With all my bragging about the schedule I’m stuck in done with, here I’m, in middle of a tiny 10 day break before the exams knock me down on the 22nd. (Apparently, the break is also known as Preparatory Leave for many.)
And as mentioned in my previous post, the content that you’ll be reading down was to be written and posted sometime before, but then LIFE happened.
As I completed surviving two decades
on the third planet of the solar system a month ago, I had jotted down “20 THINGS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE IN MY LIFE”.
Some of them are pretty interesting, some are quite simple and while some..I know I won’t even do them! Then I thought why don’t I share it with you guys? 😉
There’ll be a few major announcements in between which is the main part I’m excited for.
So here we go!
(Efficiently managed to go right to the topic without much worldly talks.
1) Manage time with schedules
As obvious it will sound, this is the first thing that came to my mind as I started jotting down the points. We all know how much time is of the essence nowadays. Missing your daily train by a minute has the power to put your entire schedule to shambles.
No..no! I get my trains on time. Thanks to the trans-harbour line that there is just 1 Thane-Panvel train in an hour. Can’t even think about changing at Nerul-Vashi because I don’t trust the trains from CST. They always come late. What’s the point then?
So I reach my station well before time (I have no other option), sit there observing how people are engrossed in their lives and phones, while I enjoy my usual music playlist.
I remember how much I loved making schedules back-when I was in school and Junior college. The entire schedule was perfectly chalked out and NOT followed without any shame or remorse. Slowly my belief in making schedules went down as I found that no matter how much schedules I make, I always end up not completing the tasks allotted. After all, I’m a mere mortal and not The Flash!
Schedules are meant to save time.
Instead, I end up spending more time making more schedules. So I kind of stopped making them.
But life’s better organized than being in a jeopardy and suffer later.
So schedules, please come back. I miss you.
2) Less online, more life
Aargh! This one is the toughest to be frank. At the same time it sounds simple. “Just go and turn off the WiFi router.”
But high mental strength is required to pull off such daredevil ‘stunts’.
It all started the day I got my own Wifi. The amount of joy I felt and time wasted knew no bounds.
But it did a world of good too.
I didn’t need to go way out to the road for sending a message. It saved time in certain ways.
But I felt it did distract me a lot and did dampen my speed of doing things like say, completing assignments late at night. If it was meant to be completed at 2am, it’ll take another extra half an hour at least to end the job. That makes a difference. Plus, lately I’ve been bored of turning up online. Reasons? There are many.
3) Read more novels
The fact that I read some 22-23 novels (that too PDFs) in first year still surprises me. Come second year, the number dropped to tens. Third year? Haha.
The fact is that PDFs are more straining on the eyes and takes more time to complete when compared to a real copy slowly.
Also, I read some ‘real’ books in between. The feeling was entirely different. It definitely felt better. That made the PDFs case more weak.
But I hope I get back to reading more books – be it PDFs or the real ones, exploring more stories, understanding the characters. That does help when I write. The vocabulary and the flow of ideas improves a lot. There are a lot of books that my friends had recommended and I have all their PDFs. I just hope I cut down my online time and focus on reading.
The fictional world always felt better than the real one.
4) Complete Deceptive Truths as soon as possible.
Ya, this..this I needn’t even explain. The whole plot is slowly getting converted to a mega serial. It’s been a long time that I started this story
(22 December 2015, to be precise).
The excitement was so high that I’d always look to post as much updates as possible. And then gradually, the research required per chapter went more and the time in hand went less. That resulted in me just posting one or max to max just two posts per month.
Not at all an encouraging stat to boast about.
18 chapters of Deceptive Truths have been released till date. And there are about 6-7 more to go before we reach the end. It would’ve been less if I hadn’t stretched some phases in the story. But from the reader’s point of view, it must at least feel a bit believable. So to make it feel more and more authentic at the same time believable, I had to go in to more detailing of the characters as well as the conditions they were subjected to.
Funny thing is after the previous semester exam, I released ‘The Lucky Ticket’, keeping Deceptive Truths on hold , citing reason that I won’t be fair to the plot if I just rush down the chapters, leaving potential loopholes in between.
Here I’m, on the verge of giving another semester exam, repeating those same lines.
Deceptive Truths is on hold (once again.)
But I promise, I’ll try my best this time, to end it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
5) Write more often
So what would I write when Deceptive Truths is on hold?
Such random blogs? Yes.
Just random blogs? No.
Since I’m too active on Instagram these days, a handle called mirakee stumbled upon me and recommended their app. It’s basically a community of storytellers, poets and poets.
So I joined it and posted some stuff there. This happened about two-three weeks ago.
So, I’d be pretty on the loop, thinking about new quirky ideas to write there. So if you want to have a look at them, do install mirakee from Google Play store (this is not any kind of paid promotion!) and you can find my profile: @sooraj_nair_
Plus, I would be posting them one by one on my blog and Instagram handle (the.illusional.storyteller) frequently. So no need to worry in case you couldn’t install the app due to any reason. 😉
They now have their website live!
So you can reach me via:
No need for the app!
6) Promote The Lucky Ticket!
‘The Lucky Ticket’ is one of my most unusual stories that I’ve written till date. (after that clichéd ‘The Haunted House Mystery’ with 45K reads on wattpad). But unlike my other two stories, TLT! is available only on wattpad. Not on my blog. So the number of readers who read it is pretty less when compared to The Haunted House Mystery (THHM).
Also, THHM was well promoted.
I can’t say that TLT! wasn’t promoted at all.
In fact, the pre-release promotion was well, way too much.
And it definitely did get the perfect opening, ranking #22 in Horror on wattpad, the first day itself.
Then gradually it started to fizzle out. The promotions too died out slowly. There wasn’t much to promote either. It’s a short story. There are just 6-8 chapters. Plus some of my reader friends found trouble logging in to wattpad, creating an account in the first place. The reviews were mostly positive from those who read it. My main motive was that the reader must not be able to predict what’d happen at the end. And it did work. The reads are obviously less on wattpad since it’s a short story with less chapters. So getting reads is pretty hard there without any promotional activities as such.
So I need to promote it more, so that it gets noticed, and so that I can know how the readers felt after reading it. It’s always a pleasure to know how they felt – be it a positive stance or a negative one. So..ya..need to promote it more.
I’m thinking about releasing it on my wordpress blog. What say? 😉
7) Work more on my next plot
Yes. I do have an idea about my next plot. And it’s highly imaginative. Science Fiction. I’m not sure if I’ll go ahead with it as my next or it’ll be put on wait (if some other story pops up in my head.)
As my ritual goes, Aditya is the first (and the only) person to whom I reveal my plot. He did say that he has watched a Hollywood movie with a similar concept, but his memory powers are too strong to remember it’s name. I managed to find it though. Thanks Google.
Yes, the plot was pretty similar in many ways, but the movie was a bit badly directed. It could have been better. When I showed Adi the movie, he says that it’s not the movie he’s talking about!
Anyways, the plot is just in its initial phase. No character sketches even. Just the idea. Let’s see if I can think more about it and move the plot forward.
Or maybe lose myself while thinking and form a new story instead?
8) Try a hand at short stories/ poetry/ micro tales
Short stories and nano tales are like..literally everywhere! Be it Facebook or be it Instagram. And they’re such a delight to read! Less time consuming at the same time.
I’m always fascinated about these tiny stories and have tried my hand, writing some of them. You can find them on my mirakee account. But I don’t think any of them are worth calling a ‘micro tale’.
The main point while writing a microtale is that you have to convey your ideas using the minimum of words. And that’s where I fall short. Using less words to express has never been my forte. I have always focussed on detailing. Detailing with many words as possible. You can definitely notice that most of the chapters in Deceptive Truths are sometimes (unbearably) long.
Imagination is another key in micro tales. The amount of imagination a reader (as well as the writer) has to use while reading/writing a microtale is much more than the imagination required while reading/writing a novel.
I’ll try writing microtales for sure, but it’ll definitely take some time.
It’s better if I let my ideas flow free instead of forcing it down.
9) Dedicate more time to @quoteworthy_ on Instagram:
Announcement #3: We’ve reached 5k followers!
Previously known as srjquotes, two years ago, I’d started a journey on Facebook with an aim of enlightening the world..
Cut the crap! The quoteworthy family is now 5000 strong on Instagram! Facebook is still slow all thanks to its skewed views system. Although we have some 1200 likes there, the post reach wouldn’t go beyond 20-30 people. The promote post by paying button have made things worse. So we’ve neglected fb a bit (a lot to be frank.) Instagram is a much better place.
It has definitely taken a lot of efforts. And thanks a ton to the well wishers and supporters who’ve actually made this come true. We’ve a lot of milestones ahead!
And for that, posts must be frequently done. We’ve to respond to the direct quote messages we receive daily and post the best among them regularly. If we do it right, 10k isn’t that far away. 😉
10) Learn Adobe Photoshop, Premier Pro, LightRoom, etc.
Editing and graphics is one of the other fields where my interests lie in. You might have noticed that with each new post and its promotion link, there’s always an image with it. It’s not necessary, but still I do it.
It’s always fun trying out new stuff with images, editing them or say.. distorting them in to something new.
I’ve been using PicsArt since three years now. And there are limitations to PicsArt when compared to premier apps like Photoshop. Learning Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom would be a great tool for creating new stuff.
Lightroom has the ability to make even the most lacklustre of images come alive with colours. That has definitely caught my mind.
I’ve been watching some Lightroom tutorials on Youtube lately, and I can’t wait to try it soon!
The same applies to videos too.
Premier Pro is one of the most widely used application by Youtuber’s and other video editors in general.
But what’s the use if there isn’t any video content to edit on?
11) Make my project live sometime soon.
When it was announced that there’s gonna be a WT (web technology) project, at that very moment I had decided the topic in my mind.
And we did go ahead with it.
It’s called Books&Beyond, which is a site where you can sign up for free and read book reviews. You can write book reviews and plus, you can even download the PDF version of these books for free! The main objective of this site is that it’ll ease the readers task to decide which book is worth spending time on. They can easily get an idea about the book from the reviews section.
And I had definitely thought about making it go live at the beginning.
But there are a lot of books, genres and authors to be added. Once done, let’s see how this one goes ahead!
12) Android Studio?
First things first, I’m not a big fan of coding. I know this is weird considering the fact that I’m a computer engineering student and that I’ve to ‘code ahead in life’, but facts are facts.
But the amount of things you can do via coding is well, way too much.
Imagine that feeling when you create your own app!
Keeping this in mind, I had enrolled for a one day Android workshop which will atleast guide through the stages of making an Android App. But it didn’t go good since I was in first year with no idea about Java.
The workshop wasn’t organised properly is another fact.
Fast forward to the present:
It was one of those normal practical days when we were busy staring at the blank computer screens, trying badly to code. That’s when our teacher spots a team of 4 students in the adjacent slot discussing about their project. They were our
drop-out seniors who’ve made an
e-banking application like paytm with which we can pay bills, receive and send money to accounts, etc.
They gave us a demo and told how they utilised their free time watching YouTube tutorials of Android Studio and here they are.
With an app of their own.
Then there is another senior guy from our college who has a startup company of his own. He’s the main person behind apps like Engineering Buddy that’s too famous between students. Also, he has contributed to apps like m-indicator that almost everyone of us Mumbaikars do use regularly.
These guys are an inspiration nonetheless. I can just wish that someday I’ll be able to make an app of my own too. There’s no dearth of ideas. Just a shortage of time and energy.
13) Try a bit of gaming. A bit.
Since the arrival of my first laptop, my friend Prenav who is so so crazy about games did share a lot of games with me. All I needed was to download them, install them and play.
I did one or two of them, but I don’t know why I’m not into games as such.
A stark contrast to myself when I was in school and Junior college.
No, I’m not saying that I was a big gamer as such those days, but mobile games did excite me. But laptop games? Nah, not that much. With an i3 processor? Not at all.
Playing 10 minutes of a medium graphic game usurps down about 30-50 percent of my laptop’s battery. And my Mom won’t allow me to use the laptop while charging as such. Playing games? She’ll laugh at this statement.
“You don’t pay the electricity bill. Your Dad does.”
And the recent issues at my Dad’s workplace and the spike in the bill has kept me quiet as my response to her statements.
Mom aside, gaming doesn’t interest me much. It might be the fact that I may spend a considerable amount of time if I start playing them regularly and it’s tough for me to handle if I get addicted to something or someone.
The electricity bill taunts makes things worse.
14) Monetising this blog?
“Do you earn something? From your blogs?”
This question has been asked n number of times.
And all I do say every time is:
“Err..no.I have a free wordpress account. So..I can’t put ads in it and earn money. If I had started with Blogger, I could’ve.”
Whenever I search Blogger vs WordPress, people mostly favour WordPress due to its better customisation options and better SEO visibility. Even Mat Cutts, head of Google Web Spam team says WordPress is way better when it comes to functionalities.
People say if you want to just write as a hobby and needs a platform, Blogger is perfect. But for being a professional and getting some serious business out of it, prefer WordPress.org.
But there’s an option to monetise your free blogspot blog too with my AdSense account. ( The only criteria being that the blog must be atleast active for 6 months.)
Anyways, I found Blogger a pretty interesting platform.
(Plus, I’m tired using proxy sites to access and check my wordpress blog during my practicals) :p
Announcement #4: theSRJblog now also on Blogger!
Yup! You can find it here:
I’ve migrated all my wordpress posts here too, so that it feels complete. 😉
15) Make a list of movies and series to watch during..err after exams.
I still remember how I finished watching about 10 movies in 5 days flat after my last semester exams.
(And a complete season of The Flash in the 5 day holiday before my TCS exam. :p )
The preparation had begun long ago.
I had literally made a list of movies that my friends have mentioned as a ‘must-watch’ and then downloaded them with the help of torrent and ahem.. neighbour’s WiFi. :p
This time I already have some movies that I haven’t watched in my laptop.
Also, I’m keen on watching Sherlock Holmes and Gotham and Breaking Bad and F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Game Of Thrones and…
16) Make my post dinner walks compulsory
I still remember how important and close these 20 minutes are. That small period of the day was reserved for myself and my thoughts.
Reflecting back on what happened during the course of the day, what could I’ve done, etc.
And some days it’d be just a blank silent walk. No thoughts.
Some days, it’d be accompanied with some sad music.
But whatever it be, I have missed going to those walks nonetheless.
Thanks to the back to back exams and submissions, I had totally stopped it in between. But recently, I have resumed these walks. Sometimes replaced by badminton sessions.
I just hope I continue taking out time and going on these small walks.
Makes me feel better.
17) Temples on Saturdays-Sundays sounds cool.
Temples are the best place to find peace. The overall energy of the place is always comfy and good. The overall vibe is something I can’t express in simple words.
People busy in their prayers, the smell of incense, the sound of bells and chirping birds..
Everything. (Even the prasad) :p
I’d like to spend at least half an hour there each Sunday, or at least on alternate Sundays. But since Sundays are always meant for clearing off the excess goodies called ‘assignments’ loaded on to us, there’s rarely any time to do anything except that. But now as all that has finally ended, I hope I’ll be able to follow this.
18) Learning the art of balancing people
It’s all about priorities they say.
No. It isn’t.
It’s also about the situation you are in. Situation drives things. When you are being in a situation where it demands you to do a certain thing without considering the priorities, then that be it. There’s no point thinking or wasting time grudging about it.
There has been lot of these moments with me lately.
Let me clear out the fact that if I spend time with someone else for a short amount of time leaving you doesn’t mean that you are placed low on my priority list. There’s nothing like that to be very frank. All that you think is just your own imagination, that’ll only end up hurting you,me and the bond that exists between us.
Which brings us to..
19) Mastering the art of clearing misunderstandings
That’s my weak point.
It’s very tough to clear misunderstandings. And for me it’s even tougher. Words fail me sometimes and this is one of those rare occasions. To remove a misunderstanding does take a lot of efforts, time and conviction in your voice. Even if you are on the right side, and there’s no conviction in your voice, you’re bound to fail.
And even though if you are successful in removing that very plant of misunderstanding from your friends mind, do make sure that there aren’t any seeds left.
This one, and the previous one are important tools that are very handy in our lives and I find myself unequipped in those departments.
20) End this blog post before I say anything more stupid.
Yes! I don’t know why this took me 3 days in all to complete.
The points were already pre-decided a month back.
Plus, this is the first time I have written something while listening to music. So, there are bound to be errors at some places. Sorry for that. (My proof-reading isn’t that efficient.)
I can just hope that my complicated relationship with my books ends soon.
It’s been a lot tiring to manage it’s drama recently.
She thinks I’m in an affair with my Wifi.