Non-NaNaWriMo Update

Hey folks!

Hopefully, you guys are doing well since we last met. Things are looking up at my side also. I am sorting through the priorities of life.

Priorities is a funny thing. It’s amazing how something that we hold important or exciting today is no longer important or exciting after some time. Back in 2015, when I had first started the blog, the one and only thing in my mind was to set up an author’s platform. My aim was to get published, as soon as possible, through traditional means. I focused less on college work and more on the book I was writing at the time. Once published, I would check the KDP Dashboard daily to see how I was doing on the sales front.

Almost 3 years later, my goals have changed again. My blog, to an extent, explains the shift in priorities.

Now, I am earning and almost on the verge of paying off the student loan that had been weighing on my mind ever since I went to college. I have also started investing money in mutual funds – which is another thing that is occupying my mind, because I am trying to understand how the money market works. Financial security is one of the biggest priorities for me right now.

Priorities have also shifted towards health. I would look at myself carefully in the mirror and take a mental note of losing inches from the waistline. I have started spending time on the treadmill and adopted healthier eating habits.

Some of my girl friends are getting married (the boys still have a bunch of years to roam free), so marriage also has come up in the list of priorities. I am still trying to understand what I expect out of relationships and how to find the person who I can spend the rest of my life with.

Besides that, for the first time in my life, I have an option to do the things the way I want to do, thanks to the financial security. I am no longer dependent on my parents for money. So, I want to give travelling a chance. I have been planning in my mind to go to Mumbai. My brother, who is studying in Kolkata, might end up visiting the city late December/early next year. If he comes, I might go visit him and the city for a weekend. I have never been, even though I have family in Mumbai. So I am really looking forward to it. I have also started planning a list of places that I want to visit on the trip. Let’s see!

NaNoWriMo, of course, has taken a backseat. I don’t have enough ideas to finish what I started. I might get back to it for a bit when towards later this month, if I find some catchy idea to work on. Besides that, I do not see any progress on that front. However, the good thing is, I have something beautiful started through the NaNo project this year. Hopefully, through the course of the next few months, I will be able to finish it, and publish it sometime in 2018. I still have a vague goal of publishing a book per year.

That’s about it in this post – I really need to go get ready for office right now.

Until later, enjoy and live your life guilt-free! ❤

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What Nobody Told You About Happiness

Some days, you see/experience something that changes you in a fundamental way. Today happened to be one of those days.

For the last few days, I have been feeling restless. Heck, I have been restless all my life. I have an itch inside me which drives me to solve problems as soon as possible. I pay my bills almost as soon as they arrive in my email. I like to keep no debts. If a call has to be made, I would do it sooner than later. Finishing things make me happy. Accomplishments make me happy.

I am told multiple times that I talk too fast. Yes, I do. Because I trying to hard to keep up with the train of thoughts in my brain that is rushing so fast that I struggle to keep up with them.

I love flights. I love how quickly you can reach from a city that has burned you to a city that smells of love.

I am always in a hurry. Always. In. A. Hurry.

Today, I chanced upon a wonderful TEDx video of Saisha Srivastava from 2015 (when she was 20). Saisha is a dancer who collaborated with blind schools in Kolkata to teach visually impaired kids how to dance.

As I watched the video, the familiar sensation of time flying by held me and shook me up. She spoke fast, almost as fast as I speak when I am trying to catch up with my thoughts. And in those 17 minutes, I felt, once again, there is just so much left to be done in this life and I have probably not even started.

I keep watching these videos about solo travel, where people talk about staying the nights with random strangers and receiving kindness from the most unexpected places. That resonates with the core of my being. As humans, we die to hear good stories. It is ingrained in our genes – we live in our stories, we live through our stories.

We want more intriguing stories. We need more intriguing stories.

Saisha’s is a wonderful story to tell. Is yours?

If you have been part of something this beautiful, share your experience with me, down in the Comments.

See you in another blog.

Until then, either tell a story, or live one! ❤

 

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NaNoWriMo 2017 – Update #3

Okay, I am feeling guilty as anything. It’s been two days since I have not written a word for NaNo. I already feel that I am out of the competition. Sigh!

So, here’s what happened: I have been doing great until two days ago. I had some nice story ideas and the words just kept flowing. I asked myself, “Is there really something called a writer’s block? Doesn’t feel like it!”

And here I am, two days later, literally searching for something to write about. The point is, I do not have a good story idea yet. An idea is like the spark to a lamp – if I have a nice idea, I can keep writing for hours. But, if not, I do not know what to do.

Through this project, I wanted to bring out the city of Bangalore, as I have experienced it. This is the first time any city has featured so prominently in any of my writing. It also happens that right now I am binge-exploring Bangalore. When I had first come here, with little money and even lesser self-confidence, I could not afford to travel much. This weekend, I made a list of at list twenty places to see within the city. I am excited about travelling extensively throughout the remaining of 2017 and through 2018.

I just hope inspiration strikes me sometime soon and my digital ink is flowing again. If you have any tips, please feel free to share!

Until later, keep writing and inspiring others! ❤

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NaNoWriMo 2017 – Update #2

Hola writers and novelists and readers of the blog!

I am back again with another update on my WriMo progress. It’s November the 9th and I am done with the 15K words, very much in line with the goal on the ninth day.

Eight out of the nine days I have been able to complete the daily goal of 1,667 words, except November 7th, when I had gone to visit the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore (I might cover that in another post – let me know in the Comments if you are interested). Primarily, idea is spending more time in solo travel in the coming days and I wanted to make the start from places within Bangalore. There is a lot to Bangalore that I am yet to see and I am looking forward to cover them in 2018.

Okay, back to the writing update now: I am done with two short stories (spanning 6K and 4K words) and am working on the third, which I actually began before the 4K story, but is not complete yet. I am confident, at this rate, I would be able to complete the 50K goal with as many as ten stories. I don’t have ideas fleshed out for all the remaining seven stories yet (have only two more ideas left in my bucket list) and I am constantly looking out for inspiration to strike me. In fact, my Nov. 7th travel plans inspired the third story, which I started writing after putting a temporary pause on the second one.

In the past, whenever I have written stories, I have mostly completed them in a day. I find the process of writing a short story over a course of three to four days very helpful. First, it helps me get out the rut of being the the same characters’ skin for too long a time – I have noticed the plot points tend to suck and I end up beating about the bush too much if I am writing continuously for a long period. On the other hand, a day gives me fresh perspective and new ideas to fill my stories with. Because of my full-time job, I work with a lot of different people, coming across multiple viewpoints and thoughts around the clock. This helps me see life in a different way every single day. All these experience enrich me and by extension, my writing. Sometimes, I find the reflection of the current character I am writing in a coworker. Sometimes, I find a suitable dialogue for my character while I am in the elevator. This has helped me a lot in layering the characters. A charater who started out as docile will suddenly show streaks of mischief because I am in a different mood the next day.

As of work, we had somewhat of a kickoff call on the new project yesterday night. The pressure has not yet started building in and probably won’t as well for most of November, which only helps my cause of NaNoWriMo.

Fortunately for me, I have a senior team lead in the new project, which leaves me with a lot of time to focus on the details of my work instead of worrying about management. I am truly starting to think of it as a bliss. I had been leading a team of four people in my last account and it had kind of thrown me in a dump. It took me a long time to get over the emotional tiredness that the engagement has caused me. Right now, I find myself with a newly-found freedom at work, to do the things that I have always wanted to do.

Meanwhile, I am also continuing with the regime of exercises and good food at home. Any kind of routine makes me feel good about myself: the fact that I was able to get back to my word count yesterday after I staggered on Nov. 7th made me feel so much confidence yesterday.

It is incredible how much a day’s work can do for you: be it in your writing project, or your day job or your exercise routine. If, at the beginning of November, someone asked me to give them a book of 50K words by the end of the month, I would be like, “Are you kidding me?” But everyday, as I spend an hour on writing and consistently meet the daily word count, it feels as if the book is writing itself, without much effort from my side.

How’s November treating you guys? Let me know your NaNoWriMo progress in the Comments below.

Until later, keep at whatever you are doing one day at a time! I will bring you the next update soon! ❤

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NaNoWriMo 2017 – Update #1

Hello fellow Wrimos, planners and pansters!

How is November treating you so far? It’s fifth of November and I just finished my daily quota of writing for the day. Currently, I am on 9K words. Yes, you read that right! I completed 9,000 words already! Yay!

As I mentioned in my last post, I am not working on a novel this NaNoWriMo. I am working on a compilation of short stories. I am done with #1 and currently working on #2. Initially, the target was to write stories of around 2K words. I overshot the target by 4K in the very first story (so it ended up being ~6K). The second one is already around 2K and it has quite some way to go.

Overall, I am really loving the experience. I am glad that I am still going strong in the daily target. I am especially happy because, I have been down with a viral infection and had been feeling very poorly until yesterday and even then I made sure I finish my daily quota.

The coming week might prove to be a little more challenging because my new project at work commences tomorrow and it can make my schedule go awry. But I am determined to be disciplined this November and really end on a good strong count.

In fact, this year, I feel much more confident as a writer than I ever previously have. A lot of that can be attributed to the variety of experience I have had this year which has made me a strong person and also brought me in contact with a lot more people. I am hoping it will make my writing only more nuanced. Besides, it had been some time since I had really bothered to sit down everyday and do some writing – I had been out of practice since Camp NaNoWriMo in April ’17, so it’s great to be back to the habit.

How’s it going for you guys? Are you going strong? Are you facing any roadblocks? Are you taking part in any of Virtual Write-Ins on Youtube/NaNo website? Let me know in the Comments below. I am excited to be part of this journey together!

Until later, write more, because we live to tell stories! ❤

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NaNoWriMo 2017!

Hola novelists!! It’s less than an hour for NaNoWriMo to start. I hope you all have your plots, character sketches and outlines ready. How long has it been for you prepping for the start of November? How long have you been waiting for this day to arrive?

Ask me!

Unlike the last couple of years, I did not even remember NaNoWriMo arriving until last week. Needless to say, I have zero outline/plot/character sketch.

What I have currently are rough ideas for three short stories. So, I am going to cheat a little and go ahead with the idea of creating a short story compilation this NaNoWriMo. I am looking at 15 stories right now as a target, each approximately 2,000 words – so that totals to 30K. Yes, I am not planning on winning NaNoWriMo! I am focusing only on Writing Month for now. Those of you who have been followers of my blog from its early days know that I started this journey with the aim of writing more and more fiction. The idea was to use this blog as an author platform.

However, close to three years since I started this blog, I find myself going more and more personal in my entries, which have made this blog more of a personal journal than an author’s blog. I cannot promise that it will change too much in the next few months, but I do want to get back to writing more fiction.

The idea has always been to publish one book per year. Early this year, I published How I tamed the dragon named fear, a non-fiction on overcoming fear. It’s not been as successful as my first book, Bound by Life, a compilation of short stories. I have also tried my hand at multiple novels – none of which ended in a complete draft.

Yet, for quite a few days, I have been finding a strong urge within myself to form stories, and short stories are my natural way of self-expression. For those of you who’re interested, here’s a small one I shared on the blog earlier.

I will be back with more updates throughout November on how the book is going. But before I end, I want to give you guys a sneak peek into what I want this book to be:

“A collection of urban short stories, with a tinge of day-to-day humor.”

Until later, write more, stay creative! ❤

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First swimming lesson!

Yesterday, one of my flatmates, asked me if I would join her in the swimming pool. I don’t swim (not until yesterday) and my first response was, No! However, she was fairly convincing. After a while, I was like, why not? It’s a skill that I have always wanted to learn. It’s a lifesaving skill and a great form of exercise, something which I have been trying to do more of these days.

So, I dressed in a full body costume that my ex-roommate had left behind and went to the pool. Other than us, there were two boys – one of them was teaching the other how to swim.

I have been in water before. As a kid, we used to visit my maternal uncle’s place, which is by the side  of a river. We used to go bathing in the river every time we went there. Thrashing in the water, throwing water balls at each other was a favorite pastime. However, I would start screaming the moment my father dragged me deeper into the river, trying to teach me how to dip underwater. Not a favorite!

But thanks to him, I did get over that fear of water. I mean I am still scared of huge waves thrashing on the shores, but I am okay with a decent depth of water in the swimming pool.

So, my first lesson was learning to float. I have tried swimming as a kid in the river, but of course, I never got around to being able to float. I didn’t trust that the water could push my body up. I mean I am heavier than the water, right? Solving numericals using Archimedes’ principle is one thing, and to trust the water to help you float is something else altogether.

So, I was fairly surprised when I actually started floating, all about five to ten minutes in the water. All I had to do was let go of my body (my flatmate’s tips helped, thanks Shilpa!). In the beginning, I tried to keep my foot in the water, because, well, history. But then, as I started to let go, started to trust the water, I saw I was propelled up and soon I was floating horizontally in the water! Yay!

The second surprise came when, just by being still in the water, I felt that I was moving forward. Water currents, huh?! Amazing! So why not try a bit of propelling my hands to see if I could voluntarily swim? And voila, there I was, swimming half-way through the pool!

One trick that I was yet to learn in the pool yesterday as how to breathe while swimming. Shilpa couldn’t help either, because she is yet to learn it herself. So, I swam half-way through the pool, multiple times, coming back up to breathe midway.

I think the fact that I have been exercising helped me so quickly pick up the basics of swimming. Shilpa mentioned multiple times that she hadn’t seen a faster learner and that I did great for the first day.

After I came back, I watched multiple videos on swimming and I am dying to try out the tricks I learnt next weekend – or better yet, day after tomorrow! We have a holiday on Wednesday on account of Kannada Rajyotsava. Whoo-hoo!

Let me know in the Comments below if you swim, and what are your best tips to get better at it.

Until later, live healthy, eat healthy! ❤

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