An Amateur Writer’s Blah Blah on Writing :)

β€œI think the writer has to be responsible to signs and dreams. If you don’t do anything with it, you lose it.” – Joy Williams

I didn’t get any particular sign or dream as such. Just a lot of complaints from my sister. And, maybe, one article which could possibly have been a sign – On Not Writing.

Whenever I resume blogging, I also make an effort to catch up on posts by bloggers I like/follow and the Freshly Pressed posts. Apart from giving me a sense of getting back on track, it also leads me onto thoughts I want to write about. One such post which I read (the last time I resumed blogging) was Finding your writing voice over at Wanton Creation. The reason for being drawn to it was: I had had the same line of thought and was planning to blog about it (which never happened, alas!). So, I was surprised to see a post on the same topic, with similar thoughts!

There is something I always notice when I read articles or blog-posts – the writing style. Even though I must have been doing it all along, it’s something that I realized very recently. It might be my passion for writing or maybe, just something I’ve grown to do as a result of my reading. Whatever maybe the reason, I’ve come to realize that the first thing I notice and appreciate about a piece of writing is the writing style, the way in which the writer has put forth his views. Also, I believe, that is what helps maintain my interest in the piece. However interesting a concept might be, I cannot bear to read on if I don’t like the way it’s written. Once I realized this, I was curious. Curious about what exactly led me to like a particular way of writing, what factors I looked for in a piece…and most importantly, what was my writing style, how would I judge it, how do people judge it? The latter’s a thought for another day, though.

It’s not easy to write something that engages a reader till the end. And it’s definitely not easy to make it good enough to leave a mark on the reader’s mind or provoke them to think about it. So, then, what draws a person to read a certain piece of writing (Note: I’m not talking about books here)? Let me list out 5 qualities in writing that do the trick for me:

1) Humour – It works every single time. Use humour to present your concept/thought and I bet it will get through to your readers. It works splendidly for me!

2) Simple yet compelling language – I would never want to read something that is filled with complex or generally unused words. That’s not to say I’d like something plainly written either. Attaining that balance between simple and compelling language Β is tricky but I believe that is what could reach out to readers. On that note, let me also add : grammatical & spelling mistakes are a firm turn-off when it comes to reading something. (Not that I’m perfect at it!)

3) Keeping it personal – Now, this is a factor that ALWAYS draws me to a piece of writing – the writer’s ability to connect to the reader by maintaining a certain personal touch. Instead of an article that is completely factual and impersonal, I’d opt for something that has a personal element, an article wherein the writing seems to communicate to me, engaging me in what the writer is saying. In short, I should be able to feel that the writer is talking to me through the piece.

4) Short and sweet – Β Never mind the ‘sweetness’, but I certainly do prefer articles that aren’t too long. It isn’t really about having time to read it. For me, it’s more about whether a long article will be able to hold my attention, whether it will be worth the effort. More often that not, I have strayed off halfway through a long article and just skimmed through the rest of it. So, the phrase “short and sweet” is highly relevant to me.

5) Flow of Writing – The way the concept is developed from one paragraph to another or, in simple words, the flow of writing is another factor that helps in maintaining my interest in an article. Disconnected or disrupted flow of thoughts usually make me leave halfway through the piece.

So, those are the 5 elements of writing style that capture my interest in an article.

What are yours? Do care to share.

5 Qualities I LOVE in People (or 5 Qualities that Attract Me to Others)

Since I wrote about 5 qualities I hate in others, I thought I should also be writing about 5 qualities I love and that attract me to others. I take my time to understand people, but tend to trust others blindly if I like them. So, what happens is: I like someone, I trust them and by the time I come to understand them properly, it would too late. Of course, there have been some exceptions. And those exceptions are the ones I call my BEST FRIENDS! Anyway, this list includes the top 5 qualities that would make me like a person I’m meeting or talking to, for the first time (obviously!!).

1. Intelligence – I don’t mean the ‘bookish’ intelligence. And I don’t mean the unnatural level of intelligence that people like scientists possess. What I’m talking about is a general kind of intelligence, a normal level of it, if not a little high. πŸ™‚ Someone who would fit my idea of intelligence would be a person who: has some knowledge about different subjects (a little of everything), thinks deeply about life & its various aspects, can engage in a good, intellectual conversation, is eager to know & learn more and can drive me to think more. Basically, someone who can complement me and challenge me, intellectually. It is something I admire in people, something that instantly attracts me to them. And I love talking to such individuals.

2. Humour Sense – I can easily fall for people with a good sense of humour. Not the weird kind of humour sense which is ‘humour’ only for the speaker! I’m talking about people who are spontaneously and naturally witty, clever or downright funny. I love people who make me laugh (who doesn’t!!)…and it’s always fun to be with someone who can easily dispel your worries and make you laugh out loud. A good sense of humour is something that would definitely attract me to a person.

3. Similarity in thoughts/interests/wavelength – I’m so madly drawn to people who have similar interests or share similar thoughts with me.

This is where I belong πŸ™‚

It’s quite rarely that I come across individuals who think like me. And, very unfortunately, I should say, these rare individuals mostly don’t include guys. Anyway, I absolutely love people who think or have same interests as me. Especially, ardent readers! I love talking about books, authors, so on and I’d be delighted with someone who reads, who is interested in talking about books. Apart from that, some other interests that I would possibly like to find in others are writing, movies, music, travelling & (probably) blogging. I love being with and talking to people of the same wavelength as me, people with whom I can effortlessly connect to, and vice-versa.

4. Cheerful/Optimistic Attitude – I can get really impressed by a person who is naturally cheerful and surrounded by positive energy. It is something important and extremely attractive, to me. It doesn’t necessarily mean the bubbly, hyperactive kind of cheerfulness, though I like that, too. You know a cheerful person when you see one. He will be happy, going about everything with a zeal that others (less cheerful ones, that is) lack and he will always give you a lot of positive vibes. That is something I LOVE in others.

5. Good Language – I was wondering what I would list as the last quality. I had a few in mind, but when I thought of this one, it surpassed all others, significantly. I have to admit, I’m instantly attracted to anyone who has a good language, ie. a great command over language and a good vocabulary. I have always found that I feel comfortable with those who possess this particular trait. It might be because of the fact that I can easily interact with them. In the case of guys, good language is a definite turn-on! πŸ˜€

Of course, there are many other qualities I like in others…but ultimately, I’d say, what matters is who you are and how confident you are to be your true self, with everyone.