Social Media and the Problem of Plenty

Social media is exhausting, specially if you are intending to garner an audience or self-promote. There are myriad channels of communication and showcasing; all are craving your attention and content. If you are a writer, artist, or pursuing any creative channel, you are immediately in the snare of the social media octopus. There is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and I am ignorant of so many other channels.

All demand that you place your content in the most presentable way, on each one of them. There is information and design overload – the same content flooding the data stream with tags and hashtags. More than the creative pursuit, it is the pressure of pushing your content into these channels to grab the maximum eyeballs. Social media feeds on your deep FOMO – fear of missing out – in showcasing your content and following the trends.

Continue reading “Social Media and the Problem of Plenty”

Writing Prompt-ly

“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

Flashback! Go back to your school days – Recall the essay writing classes and competitions. The first step of these activities was the “topic.” Cut back to the present day. As a writer, you must be aware of the concept of writing prompts. Simply stated, writing prompts are topics on which you focus to create various forms of literary output – blogs, stories, nano-tales, poems, essays, novellas – the list is endless.

Writing prompts occur in many forms – a single word, a phrase, a situation, a foreign word, an image, an opening sentence, a first and/or last word or phrase, three terms that must be used somewhere in the passage, words that should be used for inspiration but not actually used in the piece of writing, a popular song, a word whose antonym or synonym should be used, or a character/situation sketch. Prompts may be genre-specific, example, horror, fantasy, romance, science-fiction, and so on.

Continue reading “Writing Prompt-ly”

The Introvert Gene

As a loner, I have difficulty in connecting with people. I am the one you will see sitting alone in the cafeteria reading something or the one who refuses to take a walk in the park because there is a book or a craft waiting at home. I have few friends and I just don’t beam into a smile when seeing strangers/neighbours. I am cautious in my dealings and wary in my relationships.

At my new home, I haven’t as yet explored the entire space – the parks, the club, the pool! I look at people huddled in groups chatting away and I almost panic. I fear the small talk and the fake smiles, I fear the comparison or the show off, the condescending and the patriarchal, the overambitious or the downtrodden. I fear of being swamped by energies that I don’t need in my life. Maybe my fears make me lose out on some good contacts but then this is just me.

Continue reading “The Introvert Gene”

Hope and Healing in 2021

The first week of January 2021 has gone by in a haze of fog and rain, and the demanding work desk; the political drama playing out this week provided social media with the ultimate newsbyte to keep the cold at bay (at least in the Northern hemisphere).

As a meme read – “If this is just a trailer for 2021, send me back to 2020”. But I beg to differ for I see that violence has not been victorious. I hope this remains the resounding message in global and domestic politics, throughout the year 2021 and beyond.

I still have hope that the younger generation and the people who are not yet dabbling in hate and divisive thought and rhetoric will help pull up humanity. Though, the amount of hatred and hurt we are seeing everyday is scary, to say the least. The world needs healing – from the hearts of men to the depths of nature. May 2021 see the healing begin!

Memories, Gratitude, and a Prayer!

This year, 31st Dec, most of the world will be doing what I have been doing every year for a decade and more – Just staying home! After my son was born, we never went out and I personally was never inclined to play tambola, dance to a DJ, and eat cold snacks, in our housing society’s open air arrangements.

We usually had travel plans for the first week of the new January and it compensated for not going gaga over New Year Eve’s celebrations. We will be sorely missing the travelling part.

I do have fond memories of celebrations in some of the best night clubs with friends, and in cold winter nights in cottages in the hills from my singleton days. Lessons learnt in this strange year is when you have the time and opportunity, do what you want to do, specially celebrate occassions. Memories are important; create them as you go.

As a young parent, I would be sad that we could never celebrate like so many of our friends who could manage babysitting or childcare arrangements to party or travel. I felt I was missing out on something but with time I compromised. Somewhere down the line, so many things, including the transition from an old year to a new one stopped mattering.

Most people around the world will feel this – the piling of days and the transition into a new day – without the fireworks and the joyful comfort of close ones. Many will be grieving. All will be fearful. Yet, in the corner lingers hope that the next year may be gentle on humankind.

The eve of 2021 may have a bigger and better celebration if we are victorious in our battle against the novel Corona virus. Next year, the son will be older, and I may be able to venture out and celebrate the way I like -with a plan, good company, a nice and warm ambience, scrumptious food, and definitely dressing up! Until then, it’s me and the cosy blanket and not a care that the clock strikes 12!

Oh wait! I do care with the realization and the gratitude that my family and I made it safely through a difficult year in the pandemic. And a prayer, may next year be kind to the world and let it heal!

%d bloggers like this: