Our private writings

We have written previously that this blog contains but a fraction of our private writings. Since the late 90s we had been writing about each of our travel journeys. In those early days we actually printed them out and bound them into volumes. Don’t believe us?

Heheh… well here’s proof:Travel logsLong Journey

You see, first we have a large collection of books. Then we have our own ‘publications’. Not that you will see them on the shelves of the nearby bookstore anytime soon though. Heheh. The only thing is that as time went by the volumes got thicker and the number of years included in each became less.

Why?

Because each story got lengthier. The transition was made from film to digital (remember this post?) and we started to dig deeper into the destinations that we touched, such as the food we ate etc… you get the picture (no pun intended)… Today we have completed three volumes that exceed 1500 pages. Volume 4 is on the way and probably due by 2021. Only folks who physically visit our home get to read these volumes and the corresponding beautiful photo albums Suan produce.

Coincidentally the name of our private volumes are the same as the recently concluded newsletter. Recently we have started a new monthly circular aptly named “New Horizons”. But it is privately circulated and not published.

As social media continues to evolve, we are beginning to witness the rise of private groups and networks that are not public. Are you catching on to that too?

Topics for travel writing

Recall our earlier post about travel topics (here) to write about? We are afterall a travel focused private blog though we do have very diverse interests ranging from financial to history & politics.

As you might have read in another post (here), one of the issues for most bloggers is the a mental ‘block’. Authors of best sellers have it, journalists fear it, and it seems bloggers will meet with this too… don’t tell us you’ve not experienced this! Of course we shared a link.

Well fret no further, for even Wiki has a link for those who run out of ideas here.

Of course the links and suggestions we have shared are but just ideas. And the creativity in you will surely morph them into something else. Something unique, with a different paradigm or focus. Good luck!

Travel Blog topics

When you first started out blogging, what grandiose plans did you have? Or was it all spontaneous creativity that you believed you had that prompted you to make the leap into blogosphere? Did you have a plan at all?

A number of weeks back, we touched on the subject of writer’s block (here). Somewhere in that post, it was postulated there were a few reasons for the blockage and some ways to overcome them. We also shared how we seem to have an endless supply of posts which is published every 2 days (more often too if we wanted). And it does not include photos only posts… that’s for our instagram account. Even though we are actually very actively working folks. Very. We emphasize that.

So today we are continuing that conversation with the thought of having pre-prepared topics. Sort of like meals ready to eat. Simply heat. Wow, did you see that slogan coming? Would you consider any of the ideas Sabina wrote about here?

Of course one needs to be more creative than simply copying these topics. Remember we also said previously that the things you love to do the most can be an endless source of inspiration and creativity? Well, the trick is to make it so. Tweak these topics to suit your own interest and come up with your own list. Expand them as you go along. Be observant and write your thoughts down. Some of them can be topics too!

Before long, we are sure you will not only have your own reservoir of topics and ideas, but also some to share with others!

Blogger’s block

We’ve all heard and read about writer’s block. That’s the time when you seem to run out of ideas when you sit in front of the laptop. We are sure you have experienced this on occasion. The feeling of loss and seeming blank you draw…

There are actually posts about why you have writer’s block. Perhaps some of them are scientific while others are sort of dodgy. And if you Google it, these are some of them:

  • You’ve Lost Your Way… heheh
  • Your Passion Has Waned. It happens… yup
  • Your Expectations Are Too High… trying to earn money from blogging?
  • You Are Burned Out… stress?
  • You’re Too Distracted… too much other things to think of?

Think this was from a writer called Jane Friedman.

So how is one to get back into inspiration? Again if one trawl the web, there are quite a list of methods such as:

  • Going for a walk (it actually helps in our view)
  • Eliminate distractions (eg put yourself in a quiet room?) Nah
  • Do something to get your blood flowing… ?
  • Play… (hmmm wonder what that means)
  • Change your environment
  • Read a book (which always helps)
  • Free write (heard of it?)
  • Listen to music (yeah why not use the lyrics as inspiration?)

One reason we seem to post every 2 days is because most if not all of the posts are scheduled well ahead. How do we have so many posts? For one thing we have a few running series – such as our handprint stories from journeys past. And then there is the MRT series… and then…

Most important, we actually draft numerous half complete posts with just the title and some sentences, whenever we hit an inspiration. That way, we can come back to them later and “fill” them up. But our secret is in short posts – not much more than 300 words and usually around 250 words unlike this one. Short, sharp and impactful where possible.

Also, we sort of turn back to food when we run out of ideas… because that’s something we really like – to eat that is… heheh. For us, the things that one likes a lot is always a source of ideas and creativity. Don’t you think so?

PS: you might notice we are not active on WP anymore. It’s like a phase in life. Sometimes one get all excited over this ‘new’ thing. When something else comes along, well… anyway the pre posts continue, just less interaction hereon…

A Fact freak

Do you love infographics? Because we do. You see, we find it all fascinating to read and know more about the countries we journey to touch. It’s not a feeling that can be easily explained. But it gives us a sense of satisfaction to know. Just like that.

So it was such a pleasure to leaf through the graphics that this article presented.

Now you need to take this all with a pinch of salt. And that is because all that is presented needs to be time-bound. Almost nothing stays static, so things do change – such as the “facts” shared in the graphics. Did not bother to click and read? Well, let us fill you in with some of our views.

Can you believe that the biggest import item of Israel is diamonds? Now you might know we’ve just been to Israel and back. In that seemingly parched country we’d thought water would have been imported. Perhaps it is, and is a lot cheaper than the shiny stones… imagine that. Can you even guess what is the top imported AND exported item of Switzerland? And if you had taken a look at the Europe graphic, you might understand some of the geopolitics at play there between the EU and Russia.

Students of economics should have field day dissecting this.

Our little red dot has virtually nothing save people. Some theorists contend that we (countries) all have comparative advantages. What do you think these are for your country?

Pricked you interest to read the link?

Travel Anti-blogging

They say that sensational news sells. And in a world where beauty and perfection are relentless pursued, it is not surprising that only the ‘sexy’ travel blogs attract attention. Think about it. Would you rather not post a photo of yourself well manicured, poised and dressed in the finest possible in an exotic locale? Or would you be okay with the unshaven and worn look?

Anti-blogging appears to be a rising trend.

If you read Nikki’s essay, she will convince you that there is a better way of sharing. One that does not embellish nor focus solely on the individual in us at the expense of the wider environment we live in. In many ways she has pointed out something that seems to afflict all of us : we only present the good news when it comes to traveling. Or worse, we selectively share only the good bits and string it together as if the entirety of the journey was as wonderful as those posted moments.

It’s about responsible writing.

And we pledge at this blog to do this, ie share good and poor photos as is. Grainy old film scans as they were and not photoshopped. Tell it as it is and not overly intent on glorifying any particular moment.As we have remarked in the past, it is better to travel with a purpose.

What kind of writer do you prefer to be?