So You Want to be a Writer?

Writing for oneself and blabbing away is easy.
Writing for a mass market is tough. I don’t know how publishing houses work in Malaysia but this piece by Marilyn Henderson is worth the read especially if you are thinking of being the next multimillionaire writer comparable to the likes of Dan Brown and etc.
Thought this was a good eye-opener in view of the Nanowrimo-ing going on this month. (And yeah, why am I not joining NanoWriMo? I tried. For 2 years. Somehow, Nov is the worst month for me. My holidays come in between and I lose that zing. And then I lose track of it completely.)

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A Zahir Bliss

Paul Coelho, one of my favourite writers, says that he doesn’t need a lot of things to be happy. He was quite contented moving into a sparse two-star hotel in France, equipped with just “the essentials: a fireplace, a view of the mountains, an Internet connection and a satellite dish”.
I think when we really think about it, it’s true. It sounds cliched but there is much joy in doing simple things.
Like this evening.
I had forgotten how good it was just to sit back and relax after an early dinner. What made it even more special was that I finally got my hands on Anita Roddick’s Business as Unusual – a book I had hankered for, for the longest time! And to think I found it in the USM library!
I’ve been Roddick‘s fan since I read about her when I took a Business Management paper during my uni days. And I’ve been hooked. Roddick is not only a business woman, she’s also a business woman with heart and soul. Loads of it.
But the oddest thing is, as Roddick herself admits, she’s a total business outcast. No stuffy corporate bigwigs for her. She didn’t start with a business plan and she’s never read about business theory and yet she’s hailed as of the most courageous business people of this century.
She also said she’s often surprised that business schools are inviting her to speak because she defines entrepreneurial spirit as the antithesis of the business school.
True. Very true. It takes a lot of balls to be an entrepreneur. It’s like being a guerrilla essentially. There’s no fun when the guerrilla turns into the Government, is there?
But the review must come another day. I just felt that contentment comes easily if I have a good book, Opus playing in the background and a nice, hot mug of tea nearby. Absolute bliss.
There’s always something sexy about classical music and books together.
And tea. Preferably Earl Grey.
PS: The Zahir is Coelho’s newest book. Zahir means “present” or “visible” in Arabic.

Three in One

Monday was a good day. I call it a good day because I ended up spending half my day ogling at books, smelling them and of course, reading them!
I’ve always lamented that Penang’s bookstores are a sorry bunch. It used to be just Popular, Times and MPH but the size was the factor. Small, cramped bookstores and limited titles (and some truly archaic ones as well) did not make for a good book day. I could not stand and read a bit before someone would jostle and say “excuse me” in the narrow aisle that I was standing in. That spoiled my book browsing.

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A Highly Effective Habit

I pride myself on not re-reading a book. Well, mainly because I think there are SO many books in this world and my time is precious and I cannot, simply cannot, waste that time re-reading.
I think as I age, I tend to take back some words that I’ve spoken.
Nowadays I do. Not novels of course. I just can’t stand it if I already know the story and keep ploughing the same lines. Or coming back to the same ending.

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The Silva Mind Method

I first read The Silva Mind Control Method three weeks ago and then picked up The Silva Mind Control Method for Getting Help from Your Other Side recently. Both books are by Jose Silva, the founder of the Silva Mind Method.
The Silva Mind Method is about relaxing the body and mind to the extent of slowing down the brainwave frequency in order to produce a positive result.
Now what does all this mean? In our everyday lives, we use a lot of our left brain to help us think, rationalise and justify actions, speech and thought. But our brain is not only made up of the left side. The right side also matters. The right brain is about the creative side of you, as opposed to the left brain which is about being logical and rationale.

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From Apes, Our Monkey Minds

I’ve been reading this interesting book recently. Actually, two books by the same writer, back to back.
Surprisingly, it isn’t fiction.
I’m actually more inclined to pick up a novel (and of late, I’ve been devouring Pratchett with glee) than a non-fiction piece, unless the book is about business or marketing.
But here’s a big disclaimer: I am very much predisposed to reading about anything and everything to do with brains, mind, IQ, intelligence, potential. It intrigues me, this brain business. Especially the fact that I read somewhere (and repeated like a mantra) that we only use 10% of our brains.
Here’s a little literature review on brains, IQ and potential, courtesy of yours truly, condensed version of course. Then I’ll tell you more about this book I am currently dipping into and why.

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A Lil Sunshine Goes A Long Way

While I may not be the queen of positive thinking (but there’s always room for improvement), I gravitate towards anything that sparkles with enthusiasm.
Why be glum and drag everyone into your own messy and sorry affairs when you can be the exact opposite, and spread some sunshine to everyone you see?
We all know the key truths: smile, be happy, yadda yadda yadda. But we all (I know I can’t) can’t just pop out of bed looking like we swallowed a box of lollies.
So I do the next best thing: I remind myself.
By reading.
Forgetfulness is my middle name, and I am trying hard to remember things I am supposed to do.
But if you forget (like me), it is great to find Dan Auito’s “A Positive Attitude” Manifesto. Oh, don’t let the word manifesto scare you. It’s not that communist. Really. Just like the word guerrila is NOT that imposing.
Get the 19-page (quick and short) PDF read here. It’s free. And it sparkles.