The Difference Between “Blogging” and “Posting”

Long ago before the advent of social media sites like Orkut and Facebook, diarists and bloggers were a predominant feature in the world wide web. However, with the advent of the above-mentioned sites, coupled with the discovery (by the populace of course) of photo-blogging sites like Instagram and Pin Interest, blogging and journaling took a backseat. Nowadays, diarists are unheard of and a handful of bloggers remain (with the concept of blogging being dominated by corporations and websites who have their own blogs targeted towards their consumers).

I have observed that a lot of friends and acquaintances who write for Facebook and other similar sites get embroiled in controversies. Perhaps because they get a lot more readers than bloggers do. While the popularity is definitely a blessing for their writing prowess, the controversies are definitely not welcome. During the good old days of the written word, writers would often maintain a diary which was personal and would seldom be exposed to the public eye. Bloggers too had this privileged. Most bloggers would write and a select group of genuinely interested people would read their articles (they were not called posts those days). Social media writers often refer to their articles as “posts” and expect instant comments within minutes of uploading their articles online. Quite often these comments are not by genuine readers, but by those who may have a bone to pick with the writer. Very often these comments deal with matters that are not even remotely associated with the article concerned. They may entirely hinge upon an unrelated topic or a pet peeve of the reader. With the writer responding to such comments and in the process trying to defend himself, the importance of the exercise of journaling and organizing one’s thoughts is lost in the process. Hence, writing for social media websites or “posting” is definitely not as effective as writing a diary or a blog. The internal habit of writing for pure altruism and nothing more is somehow lost amidst all the chaos and the cacophony.

All said and done, the need of the hour has changed, times have changed, and the tradition of being a diarist has changed. With blogging and posting being swiftly eclipsed by vlogging and short reels (like those often seen on YouTube these days) the future of the written word is indeed in great dilemma.

So much for now. Till I scribble in the near future. Au revoir !

person holding black phone

The Slowness of Being

Most writers these days tend to ruminate about the insanely fast paced life that we are thrust into. It is definitely a stark reality that we, the creative people are faced with. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), everything seems to have become even more unrealistic and hallucinatory. Very recently, while scanning through some videos on YouTube, I noticed that AI is already in the process of dominating at least 60 percent (if not more) of online content these days. This has led to the creation of a strange world online where most videos and content tend to create an atmosphere of illusion. One cannot distinguish what is true from false. I maybe looking at a particular scenery and admiring the same for a substantial period of time, only to discover that it is unreal and has been created by AI. The world, in addition to being fast paced is now becoming increasingly unreal. And already academic thinkers all over the world have started talking about the dangers posed by AI to our human civilization and intellect.

This is perhaps where the slowness of being and becoming is extremely relevant these days. We have truly lost out on the good old days of slow living when letters and/or emails were more important than messages and where books and literature were more important than content creation. Perhaps those most affected by this need for spreed are the writers and other creative people like the painters, the musicians, the sculptors etc. Anything that requires time and patience is probably looked down upon these days. There is a terrible need to accomplish much within a short span of time. There is also an insane need to be “appreciated” and “discovered” by the internet within a minute period of one’s life. We must all have social media accounts (because having websites and blogs is now unfashionable). We must publish two or more books in one year, have book launching ceremonies, give interviews on our Facebook and/or Instagram accounts and in general do all that which qualifies us to be labeled as writers in this age of extroversion and extravagance.

But what about the slowness of being? What about relishing each moment and then captivating the same on paper? What about solitude (that which has historically been considered to be a sacred haven for writers)? Why must we rush and run and scramble with the world? Why must our phones vibrate and chime at intervals with messages and texts that are of no consequence? Why must we, the writers, be compelled to forge multiple contacts an connections in order to maintain our status in society? And why must the world reeling under its own unending cacophony drag us down to its chaotic depths, thus in the process, pilfering our much needed slowness of being? I do not have all answers, but I have one definite belief that slowness is indeed a blessing. That enjoying the intricacies of life is the basic right of every writer. And that cultivating a slow, languorous life is what makes us blossom and flourish like delicate flowers.

woman in black and white hijab sitting on chair

Each Day…

Each day is a struggle. I love silence and serenity. I love the swishing of leaves and the scratching of the pen over white sheets. I love introversion. And a wholesome solitude. But all that is impossible. I must struggle to put down my words in the midst of the unending industry and a plethora of busyness that tends to punctuate our modern lives. I must make my characters sizzle and come alive on stark white pages, but I fail. I am caught up in this real world that seldom means much to me. I am like a Bedouin. Running from one water well to the other. From one caravan to the other. In search of the elusive. The pure. The wondrous. In search of that which gives meaning to my life. Words. Piquant. Coquettish. Quaint. And impeccable. Words. Nothing, but words….

a person holding sand in their hands

These are a few of my Favorite Things…

What does a writer need? Apart from words of course. And apart from the fact that the need to write is the dominant passion that regulates his or her life. That the need to express unsaid words and sentiments is perhaps the elixir that keeps him or her alive and breathing with a throbbing heart and a tempestuous soul.

For someone like me who loves spending her time away from the world it can mean certain things. For other writers, who love being a part of this large and animated world it could mean other things. Since I can only speak for myself, let me scribble down a list of my favorite things. Things that keep the writer in me alive and ticking….

  1. Peace (both internal and external, the former being easier to achieve than the latter)
  2. Less work (because daily duties and responsibilities can often make the effervescent soul a tad bit dull)
  3. Silence (now this is something that is difficult to achieve in this modern world, but we must strive to capture its elusive nature)
  4. The right tools (this may include the small notebook that you may carry around at all times or the pen and paper kept beside your bed or the laptop that you may carry around in a portable case)
  5. Nature (without her support all creation is worthless)
  6. Introversion (this one is what I call the superpower of a writer since extroverts seldom venture into the world of the written word)
  7. A soul full of love and compassion (without imagination and empathy it is difficult to traverse this less trodden path)
  8. An Indomitable spirit (without the last one everything else would fall flat on its face)

So much for now. Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful weekend !

Au revoir !

pink and green flower bouquet

Immanuel Kant, Johan Galtung & the Proverbial Bondage of Labor

Can we ever be free from the so called proverbial bondage of labor ? Maybe there is a way or maybe not. For writers, writing comes within the purview of unfathomable pleasure. But when it comes to work that is not related to literature, then the bondage of labor becomes much more overt. For the last few weeks I’ve been rather busy with refresher courses and in the process (though I was well acquainted with him earlier), I came more in contact with the works of Johan Galtung, For the uninformed, Johan Vincent Galtung is a Norwegian sociologist who is the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies. He was the main founder of the Peace Research Institute Oslo in 1959 and served as its first director until 1970. What interested me about his theory and approach towards the world is his focus on violence (he classified the same into direct, structural and cultural violence) and the means of acquiring positive peace.

I do not wish to wax eloquent upon peace studies as anyone can simply Google about the same and understand the intricate details of the theory. However, what I wish to focus upon is that during the course of my above-mentioned course I realized that two most important thinkers who are in probability extremely important today are Immanuel Kant and Johan Galtung. For those uninformed, Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers. Kant’s comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics have made him one of the most influential figures in modern Western philosophy. He has been called the “father of modern ethics”, “father of modern aesthetics” and, by bringing together rationalism and empiricism, the “father of modern philosophy.”

Today we live in an age where violence is glorified and the state machinery believes in domination more than in plurality. At least that is what we find quite frequently in case of most so called “democracies” including mt home country, India. However, having said that, I still believe that countering violence with violence can lead to nothing except more bloodshed. It is here that concepts of positive peace and pure reason and ethics play a major role. All said and done, somewhere, between the blurred lines of literature and academics, my writings somewhere strike a chord with the thoughts of these two thinkers.

So much for now. Til I scribble next time. Au revoir !

in flight dove

A Much Awaited Apology

This is a much awaited apology to both my readers as well as my blogger friends. I have been rather tardy with my blogging primarily due to the end-semester deluge of work. I have logged into the blog at times when unfortunately the system has turned off my ability to reply to comments. Therefore, I must have seemed rather rude to my regular readers. However, I take this opportunity to thank you all for visiting this blog and rejuvenating my spirits with your constant words of encouragement. I hope to revive this somnolent blog with renewed vigor and steer it in a more fruitful manner towards a new state of literary accomplishment. I sincerely hope that my readers will overlook my erstwhile failures and continue to encourage me towards newer pathways.

Au revoir till the very next post. Merci…

fountain pen on black lined paper

The Need to be Silent

During the last few weeks a change seems to have come over me. I feel this tremendous need to be silent. It is like a pregnant pause before words of another kind are destined to flow. Having relinquished the company of platforms that promote chatterboxes and are extrovert-oriented, such as the Facebook and Twitter, I increasingly feel the need even to avoid phone calls and messages. Whether it is the social media or commonplace conversations, both are tailor-made for responses and reactions. I seem to have lost both, in the process having developed a strange affinity for saying nothing and reacting to nothing. Words flow otherwise, especially when I am thinking about my next manuscript or characters, but the need to make myself heard is gradually vanishing like sedentary mountain mists. I am like a tree. I have become like a tree. I need nothing except simply the need to be. The need to exist in some quaint corner of this universe. That seems to be all. No questions, no opinions, no judgement, nothing. Simply existence and all the simplicity that comes with the same.

aerial photo of green trees

Au revoir, till the next time this mountainous tree wishes to speak a word or two 🙂

Vivaldi : Built for Work

I’ve been a regular observer as well as a keen follower of various browsers since the year 1998. I have summarily used Windows 95, 98, XP, 07 and 10. I’ve not yet graduated to Windows 11 since my laptop is rather old and I kind of have an attachment to it. Having been an erstwhile user of browsers such as the MS Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Opera, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you are interested in a browser that is meant for work and primarily focused on work only, then Vivaldi should be the perfect choice for you. I am not saying this simply because I use Vivaldi as a platform for my blog. In fact a thorough research over the years into the productivity quotient of every browser has made me come to this conclusion.

blue and white logo guessing game

1. The Integrated Mailbox

The integrated mailbox is definitely the best feature of the browser. I have hitherto used email clients like Mozilla Thunderbird and MS Office Outlook, but none of them had had the facility of retaining a copy of the mail in the original server. Not only does Vivaldi retain a copy of the original mail, but also marks it as read in the web-mail inbox. Moreover, it is extremely easy to configure a mailbox in the mail client. I find it extremely satisfying that I can read my emails at leisure without depending on the internet or even during a slow net connection. I personally recommend this email client to all writers or anyone else involved in any other kind of profession.

smartphone showing Google site

2. Many Search Engines to Choose From

My personal favorite is DuckDuck Go, though I have used Google, Bing, Yahoo and others in the past. The ability to integrate and use any search engine within the Vivaldi browser is definitely something worth experiencing. Although other browsers allow multiple search engines to function, but somewhere they tend to promote their personally owned search engine to a great extent. This is especially true of Chrome and Edge. Vivaldi does nothing of that sort and allows the user the freedom to choose and operate his or her own choice of search engine.

a close up of a typewriter with a paper on it

3. Multi-Tasking

Being a writer is all about multitasking once the manuscript has been written and the process of editing goes on. Deadlines have to be met, and at this point of time a writer requires an assistant more than anything else. Vivaldi acts as a virtual assistant. It has inbuilt sections devoted to translation, managing dates and deadlines, to do lists as well as a personally managed reading list. Recently Vivaldi has introduced a new section called Workspaces which is a brilliant way of separating work and personal life and thus in the process de-cluttering both. I doubt if other browsers have come up with such an innovative feature.

green and white book on red and white textile

4. Privacy

Last, but not the least, is the concept of privacy that Vivaldi tends to offer. It is by far one of the best browsers when it comes to privacy. Not only the browser, but even the blogging platform as well as its social media platform (Mastodon) offers immense privacy and security features. Being an erstwhile social media addict, I have given up on that platform completely, and thus, I have never really ventured into Mastodon. However, my previous social media experience with regard to Facebook, Twitter and the now defunct Orkut is far from positive. I have always found social media rather intrusive with regard to privacy and other cardinal matters. Leaving the same was a conscious decision that I took in order to devote more time to my craft and less time to things that make us Internet and phone addicts. I am at present in my happy place with this blog and I do not ever intend to relinquish the same.

In a nutshell, I would like to state that from a writer’s point of view Vivaldi is indeed the best browser one can invest in if one is interested in having an integrated mail client and personal assistant at one’s beck and call.

So much for now. Au revoir till my next post.

The Paraphernalia of Writing/Life

Writing per se is a wonderful thing, as is life for that matter. In both cases, it is the paraphernalia surrounding the same that troubles the intellect. A writer can happily type away words, but when the manuscript is complete, then the tedious job of hunting for an agent or a publisher is what is most bothersome. I’ve been scouting agents and publishers for the last few months to no avail. It is not even the fact that they have rejected my manuscript. They haven’t even had the TIME to go through the same !!! Had my writing been rejected, then at least I would have found comfort in the thought that someone somewhere has read it. But here the situation is much worse. At present I have been giving self publishing quite a serious thought. This has also got me thinking about life and the paraphernalia surrounding the same.

Life, like writing or rather the art of writing is supposed to be simple. But isn’t the paraphernalia surrounding the same that makes it quite tedious for us? Also, for a person living in a populous country like India, who is by nature an introvert, balancing the career of a full time Professor and a struggling writer can be quite cumbersome. My country is beautiful, with a rich cultural legacy and a lovely yet diverse nature, but what irritates me to the core is the immense growth of population and the problems that come with the same like difficulty in commuting, crowded roads and markets, blaring music, and a society that is teeming with extroverts. There is rarely a place in the Indian society for the introvert. Everyone loves company except for a few rare souls who are into writing and other creative arts.

Coming back to writing, I have been avidly searching for self publishing companies these days, as well as keeping an eye open for conventional publishers who may care to as Dickens said once “throw an eye over” my manuscript. Keeping my fingers crossed as well as busy on the keyboard.

Au revoir !

gray and black typewriter pot with green leaf plants