Myriad Musings

Blogging tips I didn’t follow (1k follows)

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Hello, readers. I never thought I’d do a post that has 1k follows in its title. Not only because that is a milestone that wasn’t even on my radar when I started, but also because I think it’s tacky. But, here we are.

I want to take this opportunity to give a shoutout to all my followers, my dearest readers and the generous souls who leave comments that make my day. Thanks a million for the smiles.

I also realised that, being a private person, my followers don’t know me on a personal level, even after a hundred posts. So, through this post, I’m going to touch upon my blogging journey.

Why blog?

1. I used to crucify my writing (to the point where I’ve thrown many notebooks in the trash once I filled them up) and I wanted to commit to putting it out there

2. I wanted to become a versatile writer, in terms of exploring myriad themes, styles, literary devices and genres. I thought actively engaging with other phenomenal bloggers would be a great step in this direction

3. I ardently desired to make people think and feel

Blogging tips I didn’t follow:

I mention these, not to discredit these tips, but merely to encourage you to do things your own way. There are no ‘rules’ you should feel pressured to follow, that is not in alignment with your personality and your blogging aims.

1. Find a niche

Since my focus is on expanding my comfort zone, I didn’t want to restrict myself. I’ve had the kindest readers who’ve been receptive to poems, terribly tiny tales, listicles, short prose etc.

2. Social media is the key

Since I’m a millennial who is social media free, I’ve never had those platforms for blog promotion and I didn’t deem it necessary to create them. This may change in the future.

3. Exchange is essential

There are many readers who follow me without ‘liking‘ a single post ( it confuses me till date). Perhaps, they expect a follow-for-follow. I read most of the posts in my followed sites feed and hence don’t partake in this shallow exchange.

4. Post daily 

I certainly posted daily in the age of Daily Prompts. But, it’s wise to let your post breathe for a while so that more people across the world get an opportunity to see it. With more likes, you’ve a better chance at appearing on the reader’s feed and gaining visibility.

5. Stats is your guiding light

For the longest time, I hadn’t even noticed the stats section. I’m still tech handicapped that way. Irrespective, I’ll never tailor my posts solely based on likes. I blog for my satisfaction and let my authentic self through. Even if all the numbers vanished tomorrow, say due to a technical default, I’ll still keep writing as I’ve been since I was four (mostly about cats on mats that play with bats).

I do understand the positive side of these tips (so kindly refrain from pointing them out in the comments). My only goal here is to assert that there is no definitive rulebook for success in this platform. Instead of stressing over Dos and donts, I want to empower you to do things that best serve your interests.

My warmest thanks, again, to everyone who’s been a part of my journey.

The WordPress community has filled my heart with its generous and unflinching support. It’s truly gratifying to hear your delightful, intellectually stimulating and encouraging views. I salute every blogger here and every artist in the world.

You don’t need to be an artist to breathe life into art. We can keep all the art around us alive by merely being aware of it. Thank you!

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

 

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Myriad Musings

Meeting monsters

 

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I seem to have an inexplicable desire for pain.

More than curiosity. More than fascination. A strange craving, almost.

The way you’d try your hand at a spicier cuisine or experiment with a new hobby, to test your limits.

Perhaps, it’s my ardent interest in Psychology (one of my majors).

Maybe it stems from my belief that I am truly alive when I experience the A-Z of emotions in palpable intensities.

Or is the source subconscious guilt which makes pain feel right, even relieving?

I play with pain, the way a child blows air into balloons until the loud pop!

I am my own rubber band. I fiddle, pull and observe to see how far I can stretch, until the snap.

The breaking point is yet to be found.

Maybe, the reward is in that after feeling gutted, tortured, confused, I can surface up and claim, “That wasn’t so bad.”

We treat certain parts of ourselves as inner graveyards, with unimaginable ghosts.

Meant for paying an occasional, wary visit.

It is freeing to know that the darkness in me is tame in comparison to the illusory demons I suspect I will discover.

Maybe it’s time to invite the monsters under the bed to lay next to us and start a conversation.

You never know. You might just sleep better at night.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

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Myriad Musings

New Year is a myth

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I’m all for burying the old and heralding the new.

Any reason for hope and celebration? Count me in!

Yet, as an Indian, it baffles me that we privilege the Western construct of the New Year over the different dates and traditions indicated by our cultures.

I’m also stumped by the naivete that one can truly expect Jan 1 to be different from Dec 31, the previous day. 2018 and 2019 are mere numbers unless we make it different.

What also bewilders me is that it takes a ‘construct’ to trigger man’s inner clock to pause and take a good, hard look at his own life.

I don’t look at the date and decide whether or not to evaluate where I’m at and take the necessary steps to move forward.

Here’s my year-long loop: Mark a habit, mind map a routine, evaluate, modify, try again.

I agree that we cannot be on at all times but it’s key to work towards the changes we really require a lot more frequently. I’d argue that self-reflection works miracles if it’s at least weekly, if not daily.

Becoming better is a constant; it is a state of mind and not a point in time. 

Let us determine to live consciously, with intention and awareness, and create a New year for ourselves.

Best of luck. I have faith in you. Time to make a happy 2019.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

 

 

 

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Myriad Musings

The Mystery Blogger Award

It’s rewarding to start the year off on a high note with my first Mystery blogger award, thanks to the generous author of Mes Mots, whom you can find at https://mesmotsbysazz.com/author/scorpio1987sazzy/

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Rules:

1. Put the award logo/image on your blog

2. List the rules.

3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself

6. You have to nominate 10 – 20 people

7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)

9. Share a link to your best post(s)

10. Answer the questions your nominator gave you.

About Mystery Blogger award:

According to the creator, Okoto, “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing
bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

3 things about me:

I almost never eat a meal that’s not a part of Indian cuisine

I’ve always been social media free, as in, I’ve never had an account on Insta, Snapchat or FB.  I don’t count WordPress as social media per se. I’m only on Whatsapp.

I consider almost everything art. Yes, you read that right. Everything.

I’m not going to nominate people as I generally receive responses saying that they don’t do awards and I don’t want to put undue pressure on anyone. This, in no way, discounts the fact that I love the vibrant WordPress community and have discovered awe-inspiring writers in this space.

Q & A:

  • What’s your New year resolution?

I once resolved to never make resolutions again and I’ve upheld that till date. Haha.

  • Your greatest fear?

I fear that life, as a whole, might not work out

  • If you are the last person remaining, what belonging would you like to save and keep with you forever?

Food?! Not sure if that counts as a belonging.

  • What was your best and worst 2018 moment?

It’s been a year where the highs have been high and the lows have been low but I can’t put my finger on superlatives

  • BATMAN or IRONMAN?

Ironman. Confession: I have not watched any version of Batman

Link to favourite post:

I certainly have no favourites. I’ll share one of my first attempts at slam poetry:

https://roshniramanan.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/sonder/

Thank you for reading! Stay terrific 😀

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Myriad Musings

Travel

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I never understood why travel was so hep. Is it hip? Whatever the kids are calling it nowadays.

Don’t get me wrong. I relish new experiences to the core. But, I don’t need travel to feel that high.

Learning a skillset that takes five minutes, fondly gazing at the patterns the sun makes on the greenery and creating art give me that high.

Accomplishing a goal and hearing a refreshing perspective puts me on cloud nine. Maybe I’m easy to please.

Travel is associated with exoticism. Nature and culture can be found closer to home if you watch with a painter’s gaze and a poet’s soul.

The most precious thing about travel to me is uninterrupted time with your friends or family. This, I agree with, if you commit to going Wi-Fi free.

My concern is that most people I’ve spoken to, seem to equate travel with an escape. I think time, energy and money are better spent fixing your day-to-day life over planning fancy vacations.

I’d take an escape if my world would turn topsy-turvy while I’m away. But, when I return, my mess is still mine to clean up and I find that nothing has changed.

While weekends are precious, let’s create Monday mornings that make us look forward to the wonders weekdays can bring.

So, the next time you travel, ensure that you soak in that novel adventure, without worrying about being insta perfect.

The next time you long for travel, remember that there are multiple adventures hovering around you waiting to be experienced.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

 

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Myriad Musings

What to blog on?

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As regular bloggers, we’ve all had moments when we’ve put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, utterly clueless as to what to blog on.

Let me weigh my options :

Dabbling in the French Dizain or the Korean Sijo, for foreign always equals exotic, and poetry is no exception to the rule.

Delving deep into unfamiliar territory: perhaps, a horror story, with a twist. How about an innocent exposition, supernatural action and a scientific denouement?

Exploring themes that are plausible only in the canvas of imagination. Parallel worlds, reversal of history and defying the laws of nature.

Expressing a controversial opinion. A niggle that has bothered you, and only you, finally set free for strangers to peek.

Carving a genre, a pattern to serve your needs, for all that has come before us has been engineered by a mind. Why not be an architect instead of an imitator?

Testing the waters with a form your audience is unaccustomed to. Either you’re in for a surprise and your readers are thrilled or you’re thrilled to speak to a wider audience.

Finding a purpose. Write for the readers’ joy, moralise, inspire or obfuscate. Direct your nib at hearts or shoot at minds.

In all honesty, it matters not what we write on, as long as we keep the ink flowing.

Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

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Myriad Musings

Religion

You ask me to seek the Lord in a distant temple on a faraway hill, a herculean climb, convincing me that I can please God only with the pain of my labour.

You demarcate places of worship to fuel the fire of exclusion and build walls to serve casteist and anti-woman agendas.

Can’t I find him in the sanctuary of my own devout heart? Didn’t you say He was Omnipotent?

You discriminate the disabled, reassuring me that their past birth karma has earned them their troubles.

Religion is your tool to make me feel ashamed of my festive womanhood.

You assert that my flamboyant sins would weaken the Lord. Didn’t you say He was Omnipotent?

You cloak yourself in the Just World phenomenon. Tit for tat.

You refuse to believe that life isn’t always fair.

Instead, you fancy that the Omniscient above holds weighing scales and strict calculators of Virtue and Vice.

Believe what you will. Worship a stone as the mighty lord, or elevate a philosopher or a God-man to an all-powerful entity.

Let me believe what I choose to. Don’t force your rigid rules and hidden agendas on me.

If you try to contain religion in a matchbox, it’ll combust and set you aflame.

 

Author’s note:

I’m a firm theist and this is more of a critique on the deliberate misuse of institutionalized religion, especially through beliefs and practices perpetrated in the Indian context, where there is no healthy distance between the State and Religion. For me, religion is very personal and pure and it is gut-wrenching to see it contaminated by underhand schemes for epistemological, economic and political power

 

 

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