On Reading Anthony Trollope — I

Image courtesy: douban.com
Image courtesy: douban.com

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I have finally finished reading Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers, the second instalment from his Barsetshire chronicles, which spans six novels.

The last time I wrote here about not being able to read the book at my usual fast speed was nearly two months ago. I took many breaks, reading other books, writing, watching films and some TV series. It has helped me a lot.

Having now finished the novel, I am happy I did not hurry myself to complete it as quick as possible. The novel had demanded my full attention. But I, for various reasons, could not give it the requisite focus back then. So I trudged along, slowly, imbibing every little detail about the novel’s setting, plot, themes, and characters in the average of 10 pages in each session. This has made a huge difference, going so slow and not worrying about it.

And it does not only apply to Trollope’s novel but extends to nearly all the books I have read in the last few months. I feel I understand a literary text with so much more clarity than I used to in school, college, or even university. Maybe it’s to do with my age and maturity level. Maybe it’s because I have made it clear enough to myself and to those around me that my life’s calling lies within the pages of a book, whether reading it or writing one myself. Whatever the reasons might be, I have understood that it is always a good idea to allow one to take breaks while reading a difficult novel and pacing yourself. In my case, alone, it has helped immensely. Maybe if I keep doing this, I could finally read James Joyce’s Ulysses, or even David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, or other books known as the most difficult works in English language.

Another thing I have started to do is keep a reading journal. For example, I have just started to read a collection of short stories by Guy de Maupassant. For this particular book I am going to chart my progress in a notebook reserved especially for this purpose and understand exactly how much time do I take to read a book of a certain length. I think doing this will enable me to streamline my reading process, and make it possible for me to determine what I read, how long does it take for me read something, and use it to improve not just my reading experience but expand my horizons by reading more diversely in the genres I already read, and extend to genres of science fiction, fantasy, YA, graphic novels, thrillers, crime fiction, even children’s literature.

In a forthcoming blog, I will be addressing the themes, characters, and Trollope’s methods of story-telling. So keep watching this space for more on Trollope and the Chronicles of Barsetshire.

Things I have been up to since my last post here — II

It appears that I might be publishing posts like this one here on a regular basis…

For some reason, doing something of this sort appeals to me. I tend to disappear for days at end, even weeks, occasionally. This time I have been gone nearly a month. As a result, my blog has grown inactive; the web traction I was getting has dissipated entirely.

Hence, I am going to post more posts like this one, telling my readers what I have been doing with myself and my talents, or have not been doing, while not posting on my blog. I also think it might be a good place to start to outline my future plans for blog posts, and also reflect upon the things I said I’d do in my previous posts.

So here goes.

One: I completed a huge freelance editing assignment, which I got paid for this weekend just gone by (yay!). But, I also did two writing assignments during the same month for the Desi Writers’ Lounge’s (DWL) blog. One of them has just been published over the weekend. It is a report of DWL’s meet-up with the renowned British-Pakistani author Aamer Hussein. Bonus: he’s also my favourite author.

Here, you can read the report at:
http://desiwriterslounge.net/blog/2015/04/language-and-the-writer-an-evening-with-aamer-hussein/.

Let me know what you think!

The other piece I wrote was a book review of November 2014 release A Season for Martyrs by Bina Shah. It is yet to be published.

Apart from these writing assignments, I could only fill the pages and pages of my journal. I haven’t written anything since I wrote that poem last month.

Two: I am now out of work, so I am working on revamping my CV to land some more writing assignments and projects. Even an editing/proofreading assignment would do. This time I want to try out a design-intensive CV format so not only I can come across as a professional, but slightly quirky, writer. Not sure how that will work out in Pakistan; it might just work out with an international client.

Three: I have been reading a lot in the past month. So I think I should review (probably not a traditional one, as they’re already published) them all for my blog.

Also, I watched Interstellar, Into the Woods, The Lunchbox, and several other films. I think I’ll do a review of them all, especially my experience of rewatching a 1994 Scottish mini TV-series Takin’ Over The Asylum. (Psst! For those of you interested, it stars David Tennant).

Four: I still owe you the #shelfie I promised you last month.

Five: It is my pleasure to announce that I’m slowly, painstakingly working up a desire to draw and paint after nearly a decade. Last time I painted was in my O-Level Art class, which I detested because the teacher insisted on teaching us her style of painting instead of enabling us to discover our own styles and voice in terms of technique, material, and colour. I, then, switched to Sociology in Year 10 because I needed to get good marks and she’d screw up my chances of getting anywhere life. (Disclaimer: This is what my 14-year-old self believed, with my 24-year-old surreptitiously nodding in agreement in the corner).

I never touched any Art supplies again, until now when I found an empty sketchbook from 2004, bought some pens that would help me draw in pen and ink, also colour pencils. Now I just need to buy a proper collection of drawing pencils and charcoal pencils. Maybe another sketchbook, too, but I am not sure about that yet.

At 3 in the Morning

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Places.”

A red double-decker,
A black cab
Whizz past her
In a dazzling blaze of colour,
Honking, clamouring
Past the traffic signal
On a busy street.

Shoved, pushed,
By disembodied elbows,
And other bodily extremities,
Covered in what appear to be
Summer coats, jackets, sweaters,
In varying hues of dark and light,
She is hurled towards
The edge of the pavement.
A car rushes past,
Nearly running her over…

She awakens—
In a dark, cool room
A few thousands of miles away.
It’s quiet outside,
As a night should be.
Only a cat’s howl,
Or is it a peacock,
Punctuates the silence
In her concrete street,
Not too different
From the street in her dream.
The clamour of that busy street roused her.

That street from her dream,
That entire city,
It’s so close, and,
Yet,
So far away.
Unreachable,
Yet so accessible.
It seems to exist in a different dimension,
A different space,
A different time.

But it exists.
In real, but,
She doesn’t dream about it.

The city of her dreams,
Is different:
Captured in a time capsule.
What she sees, hears, smells, and touches,
Had existed only a few years ago.

Things would’ve changed by now.
The real city would be different now.

Knowing this,
The apparent discrepancy
Between reality and unreality,
She turns to her phone,
To check what time it is.
The luminous screen shows it to be
Three minutes past three,
In the morning.

She lies down again,
Vaguely conscious
Of having travelled
Back and forth
In Time,
And, in Space—
Without a time-travelling device—
As she has been
Wont to do
Since her return
From the city of her dreams.

A Writer’s Fresh Start, Or So It Seems

Image courtesy: humansareweird.wordpress.com
Image courtesy: humansareweird.com

For the last ten days, which is when I last posted here, I have been up to so many things that I can’t even tell you what many of them are.

One: I raced against time in attempting to finish an assignment by the deadline. Unfortunately the assignment is not going to be published because I didn’t do very well on it, meaning the work was not of the quality my clients required. In case you don’t know, I work as a full-time freelance writer for various organisations. I am sorry about it, really. But at least I hope to be paid for the work I did put in, which was quite a lot.

Two: We have moved house—two floors up in the same building. We moved into our new flat on this Wednesday, just gone by. Don’t tell me we should have moved a few floors down. Seriously, don’t. At least two people have said that to me in the last two days.

Three: I am so, so, so far behind on my work for the Blogging 101 course I’d taken. I am also very confused about how to convert my blog into my online portfolio. I am, after all, a writer who would like to be published some day. I also need to figure out stuff like widgets and all that. Would ask on the Commons area for help and advice, but I can barely concentrate on anything else right now except the new house and my work.

Four: First night in the new flat, in my new bedroom, which has the same coloured walls but doesn’t resemble my old bedroom in any way. It was a bit nerve-wracking. I had lived in my old house for about 8 ½ years. My sister and I grew up there. We literally became a different person in our own ways, while living in our old flat. We reached all our biggest milestones there, starting from my 16th and her 13th birthdays to my going away to university and other such things. Huge, isn’t it?

Five: I love my new bedroom. Its walls are a soft blue colour, with blue and white curtains. Open one of the built-in-the-wall closets, and you’ll see my neatly racked books. The other one is supposed to hold my clothes, but I haven’t sorted it out yet. I’m really busy working on something of huge, vital importance. (Extra adjectives are just there to show how important it is).

Six: I am now going to turn my room into my writing haven. I am going to write all those stories that I have planned. I’m going to plan my novel, even. I will make sure this blog gets better; in fact, one of the best out there. Dad’s converted one terrace into his painting studio. Maybe I’ll even take up painting again. Things I must do in the next week:

  1. Borrow Dad’s camera
  2. Take a #shelfie – and, a photo of my new bookshelves
  3. Also take a picture of my desk (must have my cup of coffee on it, too)

Once I’ve unpacked and put away everything (got many more books in the old flat—must get them too), then I will take a nice photo of my entire room. And, post it here, of course I will. I need to have more images on here, so my blog is a bit more visually appealing than it was before.

An Update On My Reading Block Problem

Blogging University, Blogging 101

Days 3 and 4,

Task for Day 3: Follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.

Task for Day 4: Publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it.

I am incorporating the tasks for both third and fourth days of Blogging 101 into this blog post.

Even though I read yesterday’s assignment in detail, and followed several new blogs and read posts on different topics. I say several, because I don’t remember exactly what number of blogs I followed. All I know that it definitely wasn’t just five blogs, but more than that.

Today’s task requires me to publish a post that is targeted at my ideal reader, and incorporates at least one aspect of myself that I have discovered within the last few days. So, without further ado, let’s read further.

What I learnt from Day 3’s assignment:

After reading several blogs yesterday, as well as this morning, I have concluded that I am primarily interested in the following topics: books, reading, writing, especially creative writing. Of course, these topics also incorporate Literature. Other related topics that I am interested in are: film, television, screenwriting, graphic novels, comics, popular culture. All of these have influenced my ideas about creative writing and its various aspects over the course of several years. These are, broadly speaking, the topics that I will write about on my blog. So, my ideal reader would also be interested in these same topics and that is the main reason why they should visit my blog, read my posts, and interact with me.

Day 4’s assignment:

By attempting today’s task, I am also going back to my previous month’s blog, ‘On Reading and Reader’s Block’.

In that blog, I wrote about how I have been unable to read at my usual fast pace for nearly three months now. The block continues unabated, unaffected, seemingly unending.

I also mentioned that I was returning to re-reading my favourites from my younger years, as well as those children’s classics that I have just discovered now.

Currently I am reading A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I added it to my Currently Reading list on Goodreads last month, but I finally started reading it a couple of days ago.

Cover of the edition I am reading

I am happy to report that I read 87 pages in nearly two hours or so.

I had expected the book to be a fast-paced one; and, I was right about it. This makes me feel good because I know I should be able to finish it today, provided I put in a sustained effort and enough time into it. If not, then I could easily finish it tomorrow night.

One of the most important things I have learnt from Blogging 101 course until now is that I must interact with my readers in order to improve my readership and increase my outreach.

So, to achieve this in my today’s task, I would like to extend an invitation to everyone who reads this post today to share their reading experiences and goals for 2015. Also, as I mentioned above, I am currently discovering children’s classics and would love to add more titles to my To-Read list. Do comment your favourite books from your childhood.

I look forward to your comments, feedback, and to hearing from you all.

A New Direction

Blogging University, Blogging 101

Day 2, March 2, 2015

Task: Take Control of Your Title and Tagline

For the second daily assignment for the Blogging 101 course, we were asked to come up with a title and a tagline that appealing enough for our readers. More importantly, it should represent what our blog is all about, what inspires us as the person behind the blog.

I had already selected my title, ‘The Life and Adventures of a Bibliophile’, about a year or so ago, inspired by another WordPress blogger. I am quite happy with it, although I do wonder whether the Adventure bit fits me and my blog or not. In any case, it still represents me so it works well in that sense.

I have just added a tagline, in an attempt to complete the assignment properly. It says: ‘A Love of Language Put Into Words’.

I must confess that I had never thought of this before, never thought of my blog in this manner.

I would only like to say that having added what seems to me like a perfect tagline (feedback is very welcome, by the way) I can now understand what Day 2’s task intended to achieve.

Suddenly, my blog is growing in a whole different direction from what I had first anticipated. It makes me excited about the next few weeks on this course, the rest of the year that I will spend blogging.

I can now perceive a proper direction in which I can take my blog throughout 2015, achieving my goals for this year and my dreams, too.

Hello to my readers!

Blogging University, Blogging 101, Day 1

Task: Introduce Yourself to the World

As my readers would have noticed, I do not post as often as a experienced blogger would. I could give you so many excuses for not updating my blog regularly, but I won’t. This is because all of them come down to the same reasons that other aspiring writers would give: laziness, self-doubt, no inspiration, little or no time to actually work on the ideas I do have for my blog, and no self-discipline.

Then I heard about a Blogging 101 course that takes place on WordPress.com, I decided to go for it, even though I have lots of other work to do, work that will either give me remuneration or help to build up my CV to succeed in the Writing and Editing industry. I will get nothing ‘substantial’ out of it, except for the fact that I will be able to build up a blogging habit, as well as a more discipline approach to writing in general.

So here I am, on my first day of the Blogging 101 course at the Blogging University writing my first assignment, which is this particular post. This post is an introduction to me as a writer, a reader, an editor, and as a person. It is an introduction to my blog, and my expectations and aspirations for it.

What my blog is about?

The Life and Adventures of a Bibliophile is all about a person, me, whose life revolves around books, reading, the study of Literature, and all other literary activities that take place around her. I am a 24-year-old Literature graduate who wants to spend her life reading and writing, and do some editing and teaching as that can help pay the bills.

I like to write about books, culture, writing, and creativity in general.

I write about the books I am currently reading, in an attempt to chart my reading progress so I can become a better reader.

I have written an essay on a Bollywood adaptation (Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-leela, 2013) of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, comparing the film and the play to write about why I liked the film better than the play itself. I really enjoyed the whole process of writing the essay. This is something I want to continue writing about, especially comparing a literary text with a film or a television show. I have some vague plans to write a number of similar critical pieces in future.

Through my blog, I would like to reach out to the readers, the writers across the globe, of diverse backgrounds and interests; basically, anyone who has the same interests and hobbies as myself.

Most of all, I want to use my blog to showcase my skills and achievements as a reader, a writer, and an editor (because that job pays more than the other two).

My journey as a blogger:

I first started blogging sometime in 2009, yearning to write about the various things I had seen and felt and share it with people, something like a journal that wasn’t personal at all. You can view my first blog here: http://sabrosworld.blogspot.com/. I was as sporadic a blogger as I am now. My last post on that blog was in August 2012. Then I just stopped using it.

I later made a blog on Tumblr, originally meant to be a book blog, inspired by the myriad of such blogs I have seen on that website. Last year, in 2014, I began to use it as a professional blog. But then I decided to move it to WordPress in December 2014. Why? Because a Tumblr blog would not get me as much web traffic as I would like, mainly due to the fact you need to sign up to Tumblr to follow someone’s blog. By this point, I knew that WordPress allows you to sign up through email so you get regular newsletters or emails when there is a new post. I thought it would help me get more views, so I switched over. But I was still not a regular blogger, which, I now know, is actually what gets us more web traffic.

Blogging goals for 2015:

I believe I have grown as a person ever since I started blogging. Let me also take the opportunity to say that blogging has not had a great influence on my personal growth, as it should have. But it is a fact that I am a different person now and want to use my blog to achieve certain goals in my life and career.

But I will take this process slowly, step-by-step, bit by bit.

These are goals I would like to achieve as a blogger in 2015:

  1. Build a blogging habit.
  2. Develop the self-discipline that is required to become a good writer.
  3. Ensure that I do become a better reader by monitoring my reading progress throughout 2015.
  4. Increase engagement with my readers.
  5. Try to engage with a wider audience.

On Reading and Readers’ Block

The last time I wrote here, I was overcome with writers’ block. This time, it is the opposite situation. I can churn out a minimum of 300 words and up to 500-1,000 words of writing, expressive or otherwise, in a single sitting these days, which is brilliant. But, it is taking me more than one hour to read ten pages of a book, a Victorian novel, to be more specific. When I read my favourite short story collection, I can only focus on one story at a time, which comes down to one story per sitting. This has been the case since December 2014, and it’s not over yet.

For the 2014 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I was going to read 45 books. I had read 43 already in the last days of the year, but I was struggling with one book that prevented me from achieving my goal. So I decided to cheat, against my better judgment, which, in any case, did not matter too much because this was just a reading challenge, with no accountability as such, and that I am way too principled to do something of this sort. But, I still cheated. I changed the number of books I was planning to read to exactly the number that I had read: 43 books in a year. This was okay, because I had read over 40 books throughout the year, despite many periods that should have prevented me from focusing on a book. So, it was all good.

However, the book that prevented me from reaching my goal of 45 books left me with something known as the Readers’ Block. That book was Philip Roth’s When She Was Good, and now I cringe whenever I see a book by him at a bookshop or a second-hand bookstall. Although, I must admit I do plan to read his Portnoy’s Complaint at some point, which was recommended to me by a very dear friend, but in a few years’ time, not yet, I’m not ready.

So, getting back to the point, I am still stuck in a rut regarding my reading. My reading goal for this year remains the same: 45 books; but, so far, I have been struggling with Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers. Don’t get me wrong, I really do like this novel. I am annotating it as I read and doing so slows me down. I happen to have some vague plans of starting a section on this blog titled ‘Readings in Victorian Literature’, and believe that annotating and making notes will help me to write about the above topic. But, I also need a book or two that I may read quickly, just to increase my book count on Goodreads; something, anything that does not demand too much mental and emotional energy from me. I find that I am, at present, unable to give myself fully to a book.

I recently took a break from reading Trollope and instead read The Railway Children by E. Nesbitt, despite having been told by the same very dear friend that it is a terrible book. I still liked it; it was short, sweet, fast-paced, and light enough for me to read it without putting too much of myself into it. In short, it was the perfect book to cleave through my readers’ block. Sadly, it did not help very much. My reading block still exists. I’d rather stare at my laptop screen than read Barchester Towers. Certain other things are also exacerbating the problem, things that may be solved through reading, and of course, writing.

I am now considering reading A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett next. I believe it will be similar to The Railway Children; it will be short, sweet, possibly more fast-paced than Trollope’s novel, but not necessarily light enough. I know because I’ve seen the 1995 film version of the book as a child, and it was one of the ‘sad’ films from my childhood that I still remember. In any case, I plan to give it a try, soon.

I really must read.

It feels like something awaits me within the pages of a book, something better, something beautiful; something that might save me.

Maybe it is this anticipation that holds me back from reading, puts me in an utterly distracted state of mind, which bothers me and further prevents me from reading. So, I can only write.

Does it have to be like that? Just write, write, write, write while it becomes a struggle to even read ten pages in a sitting? Or, only read, read, read, read for months at a stretch until the creative juices break open the dam within and flood everything. Is this how it is going to be like? My entire writing life segmented into spurts of intense periods of only reading and only writing, each full of vastly different emotions, each without peace, without calm, a period that never ever stops being tumultuous.

Is there any chance of reconciliation, some sort of balance to be had here? It might help; how, I don’t know.

On reading my first novel by Anaïs Nin: A Spy in the House of Love

A friend had lent the book to me in a rather poor condition. I first looked at the cover, read the title and the author’s name. Then, I flipped the pages; there was a tear that ran across the middle of the page about half way down to the bindings. My friend wanted to tell me the story, but he stopped because, well, spoilers. I assured him spoilers won’t affect my reading of the book, but in fact, they will help me to understand it better. So he told me the story of the book; his eyes, facial expressions, mannerisms, all of which indicated his excitement.

I started reading the book some time after I had finished reading another book. It might have been a day or two before I could start reading House of Love, I can’t remember exactly. But I stopped when I was at page 5 or 7. What for? I asked myself.

I wanted to take notes. The language, the prose, her use of aesthetic devices, characterisation etc. all of which have made me want to imbibe not just the story but Nin’s themes, which is the Matter, of course, and the Form. I want to absorb the entire novel within myself. I want to annotate, as well, an essential method of active reading. But I can’t. The book belongs to my friend. I can’t deface somebody’s property. I know I would hate it if someone spoiled my precious books.

Nin’s prose is unlike any other writer’s prose. I have never read anything quite like it. Perhaps, this might be what has made me feel so strongly about the book. A writing style so crisp; paragraphs that do not have more than 5-7 lines, maybe 10 at most. A perfect balance between the long and short sentences; the long ones make sense and leave us a realisation that they are perfect and were meant to be that way, whereas the short ones are capable of expressing a whole lot of emotion in a few words. A single paragraph encapsulates, encompasses an entire world. I really have never read anything quite so beautiful, so accomplished.

Reading Nin’s House of Love feels like I hold a beautiful slippery, but tangible, object in my hands, overwhelmed with the feeling that I might lose this most important thing when I have finished the book. It might be this niggling ominous sensation that might be preventing me from racing through a novel that is only 124 pages long.

At least, I can get the whole book photocopied, and annotate it as much as I want to. 

On Writing and Writers’ Block

Disclaimer:

This blog is entirely my own work and is not intended — in any context, sense, or by any definition or meaning — to be a duplication of my blog detailing my experiences with the National Novel Writing Month 2014 that I wrote for and published on the Desi Writers’ Lounge (DWL) blog. The piece I have published below is meant to be a cathartic exercise in fighting off the writers’ block that I sadly suffer from. Whereas the blog I wrote for DWL was meant only to detail my experiences and the lessons I’ve learnt in the month (of November) just gone by.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy the piece that will follow.

———————————————————————————————-

Earlier this year, sometime in May, I decided that 2014 would be the year in which I will embark on the hellish ride that is known globally as the National Novel Writing Month. I had prepared myself mentally to the extent where the energy and passion was present, but I had no structure, no plan for the story that had been germinating in my mind for the last four years. Therefore, I was in no position to actually start the novel. I conveniently procrastinated on starting the planning process; technically, I should have started in July or August, but it was October when I realised that I had only one month in which to plan an entire 50,000-word novel right down to the most minor detail. Despite this realisation, I didn’t start planning until the last couple of days of October; even then, my plan was brief and sketchy, not as comprehensive as I’d have liked it to be.

I started writing on November 3, two days late. About a week later, and having averaged only about 1,000 words a day, I lost all my energy and passion. I had reached a block, which seemed insurmountable to me because I haven’t trained myself as yet in the methods of how not to be encumbered by the infamous and terrible writers’ block. I forced myself to start again in the last ten days of November, and I never even reached the 10,000-word mark. In any case, November is now over. I have lost the challenge.

I had stopped wanting to write. I just couldn’t continue anymore without it feeling like my entire being was revolting against being forced to vomit out a novel. Maybe it was due to the lack of a clear plan for the novel. Maybe it was because the original story idea has now begun to reek like stale piss, or alcohol; a possible signal that I should just scrap the idea and discover other story ideas.

I even had other matters to take care of, an excuse that no serious writer should ever make. Writing should never be a pastime for someone like me, who is serious about writing and wants to be published one day. I want to make it my vocation, a job, from which I earn money for writing about things that I am passionate about. I want to attend writing workshops across the globe; but in order to be selected for these workshops one must provide some good writing samples that show my writing skills and help identify the spaces for improvement, both for me and any potential writing mentors. But, I barely have any writings to show to anyone.

Maybe I should start with something small: writing exercises in how to structure a plot, describing a setting, a dialogue, in characterisation and character development. Maybe I should actually write down those short stories that I have made notes about on my phone. Hopefully, that will help me to get over my writers’ block.

Also, I need to read more, a lot more than I already read. I need to read more Chetan Bhagat, even though he can be a terrible writer. I need to read more prose pieces that are both published and unpublished, on various online blogs and forums that I follow.

Read more terrible fiction so I know what things to avoid in my writing. Read the good stuff so I can be inspired to write something good.

Read about the tropes of literary fiction, of the South Asian literature in the English language, of crime/mystery/thriller fiction. And, most importantly, I should read that eBook version of The Elements of Style by W. Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Most of all, I should write in my bloody journal more often so I am better able to confront the myriad of events that occur to me and my loved ones every day; and, about the people that I have met in my own life, so they can come to life and even reach the ends they deserve in my writing. Make notes about the people I meet, those I have known for years, the ones I dislike or am disgusted by, and the ones who evoke a warm and fuzzy, happy feeling in my heart. Create characters out of them for my characterisation exercises.

Do writing exercises, at least once a day, or twice or thrice a week. As long as I am writing, I will be fine, safe, secure, and as exhilarated as I get when I am flying through a book. That’s what I want to feel from writing: a sense of exhilaration that I also get while reading. Although I confess that until now, I have mostly felt just a sense of forcedness; like whatever I am writing is just being forced out of me. There is no happiness or exhilaration, no sense of comfort or relaxation. In a way, this could constitute pain. I think writing will remain a painful activity for me until I reach a point when I can write, without thinking what others will think, what my parents will think when they read about what goes on in my mindscape. I should stop worrying about that, seriously. This niggling self-doubt will never let me become the writer I want to become because I always let it take over my mind.

That’s another thing I need to start doing. Start taking control of my mind by first understanding how exactly does it function; what goes on in there; how can I understand and then use my creative and thought processes to aid me in my writing.

Practice with formal-looking font styles. So far, I like Georgia and Garamond fonts for writing. Georgia easily mimics typewriter fonts. I can fool myself into thinking that I am writing on a typewriter. Times News Roman is better suited for any professional work-related writing, like those reports I wrote for Piler.

Oh look! I’ve managed to write over 900 words on writing and writers’ block. I believe it’s time to write that short story. First, I’ll just go with the breakdown of the plot, setting, character, and theme before I start writing. Then, I can polish it up before the next meeting on December 9. Woohoo!

Postscript: I made a few changes, here and there, and now this blog’s word count stands at exactly 1,075 words, including this postscript.