal and jotted down a few thoughts that popped in my head at the end of my colouring activity. I am sharing the picture with you here. Let me tell you, it was a marvellous feeling I experienced as I used almost every colour I could lay my hands on for colouring. I suggest you try it out –  colouring,  doodling,  penning your thoughts,  planning and dreaming – every activity this journal encourages you to indulge in is therapy for a harried soul, and harried souls we all are, aren’t we?

Do try out this journal. Visit the Matrika Paper Products Facebook Page and learn more about it all.

I think I am going to get addicted to maintaining a journal after using my new gift! I am sure you will, too!

Silence! Writer at work.

Silence! Writer at work.

It’s almost noon. The whirring of the fan and the incessant peeps of the pigeon fledglings in my kitchen window are the only sounds that fall on my ears as I write. Once in a while, my pet parrot (the latest addition to my family, after Chikoo’s demise) enquires, “Eh?”, about god-knows-what, or lets out an ear piercing screech to grumble about something bothering him in his cage. I let him out  on the branch of a plant we have placed indoors, and then get back to my writing.

The lack of any other sound at this time of the day is, paradoxically, like music to my ears, and I begin watching word after word  springing from my mind onto the laptop screen faster than my fingers can actually type! The euphoria I experience at this sudden outburst of ideas leaves me feeling exhilarated, considering I had been having a tough time coming up with a topic to write on since the past few days.
I like it quiet at home – I am allergic to too much noise, except when I play some upbeat music at a high volume. And, it’s in such quietude that I am inspired to write. Hubby being at work and there being just the two of us, I enjoy such calmness for most part of the day. And, it’s during such quiet moments that I give my best performance – be it in the kitchen or on my laptop. Having said that, there have also been times when guests have been at home just when I have been working on a post. But, luckily for me, these posts written amidst the din of the family chatter and the television noise have turned out remarkably well, too!
 We read about famous authors finding stimulation either in the stillness of the night or in some solitary corner, far away from the deafening sounds of the world. But, rarely do we hear about writers giving voice to their thoughts amidst the chaos of everyday life; with people coming and going, kids squabbling and vying for attention, a hundred mundane chores demanding completion.  It’s just what I read about in an article yesterday. The writer of the article authored a recently published book and has been hounded with questions ever since, like “how can she, a mother of two and a full time professional, find the time to write a book?”
She has written about how she managed to squeeze in time for her writing despite her busy schedule, and that, too, amidst the din of everyday life. She sure must be a remarkable juggler, considering handling professional and domestic duties with elan is an art that needs to be worked at,  each day, everyday. And, working on a book when surrounded by noise of every kind, well, that’s something not all can boast about! So, this article set me thinking about myself and others of my kind and wonder why is it that we prefer the calm and quiet to breathe life into our thoughts?

The author and many others, who prefer the ‘noise’, must sure find a lot of inspiration in the life that surrounds them as they write. People and their myriad ways of living, their quirks, their joys and sorrows, all find their way into the stories of those who work amidst them. What a treasure trove of ideas life around them must prove to be! But, how do they work along those inspirations, stringing together those carefully chosen words into sentences and weaving a rich tapestry that enraptures the reader amidst  all the commotion that life can be? I have tried doing it a few times, as I said earlier, but  given a choice, I would much rather have my peace and quiet so as to feel my thoughts before I put them down onto paper.

In my quiet space, I get to meet my thoughts, like I would a dear, old friend; feel the emotions behind each of them, pick the right ones, keep aside the rest for future use and then use those chosen ones to put across my feelings into words.  I can manage it all better when I am with myself. The posts I write in such moments are the ones I believe I do justice to. Performing the rituals I do before I write, seems a daunting task when in the midst of the pandemonium that our life often is! Kudos to all those who manage this feat with ease, but I am happy in my soundless den.

What is the ambience you prefer when you write? Do you prefer the chaos of life to draw inspiration from, or do you like the hushed environment of your ‘den’ to let your ideas roam free? Do share with me, I would love to know! 


Love,

SHILPA.