Skip to main content

How to transform a blank page into a chrysalis, a work of art

Time flies by and we barely realize how it has sped past us! Some weeks catapult into months and before we know it, a New Year is just around the corner. I mean, why isn't there a pause button to savor some of the best moments in your life so that the day can stand still at least for a fleeting second? Have you ever wanted that pause button? 

At my end, this has been quite a challenging roller-coaster year. So busy that by the end of the day I simply can't find the energy to work on my manuscript that remains half-written.
Are you a struggling writer?
The challenge of writing a book is that you feel pulled by a hundred forces around you. A growing child who needs your loving attention.  A family that needs you to be there.  A life that is lived, from hour to hour, day to day, going beyond the words one is crafting in the silence of the mind. Still when the words have to bleed onto paper, I begin to feel helpless. I am unable to find the energy to sit down and write at long stretches for my manuscript. Bit by bit, that feeling spills into anger directed to the self. Why can't I do it? I know how the manuscript should read but why am i unable to get it out on paper?

I began to think: I cannot call myself a 'writer' at most times because I am beginning to feel like a fake. In fact, this year, I wanted to stop writing altogether because the writing is simply not materializing the way I want it to.
Okay, I know you aren't visiting my blog to hear me crib about my busy life that is crammed with a thousand things except the will and energy to find the space to write.
But wait, don't leave yet! This is what I want to tell you.
Don't despair! Here’s how to overcome the struggle and stay inspired to write 
There are some of the amazing bloggers out there who have inspired me to keep writing. Their words energize and encourage me to look beyond myself and the crowded dilemmas around me. Writing isn't just about the writer. It is about the environment that inspires a writer to keep writing even when he/she feels tempted to give up and call it quits.

When I read the posts of the following bloggers, it is as though the Universe sends out an electric energy and revitalizes my commitment to the craft of writing that I am otherwise constantly struggling with. 

The oh-so-intense dissatisfaction of not having penned a few words in the manuscript lessens considerably. This is because you begin to see a bigger, happier and more meaningful vision of what your life’s priorities can be when you read their blogs.
Here are the bloggers (in alphabetical order) whose blogs inspire me:
Like Jess Scott’s quote on GooglePlus, ‘A blank page can give birth to a nice chrysalis for myself, allowing me to appreciate the art of a moment that I have written.’

And with this post, I send out heartfelt gratitude to the above-mentioned bloggers whose writings inspire me. I am always grateful to you – the reader – for taking out your precious time to read what I am writing and for making me feel valued in being a part of the blogger's world . Thank you for being here.

Comments

Vishnu said…
HI Swapna - I'm glad I found your blog and have quickly become a fan! Writing is hard work. To be able to capture our thoughts, reflect upon and share them so others understand is no easy task. I could never write a book either. Well, I wrote one but that's a whole other story. It was when I was deeply motivated for a short period in my life. lol I like blogging because I can write in 1000 word increments, get feedback regularly and can shift my topics more towards what my readers enjoy reading. Some of the things I've been doing to write more/better: writing regularly, getting more help from an editor and writing when inspiration strikes. thanks for mentioning me and keep writing :)
KParthasarathi said…
I would like to tell the struggling writers the following quote that I used today in my good morning mail.
'If you hear a voice within you saying 'You are not a painter,'
then by all means paint & and that voice will be silenced"
What is needed is the determination to succeed and if there are some role models,it is well and good to emulate them
Sometimes it is the pressure of work and family that brings out the best writer in you.
It can be done, it has been done by people for centuries. http://writerletters.blogspot.in/2013/09/making-time-to-write.html

Best Wishes.
Mani Karthik said…
Not sure if my blog deserves to be in the list. But appreciate your feedback and happy knowing that it meant something for you.

Every body goes through phases like this. I've been there as well. I have three words for you.

- Be real today.
- Be consistent tomorrow.
- Forget everything the day after.

You'll be happy and everything else will fall into place there after.

My two cents.

Keep up the good work!

:)

MK
Thanks Vishnu for the kind & very encouraging words. Am a big fan of your writings too.

About writing a book as compared to writing a blogpost, I liked 3 relevant points you have mentioned here.

One is that it is realistic and motivating to write 1000 word increments. Second, you get feedback almost immediately. Third, you can shift topics according to your liking easily and without worrying about it. Also, thanks for sharing those useful tips on how you work towards writing better...and perhaps the essence to get better at this is to keep writing, learning and contemplating. God bless.
@KP Parthasarthi - I really liked that quote you mentioned here...I have already put this as a note on my desk as an inspiration affirmation. Thanks so much for sharing it with me.
@An Indian Writer - It's good to read your perspective here esp as it relates to writing. As you have mentioned, yes - it has been done very well before. JK Rowling, for instance, is a classic example of that. However, the writing process differs from one writer to the other. What works for one person need not work for the other. But I totally understand that the gist of what you meant to say is that it can be done and that brings me a ray of hope. Also, I went through some of the writings in the URL that you've shared. I really liked some of those posts. Thanks so much for sharing it.
Dear MK,

Heartfelt thanks for sharing your thoughts here on my blog. And yes, your blog means something to me because it inspires me a lot. So happily grateful for the 2 cents too. Stay forever blessed and keep inspiring!

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he became very enthusiastic about chanting the mantras. Following this, my mother taught him the Maha Mrity…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]




Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your feet. Your feet will sparkle an…

Childhood is the best part of life

Memories have a funny way of coming back into my head, sometimes when I am about to get ready to go to work or sometimes like a flash from the past. It happens to me all the time - swathes of childhood memories flooding back. This time, as the first touches of winter began to make itself felt in Delhi, I went on a trip to Goa with my son and close friends. From the moment I landed in Goa till I got back, I was on a happy high, like a teenager who's going on a much awaited holiday.  Let me tell you a funny thing. I even went and bought myself a swimming costume to wear for the first time since my teenage years but guess what? The funniest part comes now - I never got to wear it. Maybe the idea was just to feel like a teenager again as I am growing older, not wiser! Hahaha!  [MUST-READ: Mahashivaratri - I'm loving it!]



[Image: Pexels]

The Goa trip was an incredible experience that took me back to where I really came from, where my heart has always been - Blantyre. That's where…

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

How to start your day happy in 7 easy steps

I love to start my day with a smile. So, I have a couple of happiness routines that I like to follow.  Sit up. Pause. Contemplate. The first thing that I do is I sit up, slowly and close my eyes, hold my palms up with love and gratitude as "Namaskar" to my Guru.  Express gratitude. Thank Earth. Before I step on the ground with my feet, I bend down and ask forgiveness and loving energy from Mother Earth for trampling on her all day. I convey my gratitude that the ground beneath my feet keeps me and my loved ones safe.
Sing a song over a cup of tea And while I brew tea, I sing kirtans. If I don't sing kirtans, I play it on my phone so that the energy stays divine and hopefully, seeps into my first cup of tea.  Rewind to the 80s' childhood days. When I was growing up, I always woke up to a very cheerful, energized home environment.  My mother would be in the kitchen, cooking a nutritious breakfast and supervising every little detail - whether my dad's shirt was ironed, whet…

Six Happiness Lessons I learned from a Baby in a Boutique

Happiness is a strange thing, at least in my life. It is always the little things that bring a big smile to my face, not that I have any big things lined up in my life.  But I must confess that happiness is not what I expected to feel when I popped into the neighborhood's busiest boutique! 
[READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He Loves]


Last evening, I had just dropped in to collect some materials that I had given for stitching at the boutique. Besides long traffic jams on the route,  I was stressed out. I needed to complete some paperwork at the private bank and that had just got done at the last minute. I had to pick up groceries on the way and the list was pretty long. Then I had to reach my son before a certain time as per schedule.
So, when I spotted a baby in the boutique, I felt instantly happy.  As our gazes locked, the three-month-old beauty began to smile, stretch her tiny palms to me and our eyes locked for several minutes.  She began to push herself more towards me…

Mumbai Police Movie Review: Prithviraj breaks the typical 'hero' mold, challenges sexual stereotyping

Exploring a completely different dimension in his latest film Mumbai Police, Director Rosshan Anddrews delivers a fast-paced, thriller film after his award winning fims such as Udayananu Tharam, Notebook and others.



To flesh out the script written by Boby Sanjay, Rosshan Anddrews ropes in actors such as Prithviraj, Rahman and Jayasurya to portray three police officers: Antony Moses, Farhan and Aryan respectively.
The story begins with a phone call that Antony Moses (starring Prithviraj) makes to Farhan (starring Rahman) saying that he has solved the murder mystery of Aryan (starring Jayasurya). Just as he says this, there is an accident and Antony Moses loses his memory. From then, Farhan's attempt is to take Antony through people and places that are likely to trigger his memory so that they can solve the murder of their close friend and colleague Aryan. A series of events happen, almost hurtling us towards it.
And I am taking the liberty to hand out trophies for the following:
'M…

Conversation with a friend: How to deal with the death of a loved one and Three Lessons I learned

The simplest lessons are always the toughest to learn.This December, a classmate passed away and I was totally shocked to hear the news. Another shock came my way. I heard that another classmate's husband had passed away and when I received the news, I felt very deeply for her.
[Image: Pexels.com]
1. Reach Out, Show You Care and Be Honest
For me, my classmate is someone whom I had shared countless jokes and conversations with when we were young. Our conversations and happy moments have never faded though we have become different individuals with completely different journeys in life.  So, yes, I plucked up the courage to call and show that I am with my friend through this moment of grief. The experience of the conversation we had humbled me like a lesson of life and the blessing was that I felt much lighter within. 

2. Honour the need of others to grieve in their way
I believe that the ''body'' alone perishes but not the soul. I don't offer my beliefs  to those who …