5 Key Take Away from Asian Women Writers’ Festival (AWWF)

asian-women-writers-bannerI recently attended AWWF in Singapore. One of the prominent writers (Shobhaa De) from India was coming to launch her book during the event. My main attraction was to see and hear her. Later I realized many more (prominent) writers from other parts of Asia were also attending it. The pity was that I read about them only after the event. Post-event, my reading list has changed. After witnessing these writers speak, I plan to read their work.

5 key takeaways from the festival.

1. There is no set rule for writing
Each writer is unique and has their own set of style. There are some basic guiding principles but ‘modern’ writing is breaking them away. As long as one has something to say, how she says it, doesn’t matter. The good thing is today we have all sorts of readers who are on look out for cutting-edge work. I also attended the workshop organized by Sabyn Javeri. She mentioned in her session that there is no formula for writing. Majority of us attending her class were not confident about our writing. Everyone thought that the person next to her was better. But the truth is, the words are yours, the thoughts are yours, the ideas are yours then you should have complete freedom to write them down.

2. Writer’s block
Yes, it actually exists! At times, I am staring at the blank paper and words just don’t come out. It is a horrible feeling but then during the workshop, many writers spoke about similar experiences. It was interesting to see writers speaking about their challenges. One of the solutions suggested by the author was ‘Free Writing’. Take a pen and á paper and just write for 5 minutes non-stop. Practice it every day, first thing in the morning. This will help in getting the flow. In case you do suffer from the block, don’t force yourself. Break that chain of thoughts. Look around, go outside, take a walk and shift your paradigm. And probably the thoughts will start flowing again.

3. Women writers have no age
It is never too late to identify ‘a writer’ in you. In the workshop, there were ladies from 16 to 70 years old and they all had written something at some point. For most of the women writers, writing take a back seat when it comes to household work, children or any other home responsibilities. And that’s where discipline come into picture. Sabyn  made few volunteers to read their work. They were wonderful. One of the girls was school goer, probably 16 but there was so much in depth in her writing. People loved the lines she wrote in limited time.

4. Writers can be trained
I always thought that the writers are born with something special. Of course, they do have some talent but one can always hone that skill. The myth I had in mind is gone. I firmly believe that with practice, right guidance and inspiration, one can improve their writing skills and become a fine writer. As long as you are honest and are ready to commit to your passion, things are bound to improve. So, yes writers CAN be trained.

5. Writing is a voice
This is a known fact but then I witnessed the magnitude of it by hearing the speeches from various writers. How their writing had impacted many lives! Writing invokes thoughts, feelings and imagination in readers ‘mind. Having that kind of impact on people is amazing. As a human being, there is an underlying desire to be heard. Writers are blessed not only to be heard but inspire millions.




Why are women not money manager?

This still stays valid as I don’t see women taking charge..Btw I did buy property on my own…discussing end to end research and bought it and I am very proud of that.

Empowered Women Lead

This is the topic that I want you all to think on a serious note. This weekend I met with a friend who works as a counselor during her spare time. She is into IT and this is her way of giving back to society. She was giving me examples of women who are undergoing through depression, anxiety or some sort of mental/emotional imbalance. Her organization, counsel and help these women to come out of the extreme situation. There was one common problem in all the examples and it was money management.

Some of the women are working mothers and some still don’t have a child yet. Though they are working and ambitious in their careers like men, they have the least control over the money they are earning. The money that they earn is being managed by their husbands, brother, or father. They are dependent on them for smart investment…

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Focus, Grit & Confidence

On common mistake all job seekers do is that they expand their job search too soon. When there are fewer openings in a particular field, one tends to look for jobs that are similar. It all depends on how badly one is looking for a job. One has to understand – the more effort you put in, the higher is the expectation. If searches are not fruitful, it leads to disappointment. There is no magic formula to get an interview call. If there are less number of jobs in the market, rest assured that it will take time to land a good job.

Job search

Google Image: Job Search

Today I am suggesting you three key formula that will help you to find your dream job with comparatively less frustration:


Don’t lose your focus even if you need a job badly. One has to be extremely focused on the specific areas (relevant to his skills). The area of focus may not be relevant to your current experience. And that is alright. As long as you are clear on the future, don’t look back. The path would be tougher for the one that doesn’t have relevant experience but still, she should narrow down the search. Beating around the bush will not fetch you anything.
Every morning, the first thing you do is look out for roles that are matching your area of search. It is less time consuming and you can focus on other things like doing a course that will help your career, developing a business contact, identifying some other skills you may have etc. So, focus, focus!


This will land you in interviews. Once you have identified the role, it is your determination that will fetch you a call. There are few jobs in the market and many people are applying for the same. How would you cut through the clutter and get a call? One may think of refining her CVs to make it look outstanding, she may look for referrals or for that matter anything at all that may get her THAT one call. Determination and patience are important to help you find the right job. I think people get confused with finding a job versus looking for the right career move. Looking for a job is comparatively easier than looking for a job that is your next career move. So, have that grit and you would see a difference in how you approach the whole process.


Now focus and grit will land you a call. It is your turn to convert that call into a lucrative job offer. You have to know what you are supposed to know. In other words, you should know your shit. If you believe in yourself, other people would believe in you. In interviews, you not only have to show that you are good but you are better than others. Sometimes, during interviews, people tend to get nervous. They may know the stuff but they fail to convey. If you are one of them, my suggestion would be ‘fake it till you make it’. Faking confidence during interviews are very common. At times, it works. The recruiter that is calling you is not the subject matter expert himself. He doesn’t know the selection criteria of the candidate (not talking about the one on paper). It is you who has to make him believe that you are the ONE he has been looking for. It is more like a boy is looking for the most beautiful girl but then ends up falling for the average looking school friend. Only because she convinced him that she is the best for him.

Keep these things in mind, and I can guarantee, you will see success 90% of the time. So,


Why #metoo was a Tipping Point?

It is never too late to talk about a powerful campaign like #metoo. It spread like fire. One morning, it started appearing on facebook feeds. Nobody had clue on what was happening. I still remember, Twitter was filled with #metoo for next couple of days, many people tweeted their views and pictures. #metoo campaign erupted like a volcano. It left me thinking, the sexual harassment debate has been ongoing since ages then why the #metoo campaign was a Tipping Point. Though it is a fact that there was underlying discomfort among women regarding key issues like gender equality, sexual harassment and low representation of women in certain industries but there were efforts to encourage them to break the glass ceiling. But then what really happened? Here are some of the reasons why it may have caused such an uproar :

1) Showbiz & Entertainment industry – Though sexual harassment may be prevalent everywhere but showbiz is where this exploitation is heard more often. For many years, women have been a pawn at the hands of biggies. They were easily crushed in case they don’t succumb to their demands. No one raised questions because no one wants to be seen as troublemakers. I think one of the reasons why women chose to speak unanimously is because it was coming out from an industry where an enormous women are being exploited for several years.

2) Social Media fueled the campaign – One of the reasons on this campaign being huge success was that women from all over the world could connect on one single platform. All of them started sharing their stories and that encouraged other women to share too. Never before, such platform was provided when women could voice an opinion that could reach to millions, in a fraction of seconds. Such is the power of Social Media. People debate about how Social Media is changing human behaviour and the negative impacts of it. But this kind of revolution instils faith in today’s privileged future.

3) Shared a common Pain – When this campaign was launched and an 18-year-old chose to tweet about it. It touched the hearts of all other women who were suffering in silence. They wanted to speak out but who is going to listen. Women chose not to speak because of the shame it can bring and the social stigma attached to it. But this time, they rose over the social stigma to voice out their pain. They realised that there are other women who had similar experiences and that gave them a relief and the comfort. Women found comfort in each other’s pain.

4) Celebrity endorsements – This added fuel to the fire. It had a huge impact on the overall campaign. This campaign started in response to the allegations on Harvey Weinstein. Celebrities like Alyssa Milano reached out to everyone tweet #metoo. It was very powerful for a commoner. If women in such powerful positions had to go through such experiences then they become one of them. Women tend to put their bad experiences under wraps but when celebrities who are also role models, were involved, they had no shame in coming forward. Multiple celebrities were involved – Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Lady Gaga and many more.
Alyssa tweet

5) The condition of women is a lot better today – Another crucial point. Even though we have a long way to go, the condition of women is much better than before. Women are educated, leaders in their respective fields, breaking glass ceiling every single day. They are social, politically and financially more powerful than how it was 25 years ago.

I am sure there are many more reasons why women decided to speak up and the way it is going now, it doesn’t seem to end anytime soon.

Women have been accused of not speaking enough, not supporting each other enough, not grabbing the opportunities, afraid of taking risks etc. But as we speak, all of these are going down one after, another

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Who are you competing with?

Let’s face it. We are always taught (as a child) to compete with your next best. In the beginning, it is for motivation sake but then it becomes our habit. We are constantly looking for a role model or a person who could invoke a feeling of jealousy, who is good enough to compete with. And while doing that, at times we end up rubbing off people the wrong way. Upsetting someone who could be a dear friend. We also end up losing a series of opportunity that may have come with the new friendship. So, all in all, losing a chance to learn, losing a valuable friendship and on top of that, come across a stupid.

During early school days, I was less interested in studies. I had no other outstanding talent. To win from where I lived, the only means was to “study”. In class 3rd or 4th, I met a girl who contributed to a great change in my life. I didn’t like her much but we were on good terms. I was always pushed to be friends with her because she was good in studies. She was a poster child of every parent. And like any other child, I had the deep desire to be like her so that I can make my parents happy. I competed fiercely until the age 12. The competition was so fierce that it was discussed in teacher’s staff room. The competition was bittersweet but then she gave me a direction. I was lauded for good in studies and that kind of pushed me to study harder. It worked for me. But it didn’t end there, for a long time I kept on looking for my next competitor. And of course, I didn’t find one. When you move out of the house, you have a sea of people waiting, and then you need your support system to deal with them. You start building your support system and they come from your friends or people you deal with in daily life. You shouldn’t end up competing with them. It is always great to be inspired by someone but then aping or feeling jealous is a negative part of looking up to someone.

Much later I understood the only person I need to compete with is “myself”. Life is short. There are many things to learn and do. Everybody chooses their own path based on their individual experiences. You can’t compare yourself to anyone. It is an insult to yourself and your achievements.
Who are you competing with.

Having said that if you still strongly feel that emotion of jealousy, then direct it in a positive direction. Jealousy is usually negative but it is still an emotion. You can also turn it around and make it work for you. Don’t hold your emotions and feel guilty about it. Just channelise them.

Some people are so naive that they start competing with strangers. That is a sign of low self-esteem.

Like I said the only person you should compete with is Yourself. Improve yourself every single day and you would love the improved version of yourself. The benefit of that is – relationship with loved ones are not impacted, people tend to be more supportive, and you will inspire others instead of invoking “jealousy”.

Life is like a bus and friends are like passengers. During the journey, few would get down and some will get on. On every journey, you have many opportunities to meet new people and build new relationships. So, don’t miss out on that.

Compete with yourself only and you would love what you can do with it.

P.S –  Guys, I am looking for some feedback on my writing. If this blog is reaching out to you, please comment below and let me know how you feel about the posts on the blog and how it can me improved. Thank you for your help!