4 Ways To Grow As A Writer

K.M. Allan

Everyone knows that to become a better writer, you need to write more. Practicing the craft does exactly that; allows you to hone your skills of putting words in the right order, building scenes and shaping characters.

The more you write, the better you get at it. But better writing isn’t the only skill that a writer needs. You also need to grow as a writer, so that each book you do write is an improvement over the last, and here are four ways that you can do that.

Learn To Take Criticism

Unless a reviewer or commenter is attacking you personally (in which case they are the one with the problem), criticism of your writing isn’t personal. It’s an opinion, just like the opinions that you yourself form when you read books by others.

Opinions aren’t something that you have to agree with and can be great teachers if…

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Honing Habits

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Habits make a man;
If you’ve built bad habits,
Change them while you can.

Fling them from your life;
Chuck them for once and all.
Ere they shear you like a knife.

Welcome habits that are good;
Habits that make you strive,
And toil as hard as you should.

Stop looking for some excuse;
Just move towards your aim,
Banking on yourself ‘n’ your muse.

Sun will shine once more,
To brighten up your soul;
It’ll ferry you to your shore,
And help you reach your goal.

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Pressure and Performance

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Underground water is easily pumped out due to the pressure underground. When a drilling machine drills for water, it comes out with great force, throwing the water high up; creating a wonder among the onlookers. Gradually, the pressure becomes less and the water gurgles out for sometime before stopping altogether.

Pressure and performance go hand in hand.

Sumita Tah

Humans too work best under pressure. It’s the pressure at the offices, institutions, family and in the friend circles that helps us to give the best in our work. The competitive atmosphere helps in motivating us and improving our performance. Under the pressure to perform, we often give out our best, but as the pressure decreases we gurgle and placidly give our output.

Pressure squeezes effort out of winners and excuses out of losers.     

Orrin Woodward

The Covid situation has brought about the reality of our efforts in absence of pressure. During Covid moms have been forced to improve their culinary skills in the absence of eating out, and even those who are living alone are at times forced to cook up delicacies under the pressure of their tongues. This these are actions somewhat due to intrinsic pressure, which do not tell the entire story.

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The real lethargic nature of humans have come to fore in the singular area of dressing. Irrespective of status or creed, almost every person who works from home, can hardly get themselves to dress up more than what is required for the web-cam. Millions of people across the globe can be seen meticulously dressed with shirts, ties, and dresses – but without changing their Bermudas, shorts or whatever they are wearing below.

Scores of students with neatly combed hair, shirts ties or whatever uniform is necessary, sit in-front-of their laptops or computers with colourful shorts or pyjamas beneath. After all, it saves the time required to change a dress; which can be better spent binging on Netflix, or chatting over the abject nature of things.

Though funny,  it isn’t something that one should to look down upon. It simply brings out the fact that we love being involved in our work and follow rules, but only where and when it is required. Therefore, Covid has taught us that pressure, after all, is not that bad; and contributes to the quality of our lives. However, pressure should be of a balanced kind and not too excessive which would definitely harm us.

Pressure has the power to create a diamond, but it has to be the “right” pressure.     

Shannon L. Alder

The ones who are under a tremendous amount of pressure now are doctors, health care workers, IT professionals and not to mention the teachers. They are performing under excessive pressure with the dividing line between home and work having melt into thin air. They are over-worked but not laid off, which is one of the worst kinds of pressure that one has to endure; other than, of course, being directly affected by the Covid virus.

For the present let us let us try to bloom in the shade of our houses as well as we can. Revel in our comfortable house-wears till the crisis passes. Let us put a little bit of pressure on our own selves and perform as best as we can evolving as superior, self-motivated beings as the outcome of the crisis. We had never dreamt at this time last year, about the radical change that was awaiting us. Let us taste, this unwelcome change in our lives, and add a different kind of experience with a different kind of pressure – to the multi-coloured pages of our lives.

Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity.     

Michael Johnson

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Difference between Persuasive and Argumentative Essays

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Argumentative Essay

The purpose of an argumentative essay is to convince the reader that the writer’s idea is true by using statistics. In these essays you have to use logic and reason to show that your view is more legitimate than others. You have to write either for or against the cause using formal and impersonal tone.  The introductory paragraph must convey your position through a clear thesis.  The body should have separate paragraphs for each point with detailed evidence to defend your position. Transitional words should be used to guide readers through the arguments in an organized manner. End with a compelling conclusion to win over the readers mind.

Persuasive Essays

The main aim of persuasive essay is to convince the reader to agree with the writer’s point of view. Both sides of the thesis need to be presented briefly, but the reader must be convinced that the writer’s point of view carries more weight than the rest. This should be done by supporting the point with strong evidences. Persuasive essays are based on emotions and personal opinions and require the knowledge of the reader’s mindset more than extensive research. The essay should be able to convince the reader to accept that the writer’s opinion is the correct one.

In this type of an essay, you select a topic and put forth an argument defending your point of view among other existing ones. Your aim is to make your reader believe that your standpoint is a worthy one.  
The aim of a persuasive essay is to persuade your reader to believe that your point of view is the best and correct one.
You put forth various view points after researching and then defend your own view point as the most relevant one.  
You explain the topic and take a stand expressing your view point on the topic.
You do extensive research and support your stand with evidences, data, facts and reports. These facts and figures increase the worthiness of your stand.  
You may blend evidences and play on the emotions of your reader to win them over for supporting your stand.
You bring forth different views that exist on the topic and justify that your stand is the best among all existing view-points. You explore all perspectives and then tactfully counter all the other existing views.  
You take your stand and support it throughout. You may acknowledge another viewpoint briefly, only to refute it immediately. The whole essay is dedicated to strong support of your standpoint. 
Your approach should be such that the reader understands the worthiness of your perspective among all others. You put forth your stance and hope that the reader considers your standpoint as a worthy one.  
You go all out to win the support of your reader. You aggressively aim at convincing the reader that your standpoint is the best. You persuade your reader personally in a passionate manner playing on their emotions to win their support.
Your reader is important so far as reaching out and explaining your viewpoint is concerned. Your main aim is to make your stand a strong one as compared to others with examples, facts and figures.  
Your main aim is to gain the support of your reader. Therefore you analyze the psychology of your reader and go all out to use their emotions and win them over to believe that your perspective is the only one that really counts.
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Raise your words not voice. It is rain that grows flowers not thunder.

Rumi (ancient poet)

Prevention is Better Than Cure

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A clever person solve problems, a wise person avoids it.‘ – Albert Einstein. Why ask for unnecessary trouble, when one can do without it? People often tend to be callous about their own safety and that of their near and dear ones. They wantonly put themselves in danger, when a little bit of alertness can prevent them from landing into tiresome troubled times.
We have all heard of the proverb ‘Prevention is better than cure’. The application of this proverb by Desiderius Erasmus has gained greater significance in our lives during the Covid – 19 pandemic.

Everyone unanimously agrees that we must prevent ourselves and our near and dear ones from being affected by the virus. Simple measures like wearing a mask, sanitizing or washing hands, disinfecting public places and maintaining social distancing can prevent the virus from spreading among the masses.
The preventive measures taken by each person counts as every infection has a ripple effect. If a single person breaks the chain he or she saves thousands of people from getting infected through domino effect.

Countries which followed the norms of preventing the virus from spreading; were able to prevent unnecessary loss of lives. The countries which did not follow the preventive measures meticulously; have faced huge losses in terms of lives, health and economy.
It is therefore important for us to remember to take preventive measures more than ever before. Even in our day to day lives other than taking preventive measures against getting sick and becoming unhealthy, we must apply this norm in each step of our day to day life. Be it our health, education, finances, assets, or even our digital devices, everything needs preventive measures so that they are not adversely affected.

Correct, adequate and timely preventive measures in every step of our lives eliminates unnecessary hassles and makes the journey of our lives smooth and comfortable. It only takes a bit of alertness and futuristic vision to avoid all kinds of ailments in life and live a happy life.

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Stay safe, stay healthy. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

The Vicissitude

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Silently getting out of bed; Nina closed the bedroom door cautiously, so that her husband wouldn’t be disturbed by the household noise that was about to commence.

Nina had not been a morning person all her life. She loved to laze about and dream about everything under the sun.

 It was motherhood, which forced the change in her lifestyle. Initially after the birth of Pablo, the shock of keeping awake at odd hours had flung her into post partum depression.  By and by, she became immune to losing her personal space, and gradually every bit of her time began to be weaved into balancing home and work.

What surprised her the most – was that – how effortlessly her husband had maintained, and gradually increased his personal time and hobbies over the years. Sometimes, she wondered at the extreme lucidity with which she had allowed herself to be entangled in the web of sacrifices. With every sacrifice that she made to make life easier for her family; she had willingly woven the web more tightly around herself.

Each weekday morning, her eyes opened automatically just before the alarm. She meticulously  switched it off before it could disturb others.
Getting up, she made breakfast in automation for the family. Putting things on the table, so that they could simply take the food on their dishes and enjoy their breakfast, without much hassle.

Dinner was prepared and kept ready for being heated in the microwave. Everything was freshly made as always. She had never made her family suffer even the slightest discomfort because of her career.
She had always tried her level best to give her family the same comforts that her homemaker mom had provided for her.

Since the pandemic began, she had been gripped by fear and apprehension for her family. Her hands were perpetually white with all the washing that she did through the day.

Though not a front line worker, she worked at the municipal office; keeping track of the orders for the essentials which needed to be supplied to various hospitals and institutions. She needed to update records and report to her superiors. Therefore, she never had the luxury of working from home even during the lockdown.

Her husband had never been supportive of her job. “Why do you need to do a job in the first place? If you can’t manage, just leave it,” he would often say.

It was an old trick every lazy husband played to avoid helping with the household chores. She knew it; but kept her mouth shut for the sake of peace, for her children and for her career.

Never ever leave your job,” her homemaker mother had always insisted.

What hurt her most was that everyone had taken her services for granted, at home and at work. Expecting her to fulfil all their requirements and wishes in a wisp.

At times it really hurt. Nobody cared for her health, likes or dislikes. Even when she was dog tired or ill – her family expected her to look after their needs instead of the other way around. She knew- somewhere down the lane; it was she who was responsible for the way things turned out. If she had the determination and strength to fight back the social conditioning,  things might have been different.

Mom!  don’t forget to bring my favourite chocolate on your way back,” yelled Lisa, her youngest daughter.

Sure love, if the shop’s open when I return,” she replied softly.  Throwing  her a loving look. She wondered how her daughter’s life would be.

Byyee! Momm.” Lisa bade her goodbye with a bored sleepy look.

As she stepped outside, preparing for another deary long day ahead, she looked up at the sky, seeking solace in the flight of birds. Watching them glide through the air effortlessly. Closing her eyes for a moment, she let out a long sigh.

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Perpetual fools


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Living life is an art;
If you’re too simple,
You’re treated like dirt.
Mothers, wives who serve for life;
Are valued once they depart.
It’s then that their sacrifices,
Are noticed by those she served.
She wishes that they really cared,
Watching from heaven above.

A mother is the most magnificent creation of God. – Sumita
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Sudha Murthy — International Journal of Research (IJR)

“How long can you keep birds in cages when their wings are strong and they are ready to fly? We can give our children only two things in life which are essential. Strong roots and powerful wings. Then they may fly anywhere and live independently. Of all the luxuries in life, the greatest luxury is […]

Sudha Murthy — International Journal of Research (IJR)

Success mantra

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When you set yourself an aim,
You must deal it like a game.
You must give everything to win;
Taking care, you don’t sin.

Stick to the work till it’s done.
Devote all your time till you’ve won
The final touches count a lot;
Put in your best in the last shot.

We are – what we do today;
Our present actions pave the way.
For tomorrow’s achievements,
And our life’s fulfilment.

So, seek out if something’s wrong,
Replay your work like a song;
Redo things till you give your best,
To lady fortune leave the rest.

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