[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] What is a POST?

[NOTE: I know the past couple of weeks I haven’t been able to respond to your lovely comments and catch up with your wonderful posts – believe me I MISS YOU GUYS! But there was just too much going on and I couldn’t manage everything very effectively. And what gladdens my heart and fills it with gratitude is that some of you STILL supported my blog and visited my posts – THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT! You guys are awesome and I am so very grateful to have met you! THANK YOU AGAIN! YOU GUYS ARE THE BESTEST EVERRR!!! LOVE YOU! ❤ ]

The guilt of not having posted according to my schedule for the past couple of weeks surrounded me. I felt a bit sad. I missed those lively interactions on my favorite blogs and their lovely posts, book-twitter – EVERYTHING.

And now, here I was, trying to find a good reason to go on with my blogging and reading schedule. I lacked proper motivation to open WordPress and ACTUALLY WRITE SOMETHING. My fingers hovered over the keyboard for a long time before it struck me – I wasn’t averse to writing, I was just irritated with the impossibly high standards I had set for myself as a blogger –

My posts MUST ALWAYS be visually appealing.

My gifs MUST ALWAYS be “out of this world.”

My reviews MUST ALWAYS be aesthetic.

All in all, my posts MUST ALWAYS be unique.

This demanding checklist left me overwhelmed which eventually burnt me out. For the last week, I had been trying and failing to catch up with my blogger friends because I was feeling STUCK in my own web of perfection.

If only I had realised that a post is – at it’s most basic – a record of your genuine thoughts. Of course, you can add lots of different flavours of visuals, effects, and, pretty graphics to it to make it even more enjoyable BUT it doesn’t ALWAYS need to be that way.

Sometimes you can just let all those ideas of perfection go and JUST WRITE YOUR HEART OUT, without any stress of all the work that’ll come AFTER it.

Whenever we try to chase THE IDEAL and make it the SOLE purpose, we eventually burn ourselves.

Yes, you are a blogger. But you are also a student, an employer, an employee, a reader, an author, a doctor, an engineer, a parent – you are SO MANY PEOPLE AT ONCE! And to fulfill every single one of those roles to satisfaction, you need to let yourself free from time to time or else it sucks the very joy of blogging out of it.

And that’s no fun at all.

As a blogger, the lack of motivation and reason to write and hit publish is one of the worst things ever! And to make sure that you don’t go through such a burnout – not at least on a regular basis – you just need to RELAX and allow yourself a few mistakes, a few let ups, a few missed deadlines, a few slackened standards.

Why?

Because your posts are not defined by those glitters – they are defined by their message, their content, their originality.

Allow yourselves to be a human who sometimes misses a few things, forgets others – there is fun in that. 😉

Ps: By now you must know why this post is so devoid of the usual flare. I hope you still liked it just the same. ❤

Dear Book-Bloggers,

First of all, HOW ARE YOU? Doing good? Killing it? Reminding yourself how absolutely awesome you are?

I hope so because believe me your passion hasn’t gone unnoticed. I see you churning out posts after posts, pouring your heart in them. Stating BOLDLY what YOU think, what YOUR opinions are. And doing so in the most beautiful and visually appealing manner.

Do you think we don’t realise how much effort goes into maintaining those gorgeous blogs?

We do.

I do.

I know how time consuming and mentally exhausting this whole process can be. On the surface it seems like we are living the dreamreading what we love and then gushing about it like a bunch of cute and excited fans. And while, it’s true to an extent, I don’t forget the underlying hard work. 

How many many hours have you spent finding just the right words?
How many websites have you scoured trying to find THE EXACT gif that compliments your posts?
How many failed attempts did it take to make those beautiful graphics that you adorn your writing with?
How many times have you had to give up doing something else just to make sure you reply to those lovely comments on time? And how bad did you feel when you realised you missed a couple?

It’s a painful process sometimes. Almost like a full time job. I am not saying we don’t enjoy it or we aren’t happy doing it – but there ARE days when it just feels like too much.

What are we even doing it for? For ourselves, yes. For our own personal satisfaction. But also for the encouragement we get from others. For those wonderful interactions and those beautiful friends you have made here.

But then, something happens that dampens your spirits. Some ignorant people make stupid remarks and try to fill your head with doubts and complex. And suddenly, you start questioning everything.

Why am I here if what I am doing is not even valued properly?

Well, I am here to remind you that it IS valued. Don’t you DARE think that all those wonderful reviews that you write have any less value than those reviewing books on other platforms.

Think about the joy of the author when they see your wonderfully worded review about THEIR book! How uplifting must THAT feel. We read books because there is just something about the way those properly and immaculately placed words make us feel, don’t we? Well, your reviews have the same effect on the authors. They feel valued, just as they DESERVE. They put out content – they share it. For themselves, yes. But also for us. And your reviews help them realise how exactly their words made YOU feel.

Remember – there is power in the written word. And you are the writer of all those beautiful and uplifting posts. There is beauty in that.

So take pride in your work. YOU ARE INVALUABLE for the readers, the authors, the publishers, AND for your fellow book-bloggers. ️

ALL THE LOVE,

R A I N ❤

[A WRITER’S LIFE] 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Writing

Writing is the purest form of expression.
You bleed your heart out on the paper, hoping it would turn into something remotely worth reading. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn’t. 

But that’s not the point.

Writing words is easy. But writing something that makes someone want to spend their time on? Well, THAT’S the tricky part.

And its this fact that trumped me up in the beginning of my journey. A few words in and I would start overthinking it. And eventually, I would give up – for days, weeks, months on end. I failed to realize that this was a process and I couldn’t possibly hope to write a masterpiece every time I put up my pen, or punched the keyboard into oblivion. *shrugs*

And now that I look back, I wish I’d known the following things before I started writing:

Refrain From Judgement

It’s one of the easiest thing to start judging your own writing, especially in the beginning.

You are so consumed with the idea of writing a brilliant piece that you cannot wait to edit and re-edit it until it turns into the next viral post or the next best selling book.

But the reality is that it doesn’t happen that easy. It doesn’t happen overnight. And it CERTAINLY does NOT happen with a few weeks even months of practice.

This realization – although a bit painful at first – puts you in the attitude of learning, one that allows for creativity to flow unobstructed. AND THAT’S WHAT YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON IN THE BEGINNING ANYWAY. 

Don’t Get All High and Mighty

This is another trap that beginners can very easily fall into. They overestimate their writing to the extent of closing their minds to suggestions which ultimately results in their undoing, wouldn’t you agree?

It’s because of their unwillingness to see room for improvement in their writing that it never grows, never flourishes into something worth reading.

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I have seen it happen with my friends who have recently taken up writing as a hobby. And every time they write something half-decent, in their minds they are suddenly the great-great-great grandson of Shakespeare, which is really fucking annoying to see, NOT GONNA LIE! 

There is ALWAYS room for improvement. Hell, even Tolkien’s writing could’ve improved with time. How many more masterpieces would he have spouted THEN! 

Self-Expression

When you read all those already established writers – writing in a set style that’s gotten them loads of success, you see it as a roadmap for YOUR success as well. You think that what worked for THEM will work for YOU as well. 

THAT’S A TRAP. DON’T FALL INTO IT. 

Understand that the ONLY reason other writers are successful and at the level that they are today is BECAUSE THEY LET THEIR INNER SELVES SHINE THROUGH THEIR WORDS. 

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They speak from their heart.
They write from their soul.
And it’s reflected in their work.
Can’t you see that? 

HUNDREDS of books are published every day and yet only a fraction of them manage to make a reader FEEL something; make them go mad for the characters! WHY IS THAT?

BECAUSE while MOST of those authors write solely for one time sale, one time read purposes, a precious few write to leave a lasting impression on the reader’s heart. They want to create something that the reader would want to revisit, again and again, and again. And THAT’S WHERE THEIR STRENGTH LIES.

Write from your heart, and watch magic happen RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

With a dream of becoming a great writer comes great responsibility – of practicing the art, every single day. 

If you want to be better at something, you have to REALLY work at it. Put in REAL effort. Make time for it. And say no to any excuses that might seek to hinder your progress.

I’ll give you a personal example. When I was in 4th standard, my best friend once got bitterly humiliated by our class teacher. Why? Because her handwriting sucked. Yes. It sucked more than Mr. Darcy sucked at his proposal to Lizzie, and THAT’S SAYING SOMETHING! 

She cried and cried – THE WHOLE FUCKING DAY. Nothing I did was cheering her up. It seemed that the fact that she had been found wanting in some aspect was really bothering her. And she wanted to do something about it. That VERY day, I decided to help her better her handwriting, since I was pretty good with my cursive, not that I am bragging. 🤣

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We worked every day – in every single free period – on her letters. Slowly, they started to improve. And by the next semester, she was writing even more beautifully than me! The SAME teacher who had humiliated her was now using her handwriting as an inspiration for other students of our class.

You see, she CARED for her the fact her handwriting needed improvement. And so, she worked at it. Every single day.

Would her life have turned out worse if she hadn’t improved it? Not necessarily. But it’s all about what you care for – and it can be the most insignificant thing! It doesn’t matter. 

If it bothers you then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

If you want your writing to get better and better every single day, WORK AT IT, EVERY SINGLE DAY. And if you don’t, then you simply don’t care about improving it THAT MUCH. 

Remember to Enjoy the process 

We all crave for the end as if that’s the ONLY thing left in the world! What we fail to realize is that the fun is in the journey; the learning is in the journey; the experience is in the journey; the joy is in the journey. 

It’s a rule of thumb – if you forget to appreciate HOW you get there, you won’t appreciate it WHEN you arrive there either. Because the “end” – the achievement of your goal – will only last for a few moments but the journey? It’ll change you – for the better – if you’ll allow it to.

I spent MANY days and nights loathing the process and craving the result. But I couldn’t just skip that part, could I? And getting irritated with it was only going to make it THAT MUCH HARDER. So I decided to just – Write Everyday. And enjoy what I write!

AND THAT HAS MADE SUCH A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE!

So guys, don’t forget to have fun while you are in the process because believe me, you are going to miss these moments later on. It’s true that we never really realize the value of a moment once it’s lost but we can for sure try to, can’t we – try to enjoy the present, detaching ourselves from the outcome, and just having fun with it? 😉

WE CAN. AND WE MUST. ❤ ❤

These are the things that had I known and REALIZED in the beginning, I would have spared myself A LOT of frustration and anxiety. And now I hope that these points will help someone on their journey as well. 🙂 ❤

AND NOW I wanna hear YOUR tips and tricks as well. 😉 What advice would you give to your younger writer-self?

[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Are You Setting the Bar WAY TOO HIGH?// The Perfect Recipe for Disappointment//

You – yes, you, sitting behind that computer screen looking all kinds of beautiful and confident 😉 – tell me, what was your most popular post?

You know the one where you were getting crazy hits moments after hitting publish. People were commenting like nothing else mattered. I bet you felt like A GOD, didn’t you? You were able to help them in some way. Either by making them laugh, or maybe sharing some tips, or maybe just a feel-good post? BUT PEOPLE RELATED TO IT, DIDN’T THEY? Those moments are still seared in your memory – THAT FEELING OF BEING VALUED; THAT FEELING OF A POST TAKING OFF. *heart eyes*

You were on top of the world – the blogging world at least – and there was no limit to your happiness. It was all worth it that day, wasn’t it? The hard work, writing even when you didn’t feel like it, those long hours searching for EXACTLY THE RIGHT GIF, man THAT’S a real pain!

Still, the appreciation makes it ALL WORTH IT. It’s heartwarming to know that you aren’t screaming into a void; that people are actually listening to you. Nothing pumps up the spirits of a blogger kinda like those appreciative comments, those crazy shares, those increasing stats. (Own it now! DON’T BE SHY ;))

But nothing lasts and you too shall fall down. It’s the law of nature. AND GRAVITY. *shrugs*

You climbed up the mountain. It was hard. It was time taking. But it’s a fucking peak. Sooner or later, it’s gonna poke a hole through your goddamn shoes and you’re gonna have to climb down. If you don’t – a snowstorm might do the trick nicely. BUT COME DOWN YOU SHALL.

But, does it mean that you will start measuring every little success on that scale? Does it mean you will stop enjoying life’s simple pleasures just because they don’t provide the same kind of exhilaration that climbing a fucking mountain does?

I am sorry but that’s just too dumb for words. Yes, I said it.

When you write a post, you should do it ONLY BECAUSE YOU WANT TO WRITE. Not under the pressure of staying at the top. Because that attitude will definitely – DEFINITELY AND SEVERELY – affect your writing process, I am telling you.

Just yesterday I was going through all the posts I made during the last year. And I was surprised by how well a couple of them performed. It came as a shock, to be honest. Plus this realization brought with it a desire, a hunger to reach those heights again. I quickly opened my notepad and decided to write something EXACTLY LIKE THOSE POSTS – setting the bar way too high in the very beginning! I put so much pressure on my mind that the creativity muscle just kinda –

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I was forgetting one little thing, though – not every post I’ll write will be a masterpiece. Not every single post will do well. Not every single post will have people raving all about it all over the internet. AND THAT IS OKAY.

You see when you think about it – it’s just as it should be, really. If you’ll give serious thought to how this whole writing process works, it’ll become evident to you that it’s a perfect balance of odds the more you write, the more chances you create of writing something awesome. But expecting every single word to be like that? I am sorry but that is just not possible.

It’s a process. You practice with the practice. It’s not like you’ll sit in meditation for an hour once a week and the right idea will just flow through your mind and onto the paper. NOPE. How it ACTUALLY goes is you write and write and write and then one day, while writing, some words will JUST CLICK and VOILA! There is your next blockbuster post.

BUT until THAT happens, remember to enjoy every single word you write because it’s helping you and your craft – whether you can see it right now or not.


Now, I wanna hear your thoughts on the topic: do you agree? Do you have any insights that all the rest of us could benefit from?
Or maybe any such experience when you felt forced to give in to the pressure of ”famous topics” or ”viral posts”?

LET’S CHAT! ❤ ❤


[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Is Blogging REALLY Worth It?

It’s such a beautiful day out there. Clouds covering the vast sky like a lover trying to shield his beloved from all harm. I long to go out – feel that wind on my bare face, allow it to fill my whole body like something pure. I want to feel carefree, careless. undefined

 But alas! I have to write. Write, because without it my blog will be empty. Edit, because without it my posts will be ugly. Make graphics, because without it my writing will seem boring. Whoever said Blogging is effortless was lying. Lying through his fucking teeth. Nothing that’s new to you is ever going to be effortless. And the back-bone of blogging – the written word – certainly doesn’t come easily. Neither does the part that follows it. There is a lot of effort that goes into blogging which makes even the best of us wonder, at some point or another – “Is it even worth it?” What would all that hard work achieve?” “Why does it involve so much effort? I thought following your passion was supposed to be a cake in the walk, cake while walking, or a cake walk, Either way. ;).”

Well, let’s answer your questions.

It’s worth it if you value your writing.

Writing is an ever-evolving skill. The way you write today is different from yesterday. And so it’ll go on forever.

You don’t learn and THEN write. You learn AS you write.

It’s something that keeps on getting better and better, provided that you nourish it with enough practice. Practice comes from habit. And habit is formed with consistency. Would you be so naive as to hope to read every single book on writing before you ever write a single word and then hope to spout a masterpiece the moment you pick up the mightiest sword – THE PEN? I hope to god you wouldn’t because that would be foolishness at its fucking peak!  

It’s worth it if you value friendship

When I started blogging, I used to think of it as just sharing my thoughts and be done with it. I didn’t have THE SLIGHTEST INKLING that I would make SUCH AWESOME FRIENDS HERE!

All the beautiful bloggers that I met, interacted, and made friends with HAVE BEEN THE BEST PART OF BLOGGING, not gonna lie! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! YOU ROCK!

I LOVE YOU!!! You have made my blogging experience richer and more fun and I WOULD NOT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY!! ❤

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It’s worth it if you want to build your readership.

And by that I don’t mean blindly increasing the number of followers.

I mean establishing good and healthy relationship with those who read your blog, you comment on it, who value value your posts.

THEY are the ones who will give you GENUINE feedback on your writing, who will support you and your blog will be better for it. You will learn how to converse with your readers, what they like to read, what they jump at and it will definitely help you in bettering your own writing as well. Blogging isn’t only about punching the keys, IT’S MAINLY ABOUT INTERACTION and that really helps you in building a network of good and honest readers.

WHO THE FUCK WOULDN’T WANT THAT??

It’s worth it if you can manage your ever growing TBR

OKAY THAT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT BLOGGING! I don’t think I’d have read and discovered as many masterpieces as I have now without this little blog.

I mean whenever I visit any of my fellow bloggers posts and reviews, I always come out with a TBR that is sky high.

And it always amazes me how you guys manage to read so much. I mean WOW. You give me the inspiration to experiment with genres, something I’d not have done otherwise. I don’t think I’d have the courage to climb out of my comfort zone without reading and believing in YOUR experiences!

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT! ❤

In the end, all I’d like to say is this:

Blogging has changed my life – the way I read, the way I write – EVERYTHING. And I am happier for it. And I am sure you guys have had the same experience. Sure it is hard work at first but it’s ALL worth it.

Blogging is THE BEST and anyone who says otherwise deserves a firm smack on the head, you know to put the wiring right. 😉

[AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE] Bloggers Who Are A Serious Threat To Your TBR //Part-1//

You see them. You like them. You hit follow.
That’s how it goes with your favorite blogs, doesn’t it?

Well, you forget to take into consideration one very VERY important aspect of this process – the genius and scheming minds of the bloggers behind those posts that you so adore! They have been waiting for you, lurking behind their computer screens – getting you hooked on their writing ever so slowly until one day you’ll find yourself completely trapped in their beautiful webs.

I have suffered at their hands, guys. And what’s more? I HIGHLY RECOMMEND SUCH SUFFERING!

So today I present to you some bloggers who are A SERIOUS THREAT to everything you hold dear – and I mean your TBR.

[NOTE: There are MANY MANY MORE DELIGHTFUL THREATS LURKING AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE and I will do them justice in the subsequent parts of this series. 😉 )


Tessa

When I first discovered her blog, it seemed like a normal one. Her enthusiasm for books was enchanting and she was super friendly. I thought I had found the perfect blogger friend! And I WAS SO SO HAPPY.

Little did I know what I was getting myself involved in. gasps

As I came to know more about her, I realized that she is a very, very dangerous person, indeed. If you get in contact with her, read her blog – there is NO WAY YOU ARE COMING OUT OF IT UNCHANGED. Her passionate reviews will change you. She will force you – FORCE YOU TO READ WHAT SHE LIKES – and she’ll do that in the politest way possible! 

She is a THREAT to your TBR, people. Her reviews? A threat to your mind because THEY WILL ULTIMATELY CONVINCE YOU to drop everything and just go buy the fucking book that SHE is recommending. 

She will brainwash your mind and have you craving thrillers all day long with her beautifully written reviews! 

You have been warned.

Kat.

Where do I EVEN BEGIN?! Kat is the kindest and the sweetest person you will EVER meet. She is absolutely AWESOME. And THAT is EXACTLY WHY SHE IS SO DANGEROUS.

As you’ll get to know her better, you’ll come to love her and appreciate her content more and more. And as that happens, she stealthily sneaks her way in your mind…..

…..and replaces the books that YOU want to read with the ones that SHE WANTS YOU TO READ! 

I admit I was a little slow in arriving to this realisation. When I first read her review, I loved it and was impressed by the way she structured them. That was it. But little by little, I started looking out for her posts. Her posts started playing on my mind – I was baffled! I no longer wanted to even LOOK AT MY EXISTING COLLECTION! I just wanted to read WHAT SHE WAS READING.

THAT is the power of her posts. 

You see now? Kat is one of the most dangerous bloggers out there, I am telling you.

Lashaan

Okay so, let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?

I came across Bookidote in 2017. Back then I just used to read Trang’s posts. I was unfamiliar with Lashaan’s writings. And I wasn’t going to read ’em either – not until two years later!

When I came back to blogging last year, I got hooked on his posts. He reads comics a lot and what shocked me was that although I wasn’t interested in them like AT ALL – I still found myself actively seeking out his reviews! 

Crazy, isn’t it? 

I would look out for his posts and jump with excitement every time he published a new one. The way he writes is just MAJESTIC. His words pull you in, wrap themselves around you, make you a captive, and then you just – you just want to agree what he is saying, want to read what he is reading! *shrugs*

He changes the very direction of your mind! You cannot help but read his reviews and leave in awe of how brilliantly they are worded.

You have NO IDEA how many comic books I have added to my TBR JUST BECAUSE OF HIS REVIEWS. I mean COME ON I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY DESIRE TO READ THEM! And yet, here I am – prioritizing them like CRAZY. 

To be honest, Lashaan, my other books are getting jealous of you now. 

Sofii

This proudly Latina blogger will stop at nothing – I MEAN NOTHING – to brainwash your mind. And this she does with her sweet soul and kind disposition. First, she makes friends with you. Then best friends. Then VERY VERY BEST FRIENDS. Soon, you just wanna talk with her again and again and again – BECAUSE SHE IS SOOO EASY GOING! 

And then? What does she do?

SHE ATTACKS WITH HER BEAUTIFUL AND AESTHETIC POSTS – and she does so in a way that will have you believing that IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD.

DAMN! She has to be THE BIGGEST THREAT OF ‘EM ALL! runs and hides

She will stop at nothing to enchant your heart. She words her reviews in such a sweet and comfortable way that you cannot help but be convinced. There have been SO MANY BOOKS that I wanted to read at first but decided not to JUST BECAUSE OF HER REVIEWS. And sooo many more that I had no idea I even wanted to read but her reviews sold them to me in the SWEETEST WAY POSSIBLE.

And now, here I am, standing with a TBR that’s sky-high. I am scared, I am worried but there is JUST NO WAY AROUND IT.

It is what it is and ITS ALL THIS SWEET BLOGGER’S FAULT! 😭

Orangutan Librarian

Yes. There she resides – in her beautiful library, surrounded by her beautiful books – hatching plans of increasing your TBR to such an extent that you will probably die under it! 

The sheer beauty and excitement in her posts will soon leave you overwhelmed and push you over the edge – you’ll fall and fall and fall and land directly over a pile of books that our beloved librarian sneakily pushed on you! 

You will soon be hooked on her reviews and before you know it, you’ll follow her advice wholeheartedly, without a single question because…well…HAVE YOU READ HER WRITING? It’s too fucking clever and convincing!

AHHHHHHHH!! panic attack Give me water. SOMEONE FUCKING GIVE ME SOME FUCKING WATERRRR!!!


You must see now how important it is to identify these lovely threats – TO LET THEM THREATEN US MORE, OF COURSE! 😉

What about you though? Do you know more bloggers who are the reason behind your ever-growing TBR?! LET US ALL KNOW IN THE COMMENTS so we can prepare our minds before giving them a visit.

Also, be prepared because I am going to share MANY more of such lovely blogs in the near future. 🙂 ❤


[A WRITER’S LIFE] The Fickle Muse //Tips + Tricks To Keep Her Happy and Generous//

Eyes closed. Shut, more like – focusing on the dark insides of my mind. “Help me, please”, I shout. But a burst of shrill laughter is all the response I get

On the verge of tears – I beg her TO JUST FUCKING GIVE ME AN IDEA – ANY IDEA WILL DOO! 

It’s really very difficult to please THE MUSE, isn’t it? I mean, you never know when she’ll start acting off and leave you in the lurch with no clues and a bullet to put in your brain should you be defeated before she graces you with her presence again!

Ugh, SUCH A DRAMA QUEEN.

But fear not! Although she loves to play a mean game of hide & seek, I am going to tell you some of her most BASIC TRAITS so that you can catch her before she runs away without giving anything in return for all those hours of frustration! 


🌸3:00 AM

That is her favorite time. You might suddenly wake up – feeling groggy, afraid, or even confused – with a hint of an idea in your head, just roaming around like a fly just about to die. 

YOU GOTTA CATCH IT BEFORE IT DROPS, THOUGH! I am serious, catch it in it’s flight because otherwise you may risk losing it forever.

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Get up, no matter how much you might loathe doing so, and WRITE IT DOWN. Yes, don’t you make the mistake of “keeping it stored in your memory till the morning.” Because the muse is moody. There have been cases where she came back and stole the ideas from the mind of the writer, JUST BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WRITE THEM DOWN ASAP.

Scary, isn’t she? Well, she is the only goddess we poor writers get so we have to play by her rules, no matter what. 

🌸Troublesome

One of the things that she likes to do the most is troubling you when you are busy. She might come in to surprise you with a fantastic idea for your post, say, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF DOING THE DISHES.

Imagine having to walk to your room ALL THE WAY FROM KITCHEN – with soapy water dripping off your hands – putting your work on hold, JUST TO WRITE THE IDEA IN YOUR PHONE! 

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But it’s necessary as well because if you wait until AFTER you are done with the dishes, you may not be able to remember it again – EVER – and may die of guilt! So, yeah, keep in mind that she WILL disturb you when you are busy so KEEP A NOTEPAD WITH YOU AT ALL COSTS.

Doing this just might save your writing life by helping you build a gold-mine of ideas to pick from WHENEVER YOU WANT! 

🌸Jealous

When you start getting hooked on her fantastic ideas – flowing in so effortlessly, granted that she’s in a good mood – you never go back to brainstorming and other lame practices! YOU JUST FEED HER EGO AND SATIATE HER PRIDE WITH CONSTANT AND EFFUSIVE WORDS OF PRAISE.


But, let’s say you get inspired by someone else – a friend, a relative, your dog – whoever! And you decide to work on THAT idea BEFORE working on the muse’s, SHE WILL BREAK UP WITH YOU. SHE WILL RUN AWAY – and not alone, mind you. She will take with her every single idea she has ever graced upon your monkey mind!

WHAT WILL YOU DO THEN? Because your friends and other scarce sources of inspiration cannot possibly save you EVERY TIME, can they?

So, take my advice and PRIORITISE HER AND HER IDEAS – ALWAYS.

🌸Demands Sacrifice

In the earlier times, The Muse used to demand severe payment from the writers – their favorite pair of socks, pages of their most beautiful books, ordering them not to shower for a week straight. Every aspiring writer was required to practice cooking her favorite meals as well, just in case she gets hungry while helping them write. She also used to appear in their dreams and interrupt their sleep just for fun, you know!

SHE USED TO BE VERY CRUEL INDEED.

But as times have changed, so has her demands. Be warned though – that doesn’t mean they are any less difficult to follow. If anything, I think she has chosen her form of payment PERFECTLY, according to recent times.

So, WHAT DOES SHE WANT IN PAYMENT?

She wants your focus – your COMPLETE ATTENTION. And your hard work. THE MINUTE SHE CATCHES YOU SLACKING, she blocks the creative flow FOR A WEEK – A MONTH – MAYBE MORE! *gasps*



DAMN! That woman really knows how to train her disciples!

Plus I TOTALLY speak from experience because she has done that with me before. And let me tell you – THOSE DAYS OF CREATIVITY BLOCKAGE ARE A TORTURE. I have endured them and I don’t wish to go through that EVER AGAIN!

So learn from my experience – GIVE YOUR PREFERRED ART YOUR COMPLETE FOCUS – or else you might have to pay bitterly. *sobs*

As you must have understood by now, THE MUSE is very difficult to please – always running about, always teasing you with ideas, and then taking them away. But, I hope with these tips, you’ll be better able to predict her next move and be better prepared when she comes next!

I am curious though, do you have any personal experiences that you’d like to share? Some irritating moments while writing – because THAT WAS HER TO BE SURE!
Let me knowww in the comments.

Until next time,

[A WRITER’S LIFE] Dealing with Unjust + Hateful Criticism //A Personal Experience//

I didn’t understand criticism – REAL criticism – until I faced it.
Experienced it.
Until it shattered me from the inside.
It became the biter pill I could neither swallow nor throw up.
It got stuck in the middle of my throat – like a hundred tears threatening to fall if I removed that fake smile from my face.

But I couldn’t maintain my composure for much longer. The smile did fade away. The tears did fall. I told myself- “It’s the internet after all.” – but for some reason, it wasn’t working. Because in some part of me, I knew that there were actual people behind those made up usernames, people for whom what I write was the most disgusting and untrue thing they had ever read.

People for whom my style of writing came across as desperate and needy.

People for whom my ideas were worth nothing, my words were worth nothing, my effort was worth nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Upto that point, I had only known love from my readers. And that sudden burst of hateful criticism was becoming a bit too much to bear. I ended up crying my eyes out, not going to lie. Because I was still far from reaching that point of saying a bold “FUCK YOU” to the people who didn’t like what I was writing. Sure, I wrote it – half-hearted – as a response – but deep inside, my insides were in a knot and no amount of consolation was proving enough.

Why? Why did it feel like that? Why did I feel their hate so deeply? Had I not acquired any self-worth at all? 

The thing is, it wasn’t a question of self-worth. It was the question of self-expression. I have always poured my heart out in everything I write, in every word I type with my little fingers. And for people to discredit it was like discrediting my life – the experiences I have had – the journey that shaped me into who I am. THAT was the hard part. That was what I was having trouble accepting.

The breakdown was real. But not long. I couldn’t afford to lose what little spare hours I get during the day over crying about someone’s rather unjust words. What I COULD do, however, was put my whole self into what I was about to write next. I was afraid -afraid that my desperation as they said is very prevalent – would show. But I didn’t care. I had to write. That was the only way I could see to release the hints of anger, loathing, and irritation that had seeped into me having faced that kind of hate.

It was time to bleed.
Tell my story.
The way I wanted to.
The only way I had learned how to.
Because take that away and what do I have?
Take my authenticity away and what am I left with?
Empty letters. Hollow words. Fake experiences, just for the sake of a few people who couldn’t understand me? 

I wrote – bled on the paper, let out all of my frustration all of my anger, all of my sadness – and converted it into a flawed yet genuine piece of writing. I felt at peace. I felt the beauty of quiet satisfaction, one that I had taken for granted but never will again. I hit publish. And I knew – in my heart, I knew – that it will be loved. It will be adored. It will be understood by the people who WANT to understand. 

The rest of them? Well, it’s a wide ass world with a LOT of people living in it. How could I EVER hope to please every single one of them? How could I touch every single heart pumping in this beautiful world? 

But, if my words are able to touch at least a single one, I will consider my mission accomplished. If even a fraction of my readers are able to feel my words in the depth of their being, I will have accomplished what I set out to do – WRITE.


Well, writing this was a bit difficult but necessary. I feel like there will always be criticism surrounding anything you’ll do. The trick is to know when it’s constructive and when it’s only meant to bring you down!

And now, I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on it.
How do you deal with criticism?
Any past experiences that you’ve had with trolls in general?! xD
Comment and we’ll chat!



[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Comment for Comment – A FAULTY SYSTEM

When you follow a blog, what expectations do you have?

🌸 You’ll get a regular supply of awesome content and make friends with the amazing blogger behind it

OR

🌸 Yay! More people to comment on my posts! 

If the former, more power to you! But if you think the latter, then you aren’t the only ones making this awful, awful mistake.

The story starts two years back – when I was still very new to book blogging and everything was like a shiny toy. I was very helpful, friendly, and true of heart. (Not that I am not these things now..🤣)

My sole purpose used to be sharing my writing and making friends in the community. I used to enjoy talking with them about my interests, loved reading about their own – it was the golden era of my blog. 

Of course the problem started when I started trying to copy the famous blogger’s writing style in the hopes of gaining more followers because THEIR content matter seemed to get more famous than mine. But that’s a different story.

Little by little, I started to replace those pure feelings of joy in reading others’ content with an intense desire to get more and more comments. And towards that goal, I’d try to find and follow AS MANY BLOGS AS I COULD. I didn’t wait to think whether I REALLY liked their content, whether it was my kind of tea or notI just wanted to make them feel appreciated so that THEY WOULD MAKE ME FEEL APPRECIATED AS WELL. (I wish I had only focused on the ”making THEM feel appreciated” part! 😦

Such an awful, awful trend isn’t it?

And although I have come out of it now – because within the first few months of doing so, it started becoming WAYY TOO EXHAUSTING and so I shifted my attention back to following and reading content I actually love – it’s still very prevalent among other bloggers.

And I kinda hate that, not gonna lie.

Really?
Are you just going to comment on mine if I comment on yours?
Does that arrangement seem uplifting to you?
How is it helping though?

Really, HOW will you EVER know if your writing is ACTUALLY worth reading? By the number of comments? Oh, but they comment on yours because you comment on theirs. *shrugs* NOW what you have to say for yourself, huh?

The fault in this system is that:

🌸  It encourages too much selfishness which is neither good for you, nor for the others.

🌸  It comes in the way of making friends and the overall fun of reading a blog, because all the time, you are just think about YOURS, not REALLY appreciating THEIRS, do you see?

Hey, don’t get me wrong – blog hopping and supporting new bloggers is really important but the intention behind it shouldn’t be selfish. And I am not talking about you turning into an absolute saint here! 🤣 No, no, don’t do THAT. You have a responsibility to grow your blog as well. And doing some things SOLELY for that reason is COMPLETELY FINE. I do it too.

But when you start commenting on other blogs only because you expect them to comment on yours, it’s a disservice to their content, to be honest. 

Support and show them love without any expectatons. Try doing it – just for a month – review the blogs you’ve followed and actually give thought to their writing. Do you REALLY love it? Or was your follow just a bait – for them to visit your blog and follow you as well? 

Give this a serious thought and try an unconditional approach for a while.

It will be beneficial for both you and them in countless waysthe most important being the friendship that’ll form out of your love for their content. And out of that will come everything that you want as well – yes, yes, the comments and the follows (ugh, look at YOU! No change! 🤣) 

Give love because you feel like giving it, not because you expect they’ll love you back as well and see your world shift – towards a happier and more meaningful blogging experience. 

Because this“I’ll comment on yours only if you’ll comment on mine.”  – is a very mean practice. And one day, you’re going to get tired of it. I know. I did too. And THAT day you’ll realize who your ACTUAL FOLLOWERS ARE.

You’ll stop chasing those bribed comments soon enough. You’ll realize the importance of actual readership, of REAL followers who won’t leave you NO MATTER WHAT. 😉

[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Things I still NEED to learn

Apart from possessing the ability to churn out fresh content by the week, responding to comments on a timely basis, blog-hopping consistently, and of course, spreading love in the community, there are a few other things that a blogger needs to understand and I seem to lack in those.

I used to think that I was a kick-ass blogger. I don’t now.

Why?

Well, let’s find out:

🌸The Power of Habit

I made a post last year – titled – “What makes a Good Blogger” 

I followed every single point I made in it. But THEN, because of JUST A LITTLE BIT OF DIFFICULTY – I let it all go down the drain – MONTHS OF HARD WORK – all went away! Just like that.

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Ugh. Me and my hypocrite self.

The point is, when I had that accident and decided to take a little break from blogging, I didn’t know what effect it would have on my habit of writing every day, one that I had had a LOT of difficulties cultivating in the first place.

We fickle human beings fail to recognize a little fact – our mind is ALWAYS trying to find ways to go back to being a lazy-ass dump of nerves. You can’t argue with that! 🤣

And when you decide to take those – unplanned breaks – you give it THE PERFECT AMMUNITION TO LIGHT THE FIRE IN YOU LIFEburning the good habits (that you took a LOT of time to form) to the ground. 

Well, do you disagree?! DO YA?!

But hey, that’s not to say that we can never take breaks. It’s just that there is an art to it, one that needs learning.

🌸The Art of Taking Breaks

WITHOUT ruining your habits, I should add.

As I said, the mind is a lazy-ass fuck who keeps yearning to go back to his old ways of procrastination and laziness.

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And we need to find a way to tread that sensitive ground with care. Think Katniss trying to hop her way around those mines to blow up all the ammunition. 🤷🏻‍♀️

So, it all comes down to this: Finding time to make sure you are engaging in writing at least a few minutes EVERY DAY – it can be just a little paragraph – but you do it daily

When you’ll do it every day, going back to blogging won’t seem THAT MUCH OF A MONSTER TASK – because you’ll have tidbits of content at your fingertips – ready to be converted into full-blown posts should you feel the need.

And that’s EXACTLY what I need to learn as well. Boop.

🌸Visit Your Blog Regularly

Yes. Okay, I know, I know. This one seems irrelevant. But, hear me out, alright? 

Whatever’s in front of your eyes on a regular basis becomes the dominant thought of your mind, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s the principle that will be activated when you form the habit of regularly visiting your blog yes, even on hiatuses. 

Just visit it. Don’t interact with anyone if you don’t want to. Don’t reply to comments yet, if you don’t feel like it. Don’t comment on others’ posts if you’d rather wait until you are officially back.

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BUT, visit your blog regularly nonetheless. Because by doing that:

•  You’ll keep reminding yourself what absolute fun blogging actually is and how much you love it.

•  You’ll also be reminded of how much effort you’ve put into it so far and what a waste it would be if you were to abandon it all of a sudden.

And both of those realizations will keep you from falling into laziness and inactivity. 

They surely would have helped me had I visited my blog regularly. And I am sure it’ll help you as well. 

 

🌸Never Forget

Okay, this is an extension of the last point but I think it’s too important not to repeat:

You must NEVER – under ANY circumstance – forget all the hard work that goes into maintaining the blog. 

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You put other things on hold to make your blog the prettiest, the coolest, the wittiest, the BESTEST! 

And all that work goes to waste if you stop giving attention to it all of a sudden. I mean, it’s like a house. A house becomes a home when you clean it every day, decorate it in your likeness, make sure that it reflects YOUR personality, your likes, and dislikes, YOUR habits.

BUT that same cozy and comfortable home turns into a cold and unwelcoming structure of bricks when you stop living in it, stop giving attention to it – doesn’t it?

Well, the same thing happens with our blog as well. It needs a similar kind of nurture and care – and that too REGULARLY.

🌸Keep in mind the people that you leave behind.

It isn’t only about writing and getting comments, is it? Blogging is also about the wonderful and welcoming communitythose friends that you make, that confidence that you build with them, their faith in you, and your faith in yourself.

Remember how much time it took you to form that?

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Well, don’t leave THEM behind just because you couldn’t keep your wandering mind under a leash. THEY are the ones who make your blogging experience so fucking wholesome and fulfilling. 

And you’d do well to remember that before you decide to leave your blog – a child of your mind – unattended the next time.

Yes, I AM TALKING TO YOU RAIN! ️ I swear to god you can be so fucking difficult sometimes. UGH! 

Well, I hope that these few points will help you as I am sure they’d have helped ME as well before I decided to fall into that same cycle of procrastination.

Until next time,

RAIN