15 Habits of Writers Who Are Mentally Tough
by Aneeta Sundararaj

Earlier this year, I read an article by Travis Bradberry (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248234) where he sets out 15 habits that mentally tough people should have. I analysed the same 15 habits, but applied them to the writing/publishing industry. Here’s what I came up with:

Read more on 15 Habits of Writers Who Are Mentally Tough…


Semantics of Democracy

In the wake of the dramatic political events in the Middle East in February 2011, there are many who wonder if some countries there will now embrace democracy. Indeed, since the revolution in Egypt, there is analysis of how fast its citizens were able to start the revolution to oust the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Also, there has been debate about the blueprint for democracy that Egypt will now adopt. From a writer’s perspective, however, one question remains strangely unanswered: what, actually, does the word ‘democracy’ mean?

Read more on Semantics of Democracy…


Orwell, Bell and the English Language

When I started writing many, many years ago, a friend referred me to 2 resources. One was an essay by George Orwell called ‘Politics and the English Language’. I studied the essay, summarised the points and have used the teachings ever since. The other was a book called ‘Plot and Structure’ by James Scott Bell. I’d like to share what I learnt below.

Read more on Orwell, Bell and the English Language…


7 Genres for Your Novel and How to Choose the Right One

“Go to the bookstore and you’ll see my new book on the shelves,” said a recently published author. Her book was a fictionalised account of her spiritual journey and finding God a year after her divorce. Two days later, I was at the Customer Services desk of the bookstore, giving the lady the title of the book, name of author and even the ISBN. This was after I’d already looked for the book in the ‘Literature’, ‘Asian Writers’ and ‘New Releases’ parts of the Fiction section. The lady entered all the details into the computer and voilà, she knew where the book was.

Read more on 7 Genres for Your Novel and How to Choose the Right One…


How to Be Happy Inside and Out

You’re delighted with the bonus you’ve received for a job well done. You spend the holidays with your family and it’s a happy time. A month later, you find that you’ve been promoted and this adds to your happiness. By the end of the month, though, that happiness seems to have paled. A mere six weeks later, you admit that this is a recurring pattern in your life where your initial happiness gives way to sadness; after all, these are yet another set of achievements that you’ve checked off your list. It’s almost as if that absolute happiness is fleeting and momentary.

Read more on How to Be Happy Inside and Out…


Years before Age: 10 Steps to Success

“After 40, you should be valued for your experience, know-how and judgement, rather than for the ability to work 18 hours every day.” (Korda, Michael. “Ten Steps to Success Before 40.” Reader’s Digest. Jan 1988. 49-51). Korda, the article also states, was editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster and author of half a dozen books, including the best-sellers Power!, Success! and Queenie.

Read more on Years before Age: 10 Steps to Success…


‘Circum’ – ‘Scum’: Small Difference?

“My husband cannot come to kenduri because in our kampung, we have scum session,” said this gentle lady I was giving a lift to. She was very helpful to our family in the last few days as she had been assisting with the housework. She explained that she needed to return home early because her niece was getting married in the evening and she wanted to attend the festivities at the ‘kenduri’.

Read more on ‘Circum’ – ‘Scum’: Small Difference?…


Listen and Learn
(You are free to reprint this article in any media as long as it remains in intact and the byline below the article is included.)

Ladoo was my little much-loved dachshund who died in March 2013. In the aftermath of her death, I was surprised by the number of people who contacted me to convey their condolences. Perhaps, I hadn’t expected so many people to understand my bond with this furkid. I was deeply touched by all their gestures. There was one person, however, who stood out among them all. When I telephoned her, I apologised for being sad and promised that I would soon be able to move on. Her response was, “This is your time to feel. Take however long you wish.” I have tried to describe what this meant and the closest I’ve come to is this: she offered me her time and space.

Read more on Listen and Learn…


Showing Off Isn’t Always Bad
(You are free to reprint this article in any media as long as it remains in intact and the byline below the article is included.)

In my role as a contributor for the newspapers, I come across a multitude of people during my assignments. My experiences have been generally positive. However, one experience stood out and it was with a man who refused to reveal his age, marital status or even his full name. He insisted that he only wanted to speak about the project he was involved in. What hit a raw nerve, though, was when he said; “I don’t see why the Malaysian public need [sic.] to know any of this info [sic]. No need to show off.”

Read more on Showing Off Isn’t Always Bad…