Category Archives: My writing (or lack thereof)

Two Careers?!

Hello Everyone!

Long hiatus I took there. Did any of you miss me? Do you of you still remember me?! Juuuust checking!

Anyway, my unplanned hiatus is part of what I want to talk to you about.

I love my new job. My boss seems to like my work, and I’m getting a lot of responsibility, and as someone who thrives under pressure, I couldn’t be happier. I’m like an old, seasoned member of the workforce already. I groan as I leave the house each morning, I count down the minutes to weekends, I love holidays, but I wouldn’t stop working if you paid me to do it. I sometimes think about work when I’m not at work(Which is a revelatory experience after my previous job where I would go out of the way to avoid thinking about work the minute I stepped into the parking lot of the office premises)  I carry a lot of work home too. I fall asleep insanely early each night. But I’m happy.

So what’s the problem, you ask? Well, I have no time to write. Some days, I have no time to think about what I even WANT to write. So I didn’t write. I did write in my journal semi-regularly about things that are on my mind but I didn’t blog. I couldn’t blog. I’ve been reading Cloud Atlas since the end of January and I still have a hundred pages left to read!

I frequently feel wistful that this aspect of my life is just falling by the wayside. I know that I want to keep reading, blogging, finish my novel, write several other novels perhaps, but I don’t want to give up on my legal career to do it.

So that brings me to the question that’s been on my mind for a few weeks now: In the way society functions for adults right now, is it even possible to be interested in two things? Is it possible to love two diverse career paths, one artistic, one not as artistic, and still do both without dying of exhaustion and sleep-deprivation?

I know of authors who worked day jobs and wrote at the same time, but those were usually very “9 to 5”, in a manner of speaking. Do you guys know of anybody who’s written and had a career? Is it even possible? Am I just not organised enough? Do writing prompts help? Should I follow one dream to the exclusion of all others? Will I fail at both jobs at this rate? What do you guys think?

One thing I want to attempt doing is setting aside a fixed time in the morning to write. But I feel so fried mentally that it’s somewhat impossible to think creatively. Give me tips, guys.

All this aside, let’s get back to the broader question at hand: We may not have strict professional guilds anymore but are our schedules alone working to ensure that one never pursues more than one passion as an adult? (Even if that passion is just making money) Can we be artists, musicians, writers without hungry eyes and a bleeding heart? Is every person who doesn’t work 60 hours a week (At either profession) doomed to fail? Is that healthy?

What do you think, everyone? Let me know in the comments! Just thinking aloud here, and you’re welcome to do the same, even if you think I’m wrong.

 

Advertisements

Book Review (and mini rant) |Girl Online

This is a book review of Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, but it’s mostly a rambling account of what I thought about during and after my reading of the book.

Have you guys ever bought a book with the thought, at the back of your mind, that this is a book you’re going to love to hate? Have you felt like a fool for buying it as you bought it, but also excited at all the fun you’re going to have as you bash it? This isn’t something I do often, being short on money, and being an impulsive obsessive book-buyer, but I did do it on Saturday: I bought Girl Online by Zoe Sugg because it was on a major discount after the second book in the series came out.

Well, I am generally partial to books that are written as journals, letters, emails, blogs, etc. and books about writers, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before. This factor also contributed to my decision to buy and read this book.

I also am still young enough to be able to channel the painfully awkward, tortured teenager I was, and remember how much I would have loved a book like this one about generic, awkward teenaged girl back then. With each passing year, the thought processes in such books seem more cringe-worthy and vapid, but I’m consciously trying to avoid being that way because my thoughts were frequently dismissed when I was a teenager whose spotty face seemed like the end of the world and I don’t want to do the same.

Besides, I have this rule that I’ll never knock a book until I’ve read it, no matter how ridiculous the premise sounds or how many bad reviews it gets. For instance, I read all three of the Fifty Shades books by E.L. James and took great pleasure in despising it from a place of knowledge and experience. I was able to, on more than one occasion, give elaborate discourses on why the books are problematic. Can there really be a greater pleasure? I think not.

I actually read this book in a few hours because it’s quick moving and the language isn’t complicated. I will get to the review but first some background:

I have been righteously sulking since she announced that she was writing a book and has gotten a book deal, grumbling that she doesn’t have any talent as a writer, and that some people have all the luck, etc. This is regardless of the fact that I haven’t had the discipline to finish even a first draft of a novel.

I also felt righteously smug when it emerged that she had used a ghost writer in the writing of the book even though the ideas and the story were hers. “What else would you expect?” I thought, smirking. I then righteously ignored the pang of shame I felt about my smugness when I heard that she had had to take a hiatus from the internet because all of the negativity triggered off her anxiety.

I have seen a few of her videos and I thought (in spite of myself) that she’s adorable. However, the sort of consumerist attitude she propagates makes me uncomfortable on a very primal level. I felt alarmed when I see the amount of makeup she slathers on her face to get a ‘natural look’. It doesn’t please me to imagine young girls following her example, and ruining their body images, not to mention their skin. I felt so happy when I saw beautyvloggers like CloudyApples talk about how it can be so tempting to tweak one’s appearance and hide one’s flaws but it isn’t healthy to do that, physically, mentally, and financially.

Unfortunately, this is a hypocritical view because I do use some makeup every single day. I’ve worn kajal on my eyes nearly every day since I was 17 but I have now started wearing lipstick as well to work. And face cream and face mousse. It makes me more confident, somehow. I don’t know… I guess what I’m trying to say is that when I try to be empathetic and understanding instead of automatically judgmental, her behaviour makes sense.

People are too impatient to be empathetic, however. It’s like everyone has been desperate to have a voice and be heard all their lives, and the internet has given them this opportunity, to be exploited from the comfort of their own beds in their pajamas. What could be better? Why would anyone choose to exercise restraint which is already forced on us in every other facet of our lives. We can be snide, disrespectful, downright nasty and not even be caught. And we can say them to anyone with even a smidgeon of an online presence.

I have heard people say things about celebrities that they would think a million times before saying to someone’s face all my life. We were comfortable in the fact that the recipient would never hear us, and even if they did, they wouldn’t care, because we are like gnats to them; just as important with just as much of a voice. This culture has carried forward into the age of the internet however, and people think it’s ok to put these harsh thoughts on to VERY public forums without any concern for if the recipient even has any feelings. In fact, a lot of people seem to believe that people waive their rights to be hurt or to have feelings (among other things) when they become famous.

That’s what Zoe’s book is about, primarily. It is about an insecure teenager with anxiety disorder who comes to terms with the lack of boundaries on the internet. The storyline was fairly juvenile, and the characterisation was two-dimensional. Despite that, I liked this book for the message. I liked that it spoke about the continuing stigma attached with psychological disorders. I liked that it spoke about the trauma attached with cyber-bullying. I liked that it spoke about the right to privacy that -gasp- celebrities too are entitled to. I liked that it spoke about a new kind of celebrity who’s emerging because of blogs and youtube, the bloggers and vloggers who are even less equipped to deal with their sudden rise to fame. I thought that the token gay friend who is now in every contemporary young adult novel was fairly cliché, and yet, some of the things he said to Penny, the main character, about relationships are hauntingly similar to something a gay friend of mine said to me.

More than anything else, it was a fast-paced, happy fuzzy book, which never end of becoming favourites of mine, but which I do read every so often when I’m overwhelmed by life or even by the heavy books I usually tend to read. It left me with a smile on my face. It isn’t a fantastic book, and it certainly “literary” in terms of story, characterisation or quality of language, but I can’t help but appreciate what Zoe has tried to do in the book.

Well, there you go. I am eating crow right now. I sincerely contemplated ripping this book apart for the sake of it, because it bothered me that I enjoyed it, and it is a book that can be picked on quite easily. But I’ve decided to be honest and tell you guys that it’s a book, the sum of whose parts is greater than the parts themselves, at the end of the day. I don’t know if it’s a book I’d recommend, because it isn’t a very revelatory book in terms of the themes it explores but it was a thought-provoking reading experience because Zoe Sugg went through the things the protagonists in this book go through and I feel like I was a part of the problem. We nerds, geeks and outcasts do so love to indiscriminately hate on the “beautiful” people, don’t we? Maybe because we think they deserve it, or because we think they wouldn’t care anyway… I don’t know. But you know. Um. Catharsis. Don’t hate on someone because they enjoy the things you think are lame, shallow and mainstream.

Well… There are my two cents about cyber bullying and about this pleasant surprise of a book.
Did any of you guys read this book? What did you think? What do you think about cyber bullying and celebrity bashing? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading and reaching the end of yet another abysmally long Sindhu-rant. You can now go back to having the nice day you were having before had a lapse in judgment and opened my post. :p
That’s all for today!
Hoot
–Sin

Posting Schedule

I’m proud to report that things are falling into place at work, and so it’s time to get this blog back into shape. To that end, I’ve decided that I’m going to post twice a week.

I will post once on Monday and once on either Thursday or Friday, depending on how busy the week is. I read a lot in November, so I have a lot of book reviews to write. There’s also going to be a lot of other content. So yes! Yay!

Erm. That’s all for today. xD

Here are my social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/owlishwriter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8681585-sindhu
Twitter: @sindrao22
Email: owlishreader@gmail.com
Instagram: owlishphotographer

Hoot.

-Sin

Life Updates

Hey guys.

You always know that when I post one of these, I haven’t written much else in a while and it is for a not so great reason. Gah, just once I’d like to post a life update because I eloped using the money I got for a book advance and decided not to use the internet on my two week vacation in Turkey. Sadly, it is not to be. So brace yourself.

I’m able to write today after a bit of a blog writing block because I feel like my life is finally coming together in the last month of the year. And also because I’m making myself write before I fall off the wagon completely. 😛

November was not a good month. I had a lot of crap going on in my life. I don’t want to get into it. It suffices to say that I felt sad. (Wow, I’m such a good and descriptive writer.) Miserable. Terrified.

I ended out skipping out on NaNoWriMo after the 10th or so day. Everybody told me not to give up, but I was too sorry for myself and in ultra-sulk mode to listen. I feel like a fool  now. I have not given up on my story though. Certainly emphatically not. In a future post, I’ll explain what it’s about.

I read a lot though; 9 books.The good news ends there. I only reviewed one. I feel really guilty about that because because there were a couple of books in there by Indian authors that I adored. I want more people to read them. I’ll try to review them soon.

This month, I’ve started a new job. I am going to try and figure things out, and then I’ll be able to start writing more again once I fall into a routine. Not just on my blog, but in life also. Expect well-meaning resolutions about the same at the start of the new year. This is the year I’ll listen most likely, because I’m having a quarter-life crisis about my writing, and I’m kind of desperately determined to make it work instead of allowing adulthood take over my life.

The most important update is the book I’m reading right now:White Teeth by Zadie Smith. 🙂 It’s hilarious and I hug it sometimes before I put it away after my lunch break.

I’ll be back to regular posting soon. I’ll even decide on a schedule since my life is more or less structured now.

What has been up with you guys? What are you reading? How do you keep writing even when you just want to sleep and watch bad TV? Because that’s what I did. TV and naps. And crying. And a lot more bad TV. Tips from people who deal with lives more maturely  than me are appreciated. 😀 COMMENTS AND MOAR COMMENTS PLEASE. 😀

Here are my social media links. I’ve been especially active on Instagram, especially with posting pictures of the apple of my eye, Terry. ❤ If you’re a dog-lover or a book-lover, my Instagram is a great destination. ^_^

zFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/owlishwriter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8681585-sindhu
Twitter: @sindrao22
Email: owlishreader@gmail.com
Instagram: owlishphotographer

Hoot.

Sin.

Career of Evil | Book Review

I love J.K Rowling. Yes, that’s right! Apparently she’s Robert Galbraith, her friend that she keeps talking to on Twitter. -Gasp-
She introduced me to Blue Oyster Cult, apparently one of her favourite bands, through this book. Its songs form a key part of this book. I’ve fallen in love with the band now.
And that’s not all! The band’s song, Career of Evil, which is what the book is named after, was written by Patti Smith whom I recently fell in love with after reading her memoir Just Kids.
Ok enough fangirling about her taste in music.  Let’s start fangirling the book!
I’m of that generation that grew up reading mysteries. A lot of British authors seem fixated with mystery solving, by the way.  I just realised.
I grew up on a steady diet of Enid Blyton’s mystery novels. My favourites were the Five Find-outers and dog, with Fatty and his pockets of useful tricks and his disguises. And he had a dog!
I used to crave to investigate robberies,  kidnappings, anonymous letters and what not after reading these books.  I once wrote an “invisible letter” with orange juice and then ironed it to read it. I was so excited! It was an idea I read in one of these books.
My desire to solve crimes melted away with age but my addiction to mystery novels and whodunits didn’t.
Career of Evil is pretty classic. It contains tropes that have been present since the time of those Enid Blytons (in my timeline) like bumbling arrogant cops, and an unsocial detective with a more affable sidekick.
However, this story is unique in a lot of ways.
There are more than incidental mentions of the protagonists’ personal life which are as hooking as the mysteries at hand which are themselves intriguing.
Also, the gorgeous female sidekick is not just that. She’s strong, intelligent and accomplished. She’s an equal. And she does not allow herself to be condescended to. I adored that.
And the best (worst?) part? Rowling left us with a cliffhanger at the end of the book. Cliffhangers are the cruellest literary tool weapon known to authors and when they’re wielded expertly, they can make a reader think about the book for weeks and they can ensure that people come back for more. Not that I ever need more convincing to read Rowling, but yeah!
I loved this book, just like I love everything else that she’s written. I can’t wait for her new Cormoran Strike books.
Also, she said she’s written part of a children’s book which she’s very excited to complete. I can’t wait to read that either!
Yes. All the happy fangirling all the time. Yay. Queen Rowling is always happy making. 🙂
Did any of you read this book? What did you think of it?
ALSO are any of you doing NaNoWriMo? How is that going? Tell me in the comments or on any of my social media places.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/owlishwriter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8681585-sindhu
Twitter: @sindrao22
Email: owlishreader@gmail.com
Instagram: owlishphotographer
That’s all for now.
Hoot.
Sin

Non-fiction Month Update

Non-fiction month is very hard, guys. I suddenly want to read every novel ever written; every novel that had been sitting on my shelf for ages untouched, unappealing, until this month.

I tried reading A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf but she’s so verbose and meandering and I haven’t been able to get into it at all. It’s a tiny book, about 120 pages long, and I expected to finish it in a day. I’ve cleanly avoided that possibility however, by picking it up as less as possible, for tiny periods and spending the rest of my time watching TV and browsing the internet and sleeping.

The last book that I read was Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. I really liked this book. As she states in the preface, this book can just be randomly flipped open to a chapter and read in any order because each one gives a different and interesting tip to improve your writing and also to keep writing.  It gave me some great ideas and I think I’ll reread bits of it all through NaNoWriMo if I get stuck.

I feel like the book was a little too solemn though. Writing is a funny business, you know? You can’t survive being a writer without some humour. That is why I love Bird by Bird so much. I think I ended up comparing them in my head throughout because they both deal with writing and spirituality and life.

Writing Down the Bones is a lot more about Zen and spirituality and using your craft as your spirituality. I really like that because I’ve always thought something similar. I always write out the prayers I send out into the universe because I think it’s more effective. Patti Smith also says she did this in her book Just Kids and it made me very happy.

The chapters are super short , with some being a few pages long and the shortest ones being about three quarters of a page long. I really appreciate that because I like it when brevity communicates big ideas. Plus, it’ll make them easier to reread when I’m losing my mind with a new job and NaNoWriMo. 😛

I think I’m ready to give up on A Room of One’s Own for now even though it got a little more interesting yesterday. I’m sick, see, and my head is all fuzzy, and I’m not able to tune in to her prose. At all. I mostly want to nap some more but I miss reading. I’ll pick a book and keep you guys updated! 🙂

Hoot

Sin

M Train

Patti Smith wrote another memoir!
I read her first memoir, Just Kids, last month and I really liked it.
What really came through in Just Kids is that even though she’s best known as a musician, and she is a talented singer-songwriter, she is first and foremost a reader and writer which I really appreciate.
Her experiences in New York, just meeting talented artists seemed so inspiring. I am very jealous and admiring. I don’t think I can just stop having a day job and pursue my passions ever.
I can’t help but wonder if that means I’m inevitably destined for failure. It definitely means that I’m scared and don’t have enough trust in myself right? Ah we’ll see. 🙂
Her new book is about all of the times she felt she was at a crossroads, or times that some thing in her life changed throughout her life.
It apparently opens with her sitting in a café with an open notebook, which is a stereotypical but legendary image for every aspiring writer.
It sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? I’m dying to read it. But I can’t read it now, because I’m on a book-buying ban. -cries-
Maybe one of you lucky, sensible shoppers can afford to buy it and tell me how is? Just keeping you guys updated about excited new reads that I can’t access. -cries some more-
Well, that’s all for now!
Hoot
–Sin
Here are my social media links if you guys are interested to see:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/owlishwriter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8681585-sindhu
Twitter: @sindrao22
Email: owlishreader@gmail.com
Instagram: owlishphotographer