A.R Sara

A breezy & intense eternal teen with a zest for the here and the now

Category: Author Space

Overcoming writer’s challenges

Most of the consistent and voracious readers I know, either already possess a natural inclination to express their thoughts in written words or involuntarily develop it over the years. So what is it that holds them back?
Some of the most common challenges I see in the transition from a reader to a writer and realizing one’s potential as a writer, do not revolve around lack of opportunities or muses or any external stimuli. But rather around a finite set of hurdles that lie within. I have tried to outline a few that I believe are the critical ones to address to kick-start your creative engine.

  • Shedding inhibitions
    It takes courage and a sense of purpose to actually put thoughts on paper, which is akin to peeling layers off an artichoke to reveal the heart. The fear of exposing one’s thoughts to the world can be intimidating resulting in conflicting emotions and a strong awareness and acceptance of one’s vulnerabilities. It requires an acknowledgement of the presence of the invisible yet formidable layers of inhibitions, prior to making an effort to shed them one at a time.
  •  Handling empathy
    Yes, even a strong sense of empathy can make a writer think several times over and reconsider penning down thoughts, ideas, feelings and brooding over the choice of words. Especially avid readers, who read across genres, have a strong tendency to become overly sensitized and empathetic.
    A striking sensitivity and awareness that words can be stronger than swords, can become a deterrent. What if the words from the heart were to hurt someone. It is important to reflect and apply some logic and due diligence and ask yourself if you are ready to take ownership and responsibility for the true intent and the meaning behind the words from your inner perspective. If yes, then go ahead with sharing your writing.
    Know that, when you write from the gut, the words you string together will encompass the emotions that went into them and will be invoked and tangle with the reader’s mood, when reading them.
    You can’t control how your writing will be interpreted or perceived. The readers’ perceptions and current state of mind can color the words they read. But if everyone were to interpret your writing exactly the same way, every time, that would be like taking the flavor and zest out of food rendering it bland and predictable always.
  • Seeking validation and Acceptance
    A fear of indifference can be a strong deterrent. After having shed inhibitions to reveal a part of one’s inner self via words in a blog post, book, FB post, social media…what if the world is indifferent, or only a lack-luster response is garnered or worse…it is ridiculed and callously rejected. Now this should turn the focus on who do you really write for and how do you feel about it and why do you share it? Then the most critical query of all: Why do you write?
    Reflect on these questions and answer. Be true to yourself as you do. The answers you arrive at will help you resume your writing journey with a renewed vigor, defer it or change tracks altogether.
  • Structured vs unstructured writing
    While there are academic frameworks, guidelines on what constitutes good creative writing…be it an article or a book, there is nothing etched in stone that dictates perfect writing except for grammar. Now grammar is something you don’t want to risk compromising on, if you are serious about your writing.
    While it is important to be aware and keep learning and respecting structure, it can be counter productive and restrictive for a writer to regard guidelines as rules and get so caught-up with them that it begins to hinder one own unique writing style from evolving.
  • Lethargy
    Plain old laziness is another culprit that can put the breaks on your writing expedition. Writing is a solitary activity fueled by creative drive. Something that has to be inspired and indulged in and not forced. If sufficient discipline is not applied to bolster your passion, it is easy to slip into a state of ennui and comfort and begin slacking off. Shake off that lethargy with a quick walk or some other form of light exercise or change in activity.
  • An Author’s Delight – Magic formula
    Is there a magic formula to churn out commercial bestsellers or viral posts? Absolutely, there is, in my view. Simply put, the way I see it, bestsellers are the result of Writer’s Passion Matching Mass Appeal. What are the odds of this occurring? Passion cannot be nurtured or forced, it is an intrinsic energy from within. The writing style, story line, character development, genre…all these do add up but cannot assure that the book will be loved by many. It is the undefinable quality, you have no conscious control over, that finally matters and can make or break the book you write. So let passion drive you to write and let the universe conspire to match mass appeal to it rather than attempting it the other way round.
  • There is no clear-cut “one solution fits all writers” to address and eliminate challenges. But the path to breaking free from them lies in recognizing the challenges prior to tackling them…one step at a time.

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    © 2017 RajaRajeshwari Nagasigamani

     

     

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Lorkum’s Quest Trailer

Make a wish if you dare
Save a friend if you care…

Here comes the long awaited book trailer…with a little help from my kids.
All you need is a minute to watch it.
Lorkum’s Quest Trailer – https://youtu.be/V0Yxx-pXoRM

Links to buy the book –
Kindle version:
Paperback:
Amazon India: amazon.in/dp/93865030
Flipkart India: bit.ly/2ouCBb2

#BookTrailer
#LorkumsQuest
#Adventure
#Thriller
#Suspense
#Mystery
#Lorkum
#Neurodiverse

A magical morning!

An amazing and fulfilling morning spent in the company of a friend and another author…an exemplary one with a staggering list of achievements, who I draw tremendous inspiration from. It is none other than award winning prolific and accomplished Children’s Author, Roopa Pai.
She is the author of the Taranauts series of novels, Sister Sister series and more recently the national bestseller “The Gita for Children”.
Her books “What if the earth stopped spinning? and 24 Other Mysteries of Science” and the recent one on Economics titled “So you want to know about Economics”, a highly acclaimed book recommended by ex-RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, further attest to her analytic bent of mind and scientific inclination which makes her one of those rare and gifted eclectic authors.
She also happens to be the first children’s author to make it to the Femina’s shortlist of Women achievers apart from being the first fantasy adventure novelist for kids, who started her career with Target magazine. Yes…The Target Magazine with a cult following.
We lost track of time as we bonded over books, chocolate, watermelon and an animated conversation about the interesting twists and turns in our writing journeys.
Sharing some selfies that helped seal the magical moment, along with some pictures of our books sitting together companionably on a shelf at a Crosswords bookstore… And ofcourse she graciously autographed a copy of “The Gita for Children” for my kids. 🙂
Links to her books and mine –
Roopa Pai – www.amazon.in/Roopa-Pai/e/B004DWUUPG
A.R. Sara – www.amazon.in/A.R.Sara/e/B009T38JUC

#RoopaPai
#Taranauts
#SisterSister
#TheGitaforchildren
#TargetMagazine
#Whatiftheearthstoppedspinningand24otherMysteriesofScience
#Economics
#ScienceforKids
#ARSara
#RajaRajeshwari
#Pachaihara
#Nutcat
#CrookedCrow
#LorkumsQuest

Skimming through

Once I begin reading, at some point in the book I get so absorbed that reading becomes synonymous with breathing. It occurs naturally without a conscious effort. Unless a string of words pack in a meaningful punch of such intensity that I come up gasping for air and temporarily the words from the book tangle with the physical world.

I’m currently half way through a novel and a thought struck.
I am reading it with multiple interruptions in between, as can be expected in this current phase of life. Reason I am even able to take a step back and let my thoughts wander in this direction.
I begin to wonder if I am just skimming through or reading every line. I realize that while some lines I wrap my mind around, other parts I just skim through. But the same can’t be said for all books, isn’t it? Some books just compel you to dwell on every line for a slow ride and some may suck you in and toss you out in a jiffy, while the rest may alternate between the two states.

With this on my mind, I strike a conversation with my son.
“Do you skim through or read every line?”
He reluctantly lowers the Alex Rider novel, he has been reading.
“Depends on the book and the mood, mom,” he answers patiently.
I wait.
After a pause he adds “I skimmed through Percy Jackson novels,” he admits.
“Wimpy kid, I can’t miss a word,” he smiles. “A book like Wonder is in the same category. Every line I read. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, falls somewhere in between. But depends…”

After a pause he adds, “Some books I skim through and then go back and read line by line.”

I wait for a beat as I process what he has said.

“Which category do my books fall in?” I ask slowly, unable to hold back the question that rages on my mind now.

“Mom…” he stalls.

I realize I am holding my breath.
Is that a grimace on my son’s face, I wonder.
“Your books don’t fall into the genre I generally read.” He shrugs lightly.
Is that supposed to be a trick answer?
“Mom, would you stop doing that with your eyebrows! You look funny,” he says with a grin, shaking his head. Before I could respond he returns his attention to the book and raises it to cover most of his face.
As I’m contemplating on how to win my son over with my next book, I hear hurried footsteps.
“Every word, every line I read, mom!” Pipes up my younger one as she storms in with a book of mine in her hands.

“Every word, every line I have heard, mom! When do you publish a book without first reading it out aloud to us?!” quips my son from behind his novel.
I sigh with bittersweet relief.

So what are you currently reading and are you skimming through, reading every line or a bit of both?

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