From Writing

Fear of Public Speaking? 8 Useful Tips on How to Conquer It

Let’s be honest. It is not easy to speak to a crowd. To put it another way, it is not comfortable to talk confidently to an audience. I was afraid myself for quite some time. I would deliver but with less confidence and clarity. I guess my culture and the education system were both discouraging in this regard. But, over the course of my career as a student and as a teacher, I do not have that fear anymore. Although I have improved quite a bit, there are always new ways to seek to how to become the best speaker.…

The One Book You​ Should Read about ​Argument

An argument is not making a loud and persistent noise to silence to convince others. Neither is it speaking faster or overtalking the other to “win” a point. Argument can simply be defined as “a connected series of statements intended to establish a definite proposition.” Stanley Fish in his book Winning Arguments says,  “One general thing that can properly be said about argument is that it is essentially the art of persuasion, the art of trying to move someone from an adherence to position A—which might be political, economic, domestic, aesthetic, military, theological, whatever—to an embracing of position B” (Fish 2016, 7). Below…

A Positive Writer’s Path to Perfection

What is a writer’s path to perfection like? When do you know your writing is perfect? Actually, there is no easy way of knowing. Writing is a process that requires constant hard work. It involves breakthroughs and challenges everytime you write. But it gets easier when you keep up the work. The problem is many people stop writing because they do not feel the progress. And many quit rather quickly. For me, patience and persistence are the keys. If you do not continue writing and quit because you did not feel the improvement, you will never improve. If you persist,…

Explaining the Process: Isbah’s Approach to Creative Writing

For me, writing is an expression of love, a channel to ventilate excessive emotions, and a medium to revolt against the social and cultural practices I disagree about. In this vlog, I talk about the creative aspect of writing. Being a follower of Romanticism, I use Wordsworth’s definition of poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of strong feelings; it takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility” to describe the process of writing I practice. Hope the vlog will serve as a stimulus for reflection on your own way of thinking and writing.   Isbah Ali Farzan is a blogger. Most…

How to Build Your Identity Capital as a Writer?

Identity capital is your collection of personal assets—a repertoire of individual resources that you assemble over time. In other words, it is the things you do to invest in yourself. Some identity capital goes on a résumé such as your work experience and credentials, and other is more personal, like how you speak and behave, where you are from, where and how you spend your time, etc. As a writer, what do you need to do to build your identity capital? Let me remind you that to be a writer is to do many things of which, of course, the most…

Where to Get Creative Ideas for Writing?

Getting creative ideas for writing can sometimes be challenging. But, the world is full of ideas. Both your world and beyond. It requires skills and habit to grasp them. I will walk you through a fundamental and essential guide to where to get these ideas. Of course, what I recommend is by no means the only way(s) to gather ideas for writing. Start with this question: What are your interests? On an average day, is there anything on top of your mind that you would like to write about? One way to know is to find out what do you spend…

How to Write When You Don’t Want to?

Let me tell you a story. Many a day I sit in my chair to write but have nothing to say. Nothing. I wonder about ideas, but everything eludes my mind. I look at the blank page, and it shamelessly stares back at me. This continues until I drop a random, first line about anything. Sometimes, it is about how I feel at that moment. Other times, about what I did during the day. Once I see the first line, then comes the next and then writing, still raw and devoid of meaning, takes off. I keep writing about random stuff like…

Overcome These 3 Problems to Stay on Top of Your Writing

When was the last time you wrote a page? Can you recall? Don’t panic if you can’t. So many of us struggle keeping up with writing although many are good at starting it. The truth is writing is a challenge. To write every day or very often is even a bigger challenge. The question then is what keeps us from writing regularly, or writing at all. In my opinion, there are three simple but critical problems which are difficult for most of us to overcome. But, the good news is there are ways to fix them. Let me explain them one…

Essential​ Tips for Learning English as a Second Language

Naila Sahar  Having taught English as a second language in some of Lahore’s prominent universities, I have seen the recurrence of a typical pattern of questions and concerns that my students would raise in the classes. Some of such concerns included their inability to speak fluently in the English language, their confidence levels that had been lower regarding speaking in front of their classmates, and their complaining about not being able to speak in the native accent of English speaking countries. I feel after teaching the English language for 12 years, I am able to identify where the frustration of…

Why Write? Some Reflections

Why write? I have thought about this question for a long time. In my research, I discovered that writing, compared to human existence and world history, is a recent development. The Sumerians in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia -present day Iraq- were the first to invent cuneiform and hieroglyphics systems of writing in 3,500 B.C.E. They used cuneiform for trade and communication purposes. The Sumerians also used it to keep accounts and documents. Scribes were trained in reading and writing. These scribes knew how to use catalogs, libraries, calendars, forms and tables. With time, the usages of writing expanded to many…