Back to blogging

That’s what I like about blogging – I can blog whenever I want, where ever I want, about whatever I want.

My work had been keeping me busy for the past five months. But above that, it was a company policy that stopped me from blogging all about work. However, now I’ve decided to close one eye and get back to blogging.

My work is all about writing and researching but somehow it was more fun when I was a freelancer and not holding an 8 to 5 job. Maybe it’s the flexibility and freedom I got as a creative person freelancing.

And nowadays I find myself wanting to just submit my resignation and get back to being a freelancer. I know it’s not the best decision right now… But I’ve been doing some research and trying out some things. If it goes well, I might just be back to freelancing.. and I’ll definitely share my experiences here…

Sooo glad to be back!


Inspiration struck at…

I’m a bit slow on the Daily Prompts, mostly because I get the notifications that the Daily Post has given a new prompt, only late at night, because I live in Singapore and the time difference between me and them is huge.

So today I’m going to write about Simply the Best. That is,

When and where do you do your best thinking? In the bathroom? While running? Just before bed, or first thing in the morning? On the bus? Why do you think that is?

This was the daily prompt for the 6th of Jan 2014, and I’m 3 days late. But anyway, I only choose the prompts that are related to topics on writing, to write about in this blog. I use some of the other prompts as ideas for my other blog. Not always, just sometimes. *Guilty*

I felt like I had to write about this because I always get the best ideas in all the difficult times, when I won’t be able to write them down immediately. As a result I either tell myself to keep the idea in my head till later when I can write it down and then forget it for all eternity, OR I run off to write it down in the middle of whatever I may be doing. The latter can sometimes be very embarrassing, especially when I’m talking to someone and suddenly stop dead in my tracks with a funny expression on my face, which I think looks like “Eureka!”, but more often than not ends up looking like I got struck by lightning. Most of the time, I manage to creep the hell out of my husband like this, and I’m rather proud of it. He’s gotten used to it now.

My brain seems to work the best almost always when I’m sleepy and in bed, after I’ve found my comfortable position to sleep in. Until then I can just sit and stare into space with absolutely nothing going through my head. Once I’ve hit the bed and gotten all cozy and comfy, my brain decides to come up with all kinds of awesome, brilliant and creative ideas… But by then, I’m so lazy to even move from the position I’m laying in. Falling asleep is not always an easy task for me because of this. Most of the time, because I love sleep so much, I don’t write the ideas down and will regret that decision as soon as I wake up the next morning.. Sigh..

The next best situation is in the shower. There I am taking a hot bath and TADA! I get great ideas. There have been instances where I stop bathing halfway, wear my clothes after haphazardly drying myself, go to my room to write down the bright idea and then get back to continue bathing. Many a times, my family members have watched me in awe. Of course it goes without saying that they made fun of me as well.

I think this happens because I’m so preoccupied most of the time, constantly thinking about what to write next and stuff like that, that I burn myself out sometimes. No matter what I’m doing, I always have this thought at the back of my mind. I’m always thinking of ways to write and things to write about. Too much of anything is never good, and maybe that’s why my brain just shuts off and decides to be blank sometimes. And then, without realising it, when I divert my mind to something else that I enjoy or which makes me feel comfortable or relaxed, my brain fires up again. When it’s active again, I’m able to generate better ideas because the brain is fresh after getting some rest for a while. I am no scientist or an expert, but I do feel that this is a logical explanation. It can lead to funny circumstances but I like it when it happens…  🙂

Tips for writing Literature Essays

As mentioned in my earlier post, I was working on literature essays for a third party in the last few months, as a ghost writer. I was required to analysis stories, a poem, and drama, and write documented essays on them. In total I wrote 3 essays and finally helped the same person to edit the essays and create a portfolio of these works. It was a requirement in order for him to get a pass grade for his course.

While I was studying I had to write plenty of such essays as well, and I did well, which is why I decided to take on this job. And as I see, there are plenty of jobs to write such essays floating around on the net. Not just documented essays on literary pieces but also academic essays on a whole variety of topics and subjects. I had recently had to do a 5600 word academic paper on a disease (and the pay was extremely low!) which I will discuss about in another post. Well, the point is, since there are many such jobs available, if you’re a budding freelance writer who is hesitating to take on these jobs because you’re not sure how to handle them, then this post is for you. I just thought I’d share some tips I use to ensure the job is well done.

First of all, all essays need to be documented and include references. So take the time to confirm with your client which type of referencing to use. Mostly, for literature essays they require MLA (Modern Language Association) styled citations – both in text as well as a separate list of references at the end of the essay. Just type in “MLA citation format” into google search and you’ll find plenty of sources teaching you how to create MLA citations properly. You can find the same for other types of referencing as well.

ResearchSecondly, in your online research you’re definitely going to find a lot of sources where the piece you’re analyzing has already been analyzed. Though it’s a smart move to use them as guides, never copy their ideas entirely without adding some of your own in the essay. Word-for-word copying is strictly not acceptable, for that’s plagiarism. If you’re going to list these sources down as references, make sure these sources are reliable academic sources and not just that of a student who did his homework on a blog because his teacher asked him to. If they are not reliable sources, then you MUST rewrite it in your own words. Rephrasing the sentences are still considered plagiarism.

It’s always best to go to the library and check out any books that might be relevant to the topic you’re writing about. Books are always the best resources to show in your list of references.

If you’re more of an online person, then try using Google Scholar ( instead of normal Google search. The results in Google Scholar are mostly always academic resources.

Lastly, before writing down any facts in the essay, take the time to cross reference it with other sources. This will make your essay more credible. For example, for one of the essays I wrote, I had to research into the author’s background and things that happened in her life during the time in which she wrote that particular piece. While doing research for this, I found an online resource giving a good description  of her life and background. However, in another printed source, some details were different (dates, mostly). So I had to do more research to clear out this discrepancy before writing it down in the essay. Then, in my list of references, I included both references, with in-text citations as well.

Literature essays require good analytical skills, and this can drain out your energy easily. It also requires you to think deep and ponder about what the author was trying to portray through the many different uses of literary instruments such as metaphors, similes, symbols, themes etc. You need to be able to think from different points of views and come up with arguable central claims. It is definitely not easy work but if you have the patience you can definitely do a good job.

New Year brings Good Cheer

Hearing a good news at the beginning of the new year gives us renewed hope for the upcoming year, and that’s exactly what it did for me.

I just received news that I have been appointed as a journalist at Singapore’s national news agency, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

As much as I enjoy working freelance, I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass when the Editor asked me if I would be interested to try out for a full-time position. I was already writing articles for the paper on a freelance basis, and they were happy with my work. I was getting a decent pay for each story I submitted, and I learned a lot through these works that I got.

So I jumped at the opportunity. What did I have to lose anyway? If I got it, I’d be a full time journalist; if I didn’t get it, well, I still enjoyed being a freelancer 🙂

And here I am now, starting work again after a year and a half.

The New Year seems to bring a lot of opportunities. I hope the good luck will last throughout the year. I sure would like to wish all of you plenty of happiness, success and good health for the year ahead. Happy New Year! Stay happy and stay positive, work smart and allow time for play everyday and we should all have a great year ahead.
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A poetry blog

There is a blog that I come across everyday, because she posts more than once a day. Her posts are short but they contain deep meaning. She talks about life. She draws our attention to the small things in life, and she writes about them with such passion and love that is so captivating. Sometimes I wish I could write like her. It takes a great deal of talent and appreciation of life to be able to write like this:

I feel like if more people looked at life the way she views it, the world would be a different place. Everyone is in such a rush to attain things that don’t matter much, that they forget to take notice of the seemingly unimportant things in life. Sadly, not many realise that it is these seemingly unimportant things that really matter in life. Every once in a while, people should really stop in their tracks and take a moment to just look around and really see the things surrounding them. Not just view them with the eye but look deeper into their existence and ponder a bit about why something looks, sounds or feels the way it does. When you realise that there are questions which you can’t find answers to and that there are certain things that you just have to accept the way they are, you will realise how small we really are in the grand scheme of the universe. Maybe then, we might be able to appreciate this life that we have, just a little bit more, and not just live to exist, but make our existence worthwhile.

Are you an author or a writer?

I came across a really interesting post by Stella Tarakson in her blog. I didn’t know there was a difference between calling yourself a writer and an author. Read on to know Stella’s thoughts on this. 🙂

Stella Tarakson

In my innocence, I used to think these two words could be used interchangeably. I soon found out I was wrong. When I first started writing professionally, I quickly discovered that many people get fired up by the author / writer distinction.

What I’ve encountered
When my first book was published, I proudly announced to anyone who’d listen that I was a writer. The reactions I received were varied. Some people were interested, some were envious, most were indifferent. But, amazingly, some seemed offended, even hostile! ‘What sort of writer?’ they’d challenge. ‘What have you written?’ I suddenly felt I had to justify myself, something I’d never had to do as a lawyer.

The implication was that if you hadn’t written a book produced by a publishing company, you couldn’t call yourself a writer. Well, my book Everyday Law satisfied that criteria, making my challengers sink into sullen silence. All…

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Introducing my blog on Blogspot

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, aside from this blog, I am also developing a blog on blogspot.

My blog here on wordpress is following the niche topic of writing. I decided to make my blog on Google blogger slightly different – a blog on various topics. Accordingly, I named it Love, Life and News. Here is the link:

I hope to write about lifestyle, love and relationships, health and beauty, fashion, home deco, DIYs, my take on things or events etc. in that blog.

Do visit it when time permits and please feel free to give me your honest feedbacks and suggestions. They’ll be invaluable to me, no matter how small it may be.

Thanks a bunch in advance! 🙂