What is a your favorite Halloween movie?

Happy Halloween everyone!

So when I think of the Halloween movies or series, or stuff I would love to watch on Halloween. Three names occur immediately! 

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Which movies, books or series you read!

Tips about writing flawlessly you can’t afford to miss.

Writers… before you begin you worry about many things, mostly about one thing! Grammar! images (1).jpg

You wonder if you know the fundamentals of English grammar? Are you confident what you’re writing is error-free and easy to read?

Let us be honest, as writers, we want to give the publisher or our readers a book with high-quality writing.

So, I asked, would you like a tool or grammar checker to help you proof-read your work?

Of course, the answer is, Yes!

Writers jobs are hard and challenging, we not only have to come up with great plots and awesome characters, but all of our work depends heavily on grammar!

It would be a boon to us, especially if English is not our first language, to have a tool that can help us write our books flawlessly. We would all love that.

No software is perfect, right? I agree, but then I decided to test two of them… and pick the best one! I should be honest, despite their shortcomings, this software did improve my writing and gave flare to my novel.

Let’s talk about white smoke first.

Whitesmoke has been around for some time now. You can download it on your desktop, use it on your phone or do your correction online. 

The good thing is that it identified issues in your sentences and makes suggestions rather than just saying that there is an issue. It also has a good number of synonyms for you to use. Also, there are some suggestions which you can use to update your sentences. Its desktop app is quiet stable. It does not crash or nor does it hang, but grammar check depends on the internet. 

Issues. No free trial. There is no free version. So you cannot test. You have renew your membership like a gym membership. Honestly, I prefer to pay for a software which is help me write better. Another drawback is that it does not integrate with Microsoft Word. So you have to copy paste your material in the software, check it and then copy it back into your word document. Imagine doing that for your 300-page novel!. The process becomes more annoying because you have a limited number of words you can copy paste into the software. If you were able to put in a chapter, things would have been better. But they are not. There is one more thing. It does not check for all errors. Let’s be honest. No software is going to correct everything, but white smoke was missing most of them, and if you miss correcting a word, auto-correct will set in and choose the word itself and mostly its the word that you do not want!
I have not used it online or on my phone, but I do not think it was any better.
The most annoying thing was the copy paste, I reached a point and I did not renew my monthly membership. 
Perhaps it better for small documents, blogging but not for big documents. Definitely not for novels.  

So now we will go to Grammarly.

There is a free version, and it’s quiet helpful I should say. It integrates not only with Word but also with your Outlook. It picks out all the commas, semicolons, etc. a bit better than Word processors grammar check. It picks up the small stuff. But until you do not buy the subscription you do not see the difference in your writing. Again it’s not perfect. But I tested it by finishing one of my chapters and then printed it out and read it. After Grammarly, my writing sounded better. It analyses your mistakes and gives you a report. It has brought to my attention some silly mistakes I was doing. There is online English training if you like. It checks for errors in vocabulary, writing style plagiarism, etc.

Of course, there are some issues. Again, I wish this was software which was more stable. If you document big, the word version will hang your word document. This is the most annoying thing that happens when you turn on Grammarly in your word. (Yes there is an on-off option). It’s slow. It doesn’t work quick enough to finish checking the entire document. You have to keep scrolling and wait for it to finish the grammar check. Its ability to detect plagiarism is limited. It does not give many synonyms, and it will not spell out how to change active voice into passive voice. Nope. You have to do that. It doesn’t understand that ‘center’ is spelled differently in different countries and it will show it as a mistake. You cannot choose Australian English or American English. It is set for American English. Although, if you are in the US, this should not be an issue.

Lastly, it has a memory problem. For instance. If you tell it, you want to keep a sentence as a ‘passive voice.’ Ignore the suggestion. Save the document and close it. When you reopen it once more shows the same mistakes, including all the ones you choose to ignore. This can be irritating.

Grammarly Word version may be not so perfect, but the Grammarly online is much faster and more accurate (in my opinion). Ahh.. and there is no grammarly for phone or ipad as yet!

So, I have switched from Whitesmoke to Grammarly. I tolerate the latter (for now) because I have seen the difference in my writing. Not to say, for now its the best thing I have got.

images (2).jpgHope this blog has been helpful. And I suggest go with the free trial and see what you think. I use to think, I did not need this kind of software, but I was wrong…it reduced my stress and helped me improve my writing!

Good day blogging!

 

Best reads of the week: The Tao of Pooh

This week I read Tao of the Pooh... A book recommended by one of my favorite authors and trainers Brendon Burchard. 

So..Tao of the pooh... by Benjamin Hoof What is so special about this book that I read it twice in 48 hours.

First of all I like pooh.. Ohh that bear is a darling! At first I thought this book was for kids… Well… Now that I think of it I think yeah…. You might like to read it to your kids.. They love it and also understand a few things about live. Hell, I 

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wish I had read it before.

It talk about ‘ways of life’ and how to do all you want in a simpler way… an

d still stay ‘humble’ and enjoy the now!

Most of all I love the way that the book is written. It’s simple, yet gets it might surprise you for time to time. It’s funny… Light and a good read on the beach or the day you are relaxing.

It’s based on the chances teaching of Tao, Its like the fable Alchemist or Monk who sold his Ferrari... Although much lighter, the style is such that reading becomes fun! 

Most of the books that I read about personal development are like a manual… Do this.. Then that… Then this… Then that… Well… This book… FUN to read and so refreshing….I do not mind the manuals but hey your mind does get bored after a while because you are absorbing the information in a passive state. That does not mean I do not love those books… but sometimes you need something that is different. 

And this book does it!

So what can you learn from this book.. Follow the POOH way. The pooh way is do not hustle for things that are not in your control. For instance, If you were to complete a job,  and you did it on time, worked hard for it and you will find out the results for it next week. Now what is the next thing you do? Or we do… Worry? Check your emails again and again. Check our phones… you cannot focus on other things… You discuss about your worries with your family or colleagues thus empowering the ‘worry’. So… instead of focusing on the journey we focus on the results… We should understand that the results are not in your hands. Most of the things are not in our hands.. Instead why not Just sit back relax, enjoy your small wins, your ‘now’ time and have fun.  Like Pooh.

Remember: What is “true” will always endure!

AS the book is written in a very lively and humorous way, it keeps your mind active and absorbs you completely… And I think I mentioned… You can read it to you kids… It’s fun.. Although… You may end up answering a lot of question they might have.

That’s it for today. Thank you very much for reading!

 

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You do not need a perfect body… you just need a healthy one!

Here I want to share what I got out of a recent book.

As a writer I love to read and its my privilege to share my thoughts and recommend them to you. 

Recently I finished reading Michelle Bridges book “Make it Happen

 

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Wow.. The book jumps starts with honest picture of her journey. I loved the small check lists at the end of each chapters. I particularly like the direct… upfront… no nonsense advice. I felt that was really helpful…and it could help you reaching your goals of fitness and weight loss. Michelle is a ‘tough’ guru but you do need someone like her because weight loss and getting your life back on the track means… business. It means you need to be disciplined and really control yourself. 

What I can say is in this book….. you will learn something about hard work…. dedication and most of all… being your own cheerleader no matter what! I loved her advice on that. No one knows what you want, only you know.. and if you cheer yourself up… you will get there! 

There are certain things I did not like. Some of the stuff was obvious but some section of the books were really prolonged. But hey thats me….

Hope you pick up the book… and enjoy! 

 

Don’t you just love dogs!

Research shows that patting and interacting with animals lowers stress and anxiety levels

Over 850 healthcare facilities acrossphoto 2.JPG Australia involve therapy dogs in day-to-day functions. Therapy dogs are becoming more and more common today.

For instance, Curtin University has a beautiful dog named George. It loves to be around students, plays with them and is kept on campus. Most of all helps reduce their stress! I am sure welcomed by the staff!  Other universities such as Victoria University also have similar programs.

That is sooo awesome! I got a chance to play with a few today.. and it was such a good and beautiful experience. For a while it seemed all the work.. stress.. to do’s had left me!

But what about your work place? Does it allow to bring your pet at work?

Writers and dogs go a long way back!

Dogs have inspired writers to write, and they have been our constant companions during the long hours hard work!

Although… they might eat your novel…if you leave it lying around! Nevertheless they are still adorable. 🙂 And thanks to computers we can print out another one! 🙂

 

Why should you go to writing conferences?

Many would argue that writing conferences are a waste of time. I have gone through publishing process of many authors who say, conferences do not work! On the other hand, others think they are essential. 

What you think?

Many writers go to conferences with an agenda. To get an agent. To get a deal. To find a publisher or find people who could help publishing their book. Also, to increase the sales of the books they have already published one!

I thought the same.

This is not bad strategy, but it can be a bit disappointing and too much pressure.

Why? because writing and publishing are a business, here you have to build trust and build it slowly. People have to know you, to buy from you! You cannot just expect anyone to give you something. Would you give or buy something from someone without knowing about them?

I agree that some writers do get the chance and do get an agent! That might happen to you! If it does then fantastic! You are lucky! But I also want to impress the fact that conferences should be fun! I recently discovered this.

In mid 2017, I went to the Hay House conference, and I tried to implement what one of my favorite authors said. “Go and learn.”  This conference is also held in the US. I went to the Australian one. 

That is what I did, and I had an experience of a lifetime! Not only did I make fantastic friends, and learned a lot; I really enjoyed the conference because there were no expectations!

Here are the three main points I learned. 

Opportunity to submit your work:

Here is another thing, I am a fiction writer, and this was a conference for a non-fiction writers… but still I learned a lot! Like the differences between self publishing and the traditional publishing and the pros and cons of each method. Moreover, I like the structure of the conference. It was really ‘light’ and at the end we knew that there was a tough road ahead, but it did not feel like a burden! We were told that everyone would get a chance to submit a proposal at the end of the 2-day conference. This I think worked well for everyone! 

Increase awareness:

As the discussion continued I explored the possibilities of my work in the field of publishing. Discussing the ideas with other inspiring writers or other published writers I could see my book doing well out there. I understood the business more. I could foresee the issues that I could face and also ‘what I needed to do.’ Does not mean I wasn’t worried or terrified. I was, but the awareness was liberating because now I knew what I was gunning for! 

Truly Inspiring: 

Listening to other authors, who had already published books was inspiring! they discussed the process, not neglecting the realities of publishing and then one by one shared their experiences with us. Which was great! I made notes, looked at my work from a completely different prospective and most of all I was among people who write daily! Like me!  We have to agree… writers job is a lonely one, and to be among people who think of ideas and then put them in words which is then converts in a beautiful book. Hey it’s not magic, but it is magic for the writers! And to be among people who were positive, realistic and shared their experiences was truly inspiring. 

There are many more thoughts I could share here, but I do not want to make my blogs too long! 

So, writers you should keep going for conferences to make friends, find inspirations, learn how you could improve your art and you never know your efforts just to put yourself and your work out there… might just make your dreams come true. 

Have a great day, until next time! 

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Hey, if you want to share your thoughts, or ideas about this please feel free to post a comment. If you think this might benefit someone else, please share this blog. 

I really appreciate everyone reading my work! 🙂 

 

 

Best reads for writers!

Here are some of the authors and their best work of the week!

These guys write, inspire and improve not only their work but also many other authors! I have been studying them for some time now.. and they are amazing 🙂

Fiction: Check out Randy methods for how to get through writers block, increase motivation and react towards criticism of your writing! Should you really consider ‘one’ star reviews?

  • Organization: Do Hard Things
  • How to Measure Motivation
  • Marketing: Should you read your reviews

 

Non fiction: Are you looking to improve your life or help someone else? Or just write good stuff! Then you would find Robin Sharma’s work is truly inspiring –

He believes

  • Life Wants You to Win.
  • Risk Provokes Rewards.
  • You are not going to understand everything! (this is my fav) 🙂
  • Generosity Delivers Miracles.

This is just the beginning! He provides more information if you are writing a ‘self help’ book or just want to improve yourself!

 

 

Key To A Successful Author: Treat writing as a serious business.

As I spend most of my time writing, I cannot help but think, “Hey is it going to count for anything? I have been writing for several years now… what is it for! What would it mean five years from now? Who is going to read it? What is it all about?”

Perhaps you may want to earn from your writing.. perhaps you just want to share it… and why not! You should. You never know what might come up!

Here are some ideas on how you could expand your creativity and earn from your writing!

How to earn money as a writer?

If you want to keep it as a hobby, the choice is yours!

Write your best everyday!

 

Public transport with free entertainment! Now that’s Australia!

Don’t you love the people… who love their jobs. I came across one. A train driver. That is rare!

The way she announced each station was kind of funny. Her accent, her tone of voice and honestly she tried her best to make everyone laugh! Make our trip enjoyable…And she succeeded. Every time she made an announcement people looked up, then and each other and then started giggling! 🤣🤣🤣😎

After a while people kind of waited for her to make the next announcement! It was FUN!

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Every new passenger that boarded the train, was astounded at first but then within seconds he or she would start laughing!!! It was a merry ride all the way!

We had a fun ride thanks to the driver! So hats off to people who love their jobs! WE need more people like these…

*Although I did wonder if she was drunk.. but hey.. I made it safe didn’t I?”

🙂

How do you deal with stress?

Has it happened to you? Well, that’s a silly question. It happens to everybody!

Have you been in a situation where you thought something was done and dusted and went merrily on your way knowing that you had done your best! You were happy. Content. And then bam! There is comes back with a vengeance taunting you! It bothers us that we did not do your best! It was not enough! It was all wrong! I know its really stressful, but how do we deal with it?

Three things we could do.

Awareness: To be aware that things do not always or never go right! Life will never be what you think it would be! To be aware that you did your best and you can do better if you remain calm. To be aware to forgive yourself, and understand the situation and let go. Awareness that is not all just about you!

Reaction: This is the greatest issue. We react. To everything. To anything. And then end up feeling worst and apologizing. Why? because we know it was wrong! People say do not react, but you and I know how difficult it is not to sometimes! We are humans, but unlike monkeys, we also have control over our emotions! How to deal with this? Well, first of all, get into a situation with intention. No good intention. No good outcome. Trust me in the true world this does not work always. We are human. We make mistakes. We forget unless we do not practice or incorporate it into a habit. We are creatures dominated by emotions. But while engaging in awkward conversation, it is best to practice intention over emotion. The question one could ask is, what do I really want out of this discussion? Do you want to hurt the other person? Do I want to explain how I feel to the other person? And most of all, do I want to understand the other person or am I just angry because the other person does not see my point of view! Asking such questions will change your mindset. You just want to ask, what is it that you want? These questions will trigger your mind to actually focus on what you want and then talk instead of reacting.

Change of state: By state, I mean state of mind. At first, we usually go into an emotive state of sadness or anger, but then some people begin something and forget about it or move on or just think that the ‘issue’ does not exist! While others want to evaluate, understand and then move on. Unfortunately, most of us get stuck in analyses paralyzes. Hold it, if you just repress the emotions, sooner or later all of it will blast out like an active volcano. So what can you do? Think what makes you happy? Do you have a dog? Play with it. Do you have beautiful children? Read them a story or play with them. Mimic them! Do you have a spouse/partner? Take them out. Surprise them. Go shopping. Do something! When your mind wants to feel sorry for itself, force yourself to think otherwise. Smile. Laugh. Watch stupid cartoons. Watch inspirational stuff. Go for a walk. Go out with friends. Exercise. Mediate. Write. Sleep. Do what makes you happy! I know most people feel happy by helping other people. Why, because then it transforms you from being a person who is negative and angry to being a person who is happy, serving and content.

Now the question is, what if the stress returns? The thing is, stress will always be there in every situation, in everyday life! Either you will generate it, or someone else around you might reflect it on you; intentionally or unintentionally. However, the truth is that it’s our reaction and attaching a negative meaning to it gives strength to negative feeling which leads to stress. We fuel it, we can stop it. After all, we are better than monkeys! 🙂 

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