Tag Archive | Writing

The Art of Brevity

When I was asked to give a comment for just one minute in a seminar I attended last month, I remembered the art of brevity and decided to use adjectives for my comment: “Awesome, superb, and eye-opening,” I said.

The audience was stunned. They were wondering how I could be brief and still make sense at the same. The reality is, I’ve been learning the art of brevity for years now. I’ve been learning how to tell long story in a superb short ways. And I’m getting better.

But the key secret is that you must know and understand what you want to discuss or talk about. If you can’t say it in five minutes, you can never say it in fifty minutes. That simply shows that you don’t understand what you’re talking about. You’ll ramble, babble and mumble for most of the time and never get to a substantial conclusion.

The art of brevity is a skill. If you could learn it, it’ll make you stand out among others. Seth Godin​ is a master in this art. I gulp all his content (writings, videos, and so on) just to learn the art of brevity from him.

The only way to master the art of brevity is to understand your niche that if you explain to a five-year-old kid, he’ll understand. Go learn this art today. Stay simple. Go!

-MOAB © 2015

Break Your Silence or Stay Docile Forever

“To choose to write is to reject silence.” -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie​

I have always used the metaphor of dragons and monsters to describe the enemy of creativity and productivity. But I think dragons and monsters are a bit scary and people might not quickly relate to it because they often don’t see dragons and monsters except on the screen. But there’s something that people can relate with which I believe its metaphor fits the description of creativity’s enemy and I call it SILENCE.

We have heard the word more often than not. Because “keep silent or shut up” isn’t far from us. We’ve been hearing it since our childhood and we’re used to it. Silence is the enemy of creativity and productivity.

Silence comes in different forms—it sometimes shows as an authority, as loved ones, and as one’s society. These are the things that mostly dictate or decide how we should live our life. Most times, they lead us to nothing. Even though sometimes, they have good intentions for us but their intentions never create change.

Silence is a shackle, it stifles one’s freedom to express one’s thought or explore one’s creativity. And in order to break this shackle, one must write, create, explore, and imagine. One must struggle against all odds in order to make things happen.

Yes, silence has its good side and I mean a lot of good when it’s necessary but the bad side is so dominant that it has led many of us to become the play-it-safers and fit-ins who follow the norm.

Those who follow the norm never do things that matter. They’re cowered in the proverbial what-if.

What do we do to overcome this enemy? Break it. Remember I told you it’s a shackle and for one to be free, one needs to break the shackle that’s holding one’s back from exploring one’s creativity. Go break your silence. Go make a ruckus. And go make a difference. The world needs you. Go!

-MOAB © 2015

Writer’s Block Doesn’t Exist

“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.”

–Terry Pratchett

I was once one of those people who believed that writer’s block exists. I told myself this lie for years thinking it’s normal to be blocked. But I’ve never told myself that I have talker’s block because it doesn’t exist.

Writer’s block is another way of saying I’m lazy and I don’t want to write. Being blocked means you don’t want to write the same way you tell your friends when they asked you about something you’re not comfortable with, then you keep mute. You’re not blocked from talking, are you? You just don’t want to talk.

The same is true for writing. As long as you can still talk, write. As long as the phone rings and you answer the call, write. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect or not. Most of our talks aren’t perfect either. There are many hmm’s, huh’s, haa’s and ‘I think’ in our talks and they never stopped us from talking. They never stopped us from passing vital information to others because they’re part of communication. And writing itself is communication in written form. Don’t be afraid to say your hmm’s, huh’s, haa’s and ‘I think’ in your writing.

If you believe that you have to be right all the time, you won’t say a word. And this is why many people have writer’s block. Because they wanted to be right; they wanted to write something that makes perfect sense.

I’ve learned that most of the things I write are things I never thought would resonate with people. Many of them have changed people’s lives and I’m proud that I wrote them. Sometimes, a single sentence born out of a random thought can inspire people and create change. So write, write, and write until you feel there’s no more to write. Go!

-MOAB © 2015

Help Me Write a Book: One True Sentence

“One sentence is often all it takes to convey your truth. And each one of us has a sentence that we carry with us –whether it is a line from a novel, a verse of poetry, a song lyric, a personal mantra, words of wisdom from a loved one, or a simple string of words that bring you meaning. We take this “one true sentence” with us on our travels, drawing inspiration, motivation, and solace in times of trouble.”  –Amanda Festa

On the first day of this year, an idea struck me and I couldn’t help myself but to start this idea. It kept roaring in my head until I took the leap. This idea was simple but I was afraid to start because I might drop it at the middle of the ocean. I punched fear in the face and get started.

What’s this idea? It’s to write one true sentence every day. A sentence that comes from the heart and it must be less or not more than 125 characters.

Does this sound crazy? Absolutely. Is this idea new and fresh? Of course, not. But we can revive old things to become new and that’s called creativity.

I can’t do this all alone. Good things always involve other people in order to make it happen. And that’s why I need your help to spread this idea across and beyond my reach.

This is what I’m doing…for each true sentence, I’m writing the story behind it and why it came to being.

This is my first one true sentence that I wrote on January 1st:

Blessed are those who act on their good intentions. #1truesentence

I have written more till date…and still writing

Why am I doing this? It’s because I believe one true sentence can make a difference. And, of course, behind every one true sentence, there are long stories filled with reality, inspiration, life-changing nuggets, and empathy.

What are you going to do?

Write one true sentence that comes from the heart and it should be less or not more than 125 characters. Get yourself a journal, scribble it on paper, or post it on Facebook or on Twitter. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #1truesentence and let the idea spread like a virus.

Are you in? If yes, then let’s do this together. Because it’s not books that change people, it’s those one true sentences in books that touch lives and change people. Yours, too, can make a difference.

-MOAB © 2015

Holding the Muse By Its Tail

I don’t believe in the Muse (although, many people have different descriptions of what the Muse is to them.) I believe there’s a superior Being who taught men (writers and all creatives) by pen what they knew not; to create something superb and amazing provided that they’re ready to pay the price—showing up and doing the work.

There’s a process to creating enchanting stuff which is hidden to many people outside the creative zone. Most people don’t see the trouble writers encounter in order to put down those breathtaking and astonishing words. Sometimes inspiration comes when one is not ready and it’s the duty of a writer to hold on to it and never let it go. Doing that alone is hard work.

How many times have I encountered this trouble? My former roommate would tell me that I’m going nuts. He has his own reason. Sometimes I’d wake up from a deep sleep, pick up a pen and start writing. And when I fail to do this sometimes due to laziness, my mind won’t be at rest. There’s something that keeps telling me to do the needful or else I’ll be in trouble.

And when this thing (I don’t know what it is exactly) troubles me enough and I fail to comply, then it leaves me and flies away, forever. This saddens me sometimes, but I try to recover back by punching the keys the hard way.

Whatever this thing is, I’ve learned not to take it for granted anymore. I’m ready to show up, make use of it, and always ready to hold it by its tail.
-MOAB © 2015

What Does It Take to Be a Writer?

“And by the way, 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

departmentIs it a degree in Literature, English, or Creative writing? No. None of these degrees matter. You don’t even need to go for a writer’s surgery or take a writer’s pill (if there’s such thing) to become a writer. To be a writer—you only need to have the guts to write what others are thinking or imagine what others could be thinking and write it. That’s all you need to become a writer. Any other thing is just a plus. Got it? Good. Go now and write.

No Excuses: Don’t Let Busyness Chase You Away From Your Dream

These past weeks I have been so busy that the chance to put pen to paper was slim. Yet, I did. I wrote down some sentences on a receipt I collected from McDonalds. I had no pen and notebook with me. That’s how busy I was. So I asked for a pen and scribble some words on a receipt. This is how I have been writing for the past weeks.

Sometimes busyness chase one away from one’s dream and I think the best way to overcome this is to find an alternative to chasing one’s dream. Not an excuse. I did find an alternative by writing on a receipt and I’m glad I did. Don’t let busyness chase you away from your dream. Just “F” it—Find it, follow it, and focus on it.
-MOAB © 2014