Tag Archives: art

SO YOU WANT TO DO YOUR OWN THING?

This article is for all those of you out there who have been wanting to strike out and do something of your own: be an author, a painter, a musician, or run an independent business. When you choose to go your own way, without the security of the paycheck, you are choosing to be an entrepreneur. And this article is for each one of you out there! Enjoy.

To go from learning to performing – how quickly can you do that? That is what entrepreneurship is all about. What a lot of wanna-be entrepreneurs do is, after they have their big inspiring idea, they wait around, share it with friends and guess what? It dies a natural death. That’s right.

The problem with entrepreneurship is that it has a huge element of madness in it, a huge amount of risk, where you choose to walk away from your safe haven and strike out into the unknown. 99% of the people you know will tell you what a great idea it is, and yet, how there are a million chances that it will fail.

If you are a wanna-be entrepreneur and have shied away from starting your own venture one time too often, the thing for you to do, is keep your ideas to yourself.

Think out your idea in your head, plan the massive action that you need to take and on a pre-defined day, JUST DO IT. You don’t need approvals, you don’t need suggestions – enterprises are meant to rough it out.

The best thing about most enterprises is that you can start small and keep changing course as you progress in your entrepreneurial journey. So if you are among those that have been watching from the sidelines, keeping your safe little job, well, step out into the rain. That’s where the action is. Get that water on to your skin, soak it in, run with your idea, and run like mad. It is one of the best things about being an entrepreneur – when you are running hard, you can’t hear the naysayers… so you just keep going.

And when you keep at it, rest assured, you will reach your destination one day. Remember, don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it. The truth is, they can’t, and that’s why they assume you can’t either.

The only voice you need to listen to is the voice that is inside of you. And it will lead you to be the entrepreneur you have always wanted to be. Wishing you the wildest luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

~ Bharti Athray

image source: https://www.pinterest.com/dinglemor/the-joyful-jog/

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A DAY TO FORGET

The little girl ran across the road, chasing a small brown puppy she had just fed. Cars on the road screeched as they swerved to avoid the little body running across the road recklessly. I stood at the bus stop nearby, my heart beating fast as I watched the girl narrowly escape accident twice. While the drivers yelled from behind their wheels, she crossed over to the footpath, and managed to get hold of the brown pup.

Her messy ponytails fell forward as she leaned to pick up the jumpy fur ball. She was scolding him for being naughty or so it appeared to me from where I stood. Slowly my heart calmed down, knowing the girl was safe. As the child continued reprimanding her little friend, completely oblivious of the chaos she had caused on the road, the onlookers slowly shook their heads and moved on.

The world returned to its busy-ness.

I wondered at these strange moments of life, where one wrong step, a second’s delay in braking from one of the many drivers could have changed so many lives in an instant. It could have become a day none of us there would ever forget, in a bad sort of a way. But it had not, the girl, her puppy and the drivers were all safe. And the sun shone pleasantly, making this yet another day I would soon forget.

~ Bharti Athray

4 SHORT TIPS ON LONG CONTENT WRITING FOR ASPIRING WRITERS

At the risk of sounding absurd, I would like to share some fairly obvious pointers for aspiring young writers.

I had the opportunity to interact with a young writer recently and realized that things have changed considerably since I got out of writing school. Students don’t write as much they used to; they are spending a lot of their time on social media, What’s App and Instagram. With all of these being short content media, most of these young aspirants don’t really get into long content writing space. Yet, they aspire to become writers.

If you happen to belong to this club of millennials, here are a few tips that may help you get started on doing some serious writing. After all, you do need a portfolio to share if you are looking for a gig as a writer. So here goes:

  1. Read long content writing. It could be in the form of blogs, short stories, ebooks on kindle, or just plain old novels – the kind we read in the pre-internet era. Some of my favourite writers of all times, especially if you like to finish a story in one sitting include Edgar Allen Poe, Guy de Maupassant, Roald Dahl, Anton Chekov, to name but a few.In the blogosphere, I follow and thoroughly enjoy posts by:
    Anthony Wilson (http://anthonywilsonpoetry.com/lifesavingpoemsblog/);
    Stuart M. Perkins (https://storyshucker.wordpress.com/)
    Andrew toy (https://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/)
    Ian Brodie (http://www.ianbrodie.com/welcome)
  1. Analyse the work you read. A serious reader shared this tip with me early in my writing career. Just because you are reading some famous writers, it does not mean you need to accept everything they say without questioning it. As a writer, you need to look at what you are reading from different perspectives. If you find something of particular interest, read up more about the incidient, story, reference as shared by other thinkers and writers of the time. This will give you a more holistic view of what’s the incident was really all about. This is a great way to broaden your horizons and increase your understanding of the topics that you read.
  2. Read autobiographies of the authors that interest you. The stories of their lives will shed new light on their works as most authors draw on their own experiences however remote the references may seem.
  3. And last but not the least, WRITE long content. Set up a blog – you are pitching to be a writer, put up regular posts. Sure, ideas and creativity are the soul of contemporary writing, but writing is a skill, just like sketching or playing the piano.

You need to work on the skill and the ‘wordsmith’ing to be able to write smooth flowing content; especially if all you want to do is write a brilliant tweet or create a smart FB post that you are hoping will go viral.

Great copy and crafted headlines are usually the result of long hours of thinking, and crafting away at a few words that sound perfect when you get them right!

What are your tips for aspiring young writers to help them get started on their writing careers? Do share in the comments box below!

~ Bharti Athray

The Poor Soul

The World is chasing a Poor Soul to the very ends of the consumerist universe. Somewhere along the way, the Poor Soul reaches the edge of a cliff. The rabid World came closer and closer, its loud ads, the life sucking entertainment, the terrifying mind-numbing apps are now within a killing distance. The Poor Soul must choose: to jump off the edge of the Universe as he has always experienced it or be murdered at the hands of these merciless capitalists whom he has rebelled against all his life.

He looks back, the madness in the eyes of those who make up the capitalist crowd is terrifying. In that second, the Poor Soul jumps off. He chooses death of life as he has known, leaping off into the unknown, arms flailing, his heart seemed to have stopped beating… yet the barks and screams of his hunter reached him… standing at the very edge of the cliff.

The cold wind of the unknown, the dark hollow of a space unexplored hit his face as he fell. Something burned deep within him, tearing his insides, cutting through his muscles, and it hurt. All he wanted in that moment was to feel the world he had left behind under his feet. He cried out loud as the realization that he had jumped into nothingness rose in him. He fell, uncontrollably, like a stone from a 30 storey high-rise. His arms tried desperately to clutch at something – anything, but nothing changed. He continued to fall, the cold dark wind coarsely brushing against his skin, when suddenly the fall slowed to a float.

He sensed a warmth of another atmosphere, not completely unlike where he had come from. The sense of familiarity, inspite of the darkness made him feel a little better inside. His chest was not burning anymore, the knots in his stomach loosened, he could control his movements. Even as he floated downwards, he noticed little dots of blue lighting up the pitch dark space around him. Gently, ever so gently the floating motion led him downwards, rocking him into a tired, exhausted sleep.

~ Bharti Athray

Image Source: darknightrp.wikia.com

Five things I learnt while running my own business

At the advertising agency where I work, I have been a partner for the last 8 years, which is like a pretty long time. During this period, I have gone through a transition from employee mindset to business owner’s mindset. I share these learnings for those of you in the creative space, working as freelancers, as independent creative agencies, and hope you will see the truth in these faster than I did. I had to lose a couple of really good clients, before I began to accept these as entrepreneurial truths.

  1. You never, ever argue with the client. The moment you argue with the client, you have lost her. If you want to get a point across, do so in a calm, composed and civilized manner. Never argue, no matter how friendly your equation is. Never forget, you are still a hired professional.
  2. When at the negotiating table, say nothing. Once you have made your offer, be silent. If the conversation continues, feel free to talk about the actual job and the deliverables, do not approach the numbers talk again. The other person gets the message that you are not willing to negotiate any further.
  3. A client typically hires you for what he thinks you know. Unless you have done some other kind of work for a common contact in his network, it gets a little difficult to upsell a client on your other services. Be ready to prove yourself in another space, when the opportunity (emergency) arises!
  4. Do the thinking for your client. Too often as creative people, we wait for the client to give us a brief and other comprehensive details on the job. In my experience, most of the time the client is really clueless about what he wants.
    He needs to see the draft creative to be able to say, “No, this is not what I was looking for, I want it like this.” I try to think out my clients’ needs as much as possible, so then all he really has to do is make minor corrections / tactical changes.
  5. Be ready to go back to the drawing board. While you are thinking for your client, there is a good chance that you haven’t really understood the client’s perspective on the communications piece. It happens even to experienced teams every once in a while. So after putting in a fortnight of hard work to come up with that brilliant creative, you have to be ready to start again if the client rejects the lot.

What have you learnt during your stint as a freelancer or a self employed creative? Do share your inputs below.

What gets me writing

There are a million reasons why I don’t have post up every day. Lack of ideas on what to write about is not one of them. My issues are usually quite technical: I write in my diary, I don’t get around to converting into the soft format, I didn’t make the time; you know, lots of the usual kind of stuff.

As you can imagine, the question I often ask myself is whether I have a problem with discipline or whether I am unable to organize the necessary technologies to achieve the one post a day target? Though I don’t have an answer to that yet, I do know I need to work to get more posts up. So how do I get myself to do what I want / need to do to have my posts up regularly? Here are a few tips that help me:

  • Avoid conversation when I am ready to write: I need to be in the zone to write. This is the zone where I have been thinking about something on a continued basis, and any conversation at this time will completely throw me off track.
  • Listen to classical Indian instrumental music: I love listening to instrumental flute pieces. So when I am ready, I plug into long sessions of flute and type away. You could experiment with different types of music till you find something that works for you!
  • Keep my diary and pen with me always, when I am not around a computer: When I have the urge to put my thoughts down, I do it there and then, if I don’t, I know I never will.
  • Stay with my topic: There are times when I get half way through writing out an article, and then lose steam. I leave the article unfinished and come back to it when I have a few more ideas on the topic. This also means I need to live with the topic at all times.
  • Get emotional: I need to feel about an issue very deeply to be able to write. This is something I have realized only recently. When I am busy, when I do not have the time to connect with myself, when I am just rushing around, I can’t write. I am almost numb. I guess those are times when I don’t allow myself to feel anything. To write, all I need is some emotion: extreme joy, happiness, sadness, anger, helplessness… anything but something. I look out for events, people, things that get me to feel.
  • I believe what I think matters: For me, writing is about validating myself, giving meaning to my existence. Writing lets me voice my thoughts, my opinions and lets me create my little dent in my corner of the world. Or should I say blogosphere.

There are always days when I don’t even want to look at a blank screen or paper, and others when I just can’t keep away. But for me, understanding what makes me write and why I write has been a step closer to doing what I love to do, on a more routine basis.

Have you discovered interesting stuff about your own writing habits? I would love to hear about them!

~ Bharti Athray

Image source: http://gigaverse.com/

I made a doll

IMG_6453A fellow blogger recently made me realise that its absolutely fine to making all kinds of things. It does not just have to be poems, sketches or stories. So i made me a doll. Thank you, Sue!

She herself is constantly exploring her creative side, and is currently making some beautiful sketches. Check out her blog here: http://drawsshootsandleaves.com/