07 December, 2018

Are you Blogging for Fun?

I am back, after a lengthy hiatus from this blog.

I had been away because I felt unfulfilled with my blogging. I wrestled for many months wondering what was missing, until I realized today that it was the 'casual, fun, simple old blogging days' that I missed.

As digital media and platforms progressed, so did blogging. The present blogging scene is filled with Alexa rank, Google Page rank, SEO, content strategy, content marketing, keywords, hashtags and more. Picture perfect images, regular published posts, social media optimized posts, and catchy titles are the norm now. Besides these, NaNoWriMo, A to Z, and other community-based blogging campaigns have rooted themselves in the blogosphere.

I'm not saying that any of these are bad. I have been a digital media executive and content writer since the past 7+ years and I know that several of these tools are effective and helpful for many bloggers (I myself have benefited from them). However, all of this simply put me in a state of overwhelm.

I joined the tribe of bloggers who pursued all of these blogging methods, strategies, groups, tribes, and campaigns. It's not that I wanted to blog my way to the top or something, it's just that I like trying new stuff (from both a personal and professional level) and so I did. I explored a lot and didn't enjoy a lot of it. I still followed the blogging trends though as I thought one needs to change and adapt with the changing times.

However, blogging no more felt fun. That genuine feeling of satisfaction on publishing a post whether anyone read it or not was no longer there. I was trying to be too perfect, to match all the requirements needed for a blog to gain traction and visibility.

Blogging started to feel robotic, mundane, obligatory - and that's dangerous.

Checking my stats, follower count, ranking - all of that didn't really make an impact - I thought they did, I felt a momentary thrill but that was it, it was just things ticked off a checklist. It was like alright then, follower count - check, next stop is ranks - yup could do better, next up is stats - fairly okay... blah, blah, blah.

The purity of blogging was missing.

I also miss the genuine 'voice' of bloggers, some of the blogs I read today sound so similar to one another that they just put me off. And then I wonder if I'm doing the same, and it scares me!

It was then that it hit me, that I really missed the old ways of blogging for the sheer love of expressing myself without thinking about optimizing it for ranks, and views. When I blogged for the simplicity of it, I found joy, satisfaction, new friends and true readers. 

I had stayed away from my blogs for a long while because I knew that I was misusing them. I couldn't keep filling them with posts that didn't fulfill me and them. But I could never abandon them. These blogs are my best friends. I could no longer cheat them with 'optimized' posts.

So I sat back, I bide my time until I could understand what exactly was troubling me so much that my writing had stagnated. While I was on this sabbatical, I also wondered if maybe I was somewhere wrong because everyone else seemed to be enjoying blogging the 'new' optimized way. I guess everyone has their own way of things working for them. What worked for others didn't work for me, or rather, didn't satisfy me.

It has been nearly two years of writing off and on - writing only when I felt like it or when I found a worthy enough campaign that was in line with my values. After two years, I finally found what was blocking me all this while from blogging like I used to. I've decided to return to blogging for the fun of it, to keep it light, simple, genuine, imperfect,with only basic blogging tools helping me out!

Here's to finding your way out, and never quitting what you love to do!

Is there anyone else out here like me who misses blogging for fun like before? Would love to hear from you.

See ya!

Venice :)

20 October, 2017

Book Review - Harappa: Curse of the Blood River ~ Vineet Bajpai

As a kid, I was fascinated by the Indus Valley Civilization. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa’s advanced towns and systems awed me. So it was a great delight to know that Vineet Bajpai had woven a story around these ancient yet futuristic civilizations. If you love ancient geography, history, and mythology, Harappa - Curse of the Blood River is a captivating read.

What’s the Story About?
The story follows parallel storlines of two half-devtas, Vivaswan Pujari in 1700 BC, Harappa, and Vidyut in 2017, Delhi. Though they are separated by 3,700 years, they share a common bond. A bond that transcends time and holds power. There is more than meets the eye here. An evil force caused destruction and havoc in Viswasan’s ife, and now, a deadly organization aims to kill Vidyut. Why? A call from Kashi, a lethal assassin, and a secret from Harappa combine to pull Vidyut from his picture-perfect life into one filled with secrets, conspiracy, betrayals, and God.

What is the secret? What destroyed Harappa eons ago? And what binds these two intelligent, capable, and charismatic men separated by millenniums?

How’s the Book?
Harappa is a well-researched novel that blends thriller, history, and myths into a riveting tale of the battle between good and evil. It’s a highly visual story that may be a future movie, who knows? The plot and story are gripping, and keep you turning the pages. While for the most part, the dialogues are good, there are places where the author uses colloquial language that is just a buzz-kill. The characters are fleshed out more for their appearances than their qualities. The only character who had an element of reality was Damini, Vidyut’s live-in partner. There are a few action sequences that are tightly written for a visual experience - hats off to the author, as writing action sequences is challenging. Overall, it’s a dramatic story with all the right elements of mystery, history, drama, action, and romance - a bollywood story in the making, I would say.

If you thought you knew your history, you will get to know a new side of it. Harappa as you know it will change, forever. That’s all I can say, read the book to know the new Harappa.

About the Author
Vineet Bajpai is an enterprising young professional with several accolades under his belt. He is the author of three bestselling management and inspirational books - Build from Scratch, The Street to the Highway, and The 30 Something CEO.

Title: Harappa - Curse of the Blood River
Author: Vineet Bajpai
Published by: Vineet Bajpai
ISBN: 9789352685486
Pages: 316
Personal Rating: 3/5

NOTE: "This Book Review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Book Promotions". To know more log on to http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in/."

Venice :)

18 June, 2017

Book Review - A Walk in the Rain ~ Udai Yadla


When you read a title like ‘A Walk in the Rain - A journey of love and redemption’ you know you’re set for a story that needs to be accompanied by a hot cup of tea/coffee, and a cozy nook. This story covers the genres of romance, drama, thriller, and action - in all the right amounts.

What’s the Story about?
The protagonists of the story are Sunny, a reclusive man haunted by his troubled past; and Saloni, a prostitute looking out for a chance to escape her circumstances. Fate brings these unlikely allies together in the face of a deadly incident. Wrecked by their pasts and damned by their present, will Sunny and Saloni find a brighter future awaiting them? Will they find the love and redemption which their souls desperately need?

The book is written in short, crisp chapters that alternate between the past and present. The book’s ‘past’ portion will remind you of the innocence of childhood, childhood friendships, and the special moments that imprinted themselves in your mind for a lifetime. It brings forward the powerful effect a turbulent event can have on a person’s mind and heart.

The ‘present’ portion is devoid of innocence and showcases naked reality that stares you in the face. The language, the situations, and characters are filled out with a rawness that you know is true.

How’s the Book?
A Walk in the Rain is a tale of guts, motives, and mystery that will keep you turning the pages. It does get stretched at few portions. The book could have done with an extra round of roof-reading and editing for a crisper read. At first it was confusing to sync with the story jumping from past to present and to other characters. The main characters are written with great care and feel real. The cover is a clever one and hints at the story (not saying more than this). Overall, the story makes for a good, laid-back read. Those who believe in fate and love will enjoy reading this honest, realistic, light and easy-to-read story.

Look out for the plot twists and the super zinger. It’s momentous.

About the Author
Udai, an IT consultant by profession, is an avid writer and poet. Having good imagination skills, writing became a natural choice for him. Many of his poems and stories were published in school and college magazines. He is currently working on his untitled second book which is a crime thriller.

Title: A Walk in the Rain - A journey of love and redemption
Author: Udai Yadla
Published by: Kyron Publications
ISBN: 9789385783760
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 234
Personal Rating: 3/5
Available on: Amazon and Flipkart

NOTE: I received a review copy of the book from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Venice :)