A Sense Of Clarity

It’s only two weeks into April and I’ve already attended two events that may have possibly given me just the right dosage of clarity that I needed. While the first one made me realise how horribly I convey my writing skills to people, the second gave me the push to go forward and fulfill the dream that has been sitting on my Windows Explorer for way too long.

In both the networking event and seminar, I noticed the common trend of being delivered “speeches” by professionals who are experts in their field. It made me reflect as to the knowledge that I want to relay on to people. What is Manisha trying to say?

I’m trying to say that I love writing and that you should use writing as a medium to get yourself out of the box too – what with content marketing becoming such a buzzword around entrepreneurs of today’s generation. I’m trying to say that you neither have to be nor need a grammar police to go around making your words perfect. I’m trying to express my love for writing in a manner that will make people understand just words are to conveyed with not only a sense of marketing but has to tug on the right emotion to encourage people to jump on board and patronise your product or service.

Or anyone who wants to overcome above obstacle.

I am grateful to speakers who have helped me see through the message that I have always hoped to get across. I may have not been successful so far but after multiple brainstorming and back-and-forth with myself, I’m glad to announce that over the course of the coming weeks and even all the way into the future, this blog will focus on my personal interests – writing being the chart-topper, plus other life experiences that revolve around writing such as my previous entrepreneurial journey (up to this point) that can be of advantage to business owners, too.

Here we go.

Needed: Distraction-free writing

This weekend I fought hard with my ultimate nemesis yet again – Facebook.

I am really beginning to consider getting myself an electronic typewriter to do my writing assignments. The more projects I get, the more my mind wants to go crawling back to nosing around Facebook, and the fact that I do it so automatically is really disturbing!

Luckily, I came across a tool that would help me control this. And that too, at the perfect timing for I had a pile of work to be completed during the weekend and my mind was crying out for a solution.

I had the following things to finish:

  • Editing an e-book
  • Creating the first draft for a company profile
  • Completing two articles
  • Editing two articles
  • Preparing an invoice
  • Planning the next steps for another website

Plus, I wanted to watch this new movie that aired last night and I was trying to my best to speed through my work so I could get some time to savour a few pages of the current book I’m reading – Susan Cain’s Quiet.

Thanks to my discovery of StayFocusd, I was able to do all this and more. More meaning to get some exercise done (and then relapse by eating two slices of cake), caught a couple of TV shows, cover an entire chapter of the book and clean the house a little!

I must admit that it was hard to accept the fact that I have a ticker to tell me how much time I can spend on Facebook. Eventually, the situation went something like this – write, write, write, Facebook, check timer, panic, shut Facebook down, continue writing in fear of being banned from Facebook for eternity!!!!

Also, being accustomed to using Firefox instead of Chrome, I kept panicking whenever I would open the wrong browser for the tool was only functioning on Google Chrome and I had the freedom to use Facebook on Firefox if I wanted to cheat. But of course, I didn’t, mostly because I knew I had to finish my work and get some rest for the long week ahead.

So, thank you, StayFocusd.

Distraction number one cleared. I can now take on more writing work with one less fear in my mind and hopefully I learn how to clear the other obstacles to help me excel in my writing abilities soon.

Onward and upward.

Be gone, uncertainties!

Today, I probably received an opportunity of a lifetime.

I’ve always been driven by my passion to write. Sure, there have also been a countless number of times where the pulse rate of my passion sort of reaches below normal and I lose all muse to come up something interesting to write about. Overall though, I’ve lingered for more than 12 years with this “I want to be a writer!” dream and I’ve had a good amount of successes (and failures – let’s not forget those) to continue motivating me.

As most of you would know though, writing is not my full-time job. I write for “clients” and a webzine during my free time and blog whenever I feel like it, but that’s pretty much all there is to it. I’ve contemplated over and again about when would be a good time to drop the 9 to 6 and focus on writing 24/7 but my heart feels like right now is not the right time. Not the write time.

I finally, though, came to a decision that my need to secure my bank account is going to have to keep the writer’s dream on hold for now. I would give myself about a year or two more before I make the jump to full time writing, and in the mean time, I hope to gain enough credibility and knowledge to fill up the gaps I have as a content writer. After all, I’m no grammar genius – I still and probably always will make silly mistakes with spelling and punctuation, because I’m human.

Human.

Here I am now thinking about an offer that was very kindly proposed to me earlier today. An offer that could possibly see a life of helping other people fulfil their passions without having me to let go of mine. A life of flexibility and possibly filled with motivation to help me cross the boundaries that I’ve always been to scared to even approach at close range.

Which is why I’m stuck in a bit of a rut now. I know for a fact that I do not wish to take any drastic measures in life for the next few months (I set weird timelines for myself) but this opportunity seems rather timely, as the organisation will only run in full force – yep, you guessed it – in the next few months. I know nobody is putting a gun to my head to decide NOW but I feel like my own lack of confidence and uncertainty is going to have to take a backseat if I want to step out of my comfort zone.

The question is – is this going to be something that’ll undoubtedly help me to do that? The answer is most likely yes. But am I ready for this now? I don’t know.

I guess I have to do a little more soul searching over the course of the coming weeks (hopefully it doesn’t stretch out too long!) and find out what’s right for me and my loved ones. I could selfishly quit my job right now and run to this passion-driven organisation but I know better than to drop such a huge bomb on my family who have been pleased with my 9 to 6 routine. I guess there’s a time and place for everything and hopefully things ease in accordingly.

I’m extremely grateful for all the wonderful opportunities coming my way, but it’s a matter of doing what my heart is asking me to do. My heart – which is becoming very used to being quiet – might just have the right opportunity to wake up and start voicing out again.

The rest, as they say, is in God’s hands.

Cheers!

Welcome Year #27

And it’s March again! The 27th March for me, for this month I celebrated my 27th birthday.

PRE-BIRTHDAY

I was a feeling a little meh in the beginning, because for the first time in many years my whole family wasn’t in town to celebrate my birthday. My dad couldn’t make it.

In a twist of fate, my boss announced that we had a meeting to attend in Brunei one day before my birthday and very kindly allowed me to join. You can imagine how excited I was to hear this. My mum then decided to change her ticket to depart Singapore on the same flight as me.

Which meant – YEP, I got to celebrate my birthday in Brunei, although only for a few hours.

So off we went on Thursday evening. We reached Brunei at about midnight and then woke up early the next morning to attend a series of meetings (might I add that we got really lucky with the incidents that happened in between) and then we were done for the day. My boss then took us out for a boat ride at Kampong Ayer. You would think I would have experienced this before, being raised in Brunei and all, but in my 17 years of living there and 27 years of being alive, I have never once entered Kampong Ayer – let alone by boat!

And I had no regrets.

kampong ayerBecause judging by previous history of motion sickness, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it. Having outgrown the issues in my head, I had SO MUCH FUN on the 45-minute ride. We spotted a bunch of proboscis monkeys, a monitor lizard came really close to our boat (a lot of shrieking happened), saw a shy crocodile, a snake zooming across the waters and witnessed the magnificent views of Kampong Ayer, the Istana and the mosque.

I then brought my bosses over for a quick view of my dad’s shops and then sent them off to the airport. After that, I had an even more awesome time hanging out with Wira (hi bro!) and my kolomee, having dinner at a new Indian restaurant with my parents (cheap dinner!), and then desserts with my best friends at Paddington House of Pancakes (yumm!).

BIRTHDAY

The trip was cut short by my departure the next morning. I had breakfast at home and then had to wait in the super long queue to check in (I forgot it was school holidays). I ALMOST got upgraded but then someone else had better luck. Upon arrival, I had a scrumptious lunch in Singapore with my sister and brother-in-law. And before I forget, they were really sweet to head down to Haji Lane to get me a box of cupcakes from Fluff Bakery. FINALLY.

And that was about it. I went home, watched a couple of movies, ate pizza and lazed around because I could!

POST-BIRTHDAY

I woke up early. Prepared things to cook for my friends who I invited over for dinner, chilled out and watched TV. Had leftover pizza for lunch and then the doorbell rang and rang.

cupcakesSee, I have a track record for inviting people for a gathering but getting really bad response. This birthday brought me good luck, though, for my friend Ashrafe turned up with 27 cupcakes (there’s no such thing as too many cupcakes!); my colleague Matina was so sweet to drop by with a lovely gift; Liyana, Faizal and Mia came with like the perfect gift for nerdy me; Nickole popped by to help me finish cupcakes and to help me get my read on with Kinokuniya vouchers; Lizzie and Rama then arrived last to clean up whatever food was left on the table (thank you!). I couldn’t have been happier!

But I did because my beautiful friend Bavani showed off her amazing talent by quilling out an “m” as my birthday present.

mquill

Overjoyed.

So here’s a HUGE MEGA GIGANTIC thank you to everyone who made my birthday awesome! Thank you for remembering me. Those who were present to celebrate my birthday with me, I love you a little more!

I’m really looking forward to this year. I have a positive outlook for my job, my writing, and my life in general. I just hope all goes well for me and my loved ones. Now that age is picking up, I’m looking to step out of my comfort zone and start exploring even more things.

See: Bucket List

Cheers to 27!

There & Back Again: Stayin’ Alive

This month, I turn 27.

People say I don’t look it. Neither do I feel that old. See that kid in the picture? Word is I still look about the same, except maybe less cute and taller.

I’ve always had a dream of how I wanted my ideal birthday celebration to go. I’d get surprised with a gigantic creative cake of my favourite flavour, one in the shape of a book or with Eminem on it, maybe. Too bad for me, this never happened. Do I get upset about it? Sure, for maybe five minutes, and then I realise how blessed I am for a family who always treats me to good (read: expensive) food for dinner, followed by a round of cupcake-gorging or ice-cream-feasting session. It works wonders to calm the sweet tooth teeth I have.

Sometimes I wonder if I love sweet stuff because of the “Manis” in my name.

Continue reading on Songket Alliance…

The Five That Got Me High!

High on blogging.

I saw Rarasaur’s post, for which she got the idea from Benzeknees, and here I am jumping on the bandwagon of doing what I love most – creating lists when I clearly have nothing better to do!

Here goes.

Five Things I am Passionate About

  • Writing
  • The truth
  • Food
  • Books
  • Spirituality

5 Things I Would Like to Do Before I Die

  • Travel, a lot
  • Live in my dream house, in my dream country (yet to figure this out)
  • Visit New Zealand
  • Watch Eminem perform live
  • Help people a lot more than I do now

5 Things I Say A Lot

  • “Ok” – because, okay!
  • “Awesome” – I write this a lot
  • “I’m hungry!” – yep
  • “Sia/Sial” – an Asian expression
  • “Hmm” – clearly I don’t say much

5 Books or Magazines I Have Read Lately

  • Blogs, lots of them
  • God: A Story of Revelation by Deepak Chopra
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho

5 Favorite Movies

  • Matilda
  • The Lord Of The Rings (Trilogy)
  • The Little Rascals
  • Munna Bhai (Hindi)
  • Padayappa (Tamil)

Go on, you know you want to do it too! Just don’t forget to tag Benzeknees back!

Image Source: Cardiff

A Refreshing Glass of Productivity

And February is soon drawing to a close.

The first week of the month started out with the long-awaited Chinese New Year break where I had multiple doses of fun. It was rather productive, with me trying out new restaurants, experimenting with new-found recipes, bowling (and losing at it), playing Mario Kart on Wii (after eons of not switching the console on), swimming (or hopping around in the pool since I can’t actually swim), hanging out with family and friends and catching some good shut eye.

Doing so many things was rather refreshing. I don’t think I would’ve been happy if I spent the long weekend lazying around, accomplishing nothing.

I did, however, allow myself to get bored a little this month. While I could read on the bus on my way to work, I decided to stare out the window and zone out on several occasions. Gotta keep the brain balanced out, no?

On a more work related note, though…

I’m very grateful to the author of this article. I decided to make use of Valentine’s Day to start marketing my freelance writing to fill myself up with some love and it worked miraculously well! Out of 20 emails I initiated, I received three positive responses and a few people started talking to me about the possibility of working on their projects in the future. Love it!

To top it all of, I’m ending this month with another break from Facebook. I need to work on several articles for the new project I’ve embarked on and I really need to get in the zone and edit my friend’s book soon!

Can’t wait for March!