Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Top 10 tips to become a Successful Freelance Writer

I often get queries from people asking me advice on how to became a freelance writer. I feel it is quite flattering but at the same time becomes difficult to explain each time. To make it easier on everyone, I figured it made sense to write about the top 10 tips to become a successful freelance writer and next time someone asks me, I can just pass them this link.

These days content writing has become one of the most common freelance activity one can do, sitting in the comfort of their homes. This does not mean anyone and everyone can become a successful freelance writer. Though it sounds easy, you need to possess a certain skill set to be successful, just like you need for any other job.

Image courtesy:

Here are the tips for you:

1) Love for writing: You need to love writing and have a flair for it. If you eat, sleep and dream writing, then this job is perfect for you. Not only will you need that passion but also the creativity to write on a variety of subjects.

2) Proficiency in grammar: Being proficient in grammar is a necessity. Without good grammar your writing will be like a ship without sails. Poor grammar will not get you good writing gigs and you will also earn significantly lower.

3) Passionate about reading : All successful writers read a lot as it helps them to not only increase their vocabulary, but also helps them to learn many different styles of writing. 

4) Good typing skills: Since you will need to write a lot as a freelance writer, it is imperative that you develop good typing skills and know how to work on a computer.

5) Good vocabulary: Having a rich vocabulary will help you create content that is appealing to the reader, which in turn will pay you better. 

6) Compromise: When you are just starting out as a freelance writer, you might find it difficult to find work. There are plenty of online sites that provide work where you can go and bid. You might have to quote a lesser price till you build your portfolio. Once you are established, you can ask for the price you want.

7) Start your own blog: This will give you an opportunity to exercise your grey cells. A blog will also help you to get feedback from readers. This will help you understand where you need to improve and what works with the readers.

8) Time management skills are important. As you will be working on your own, there will ample opportunities to get lost in the swirl of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. This can be disastrous and you can forget about your deadlines. You need to carefully plan all your assignments and stick to the timetable.

9) Make a good online profile. If you can have your own website, it will act as your online business card and help you get more work. Include the work you have done for clients in your website. 

10) Last but not the least, patience and perseverance are inherent qualities of a good freelance writer. Even when you face difficulties the key to success is to keep searching for work with perseverance. You will take time to build a reputation so you need to be patient.

Hope these tips help you in your endeavour to becoming a freelance writer. If you are already an expert freelance writer, what has been your experience? 

I would love to know your views.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Winner of Caption Contest 25

Here is the winner of the Caption Contest 25 ‘You think you are funny?’  

Drop me a mail at and I will mail you the trophy.

Hope to see you in another round of Caption Contest this Wednesday.

Friday, 12 July 2013

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - A Book Review

I read this book mainly out of curiosity for it's name and the name "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" is quite so apt for the book. The movie release also prompted me to read it. I believe in reading books and then watching movies, as most times the nuances in a book are lost in translation during the making of a movie.

The entire story of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" is a narrative by the main character called Changez a Pakistani man, to a stranger who is an American. The setting of the story is a single evening in a Lahore Cafe where Changez tells the American about his life in America, his love affair with an American woman and finally the reason why he abandoned his life there and returned home.

The entire story is in a monologue format and not once throughout the book do we see any words being spoken by the American. After a while you get the feeling that Changez is narrating you his life's story. 

The book is simply brilliant because of the way in which the author has presented Changez's character. How he goes through an inner turmoil and self loathing when he starts enjoying his life in America, but is reluctant to whole heartedly accept the American way of living.  

Princeton graduate Changez is very happy with his success and joins an elite financial company in New York, where he prospers and is well liked by his boss. He soon gets immersed in Mahattan's hip social circle and falls in love with his Princeton classmate Erica, who is still pining for her dead childhood sweetheart. He seems to be well on his way to becoming an American.

Then, the twin towers fall. His life changes radically and Changez faces suspicion and hostility from those around him. He makes the chilling admission that his sympathies were with the attackers in spite of his passionate immigrant embrace of the American way of life. This duality in his thoughts is what makes him reluctant.

The books is engrossing and the language is simple. Mohsin Hamid has done a marvellous job and you can clearly understand the thought process of Changez and the dramatic change in him.The climax of the book is taut with suspense.

There are some books and characters that stay with you for a long time, even after you have finished reading them long back. This book is one of them and is a must read for book lovers.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Caption Contest 25 "You think you are funny?"

This is Caption Contest 25 'You think you are funny?

Please give a funny caption to the picture below.

Image Courtesy : Google

All the Best. 

P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lootera - A movie review

I had read mixed reviews about Lootera so I was a bit hesitant to watch it. I went with an open mind and boy I was not disappointed. Lootera is based on O'Henry's short story "The last leaf". I had read this story during my school days and as such knew the plot of story. I have not seen Vikramaditya Motwane's directorial d├ębut "Udaan", but had heard a lot of praise for it. "Lootera" stands the acid test and is one fine piece of art.

The film is set in 1953, during the time, when Zamindari abolition act was about to be passed. Varun (Ranveer Singh) is an archaeologist who comes for a dig to Pakhi's (Sonakshi Sinha) fathers land. Their encounter slowly blossoms into romance, which later turns into betrayal for Pakhi, when Varun disappears from her life. Their next chance counter is after a year in a remote cabin in Dalhousie when Pakhi is struggling to deal with her emotions for the man she once loved and Varun seeks atonement for his misdeeds.

The movie moves at a languid pace, but at no time you want to take your eyes away from the screen. The cinematography is sheer poetry on celluloid. The dialogues are few and in many scenes the eyes and the body language do the talking. The director takes his time with all his scenes. The period setting makes the perfect backdrop for the romance between the lead pair. There is elegance in the setting, from the haveli, the crockery, Pakhi's sarees and jewellery to the old Chevrolet car. The chemistry between the actors is pure and intense. 

Lootera is out and out a romantic film, even though the story includes an element of mystery, when you take into consideration the burglary angle. To make a short story into a full length film is a tough task. Even then, the writers have kept the storyline and genre on track. The movie loses a bit of steam in the second half, when you want to understand the psyche of Pakhi and why she believes that her life will ebb away as the tree in her courtyard sheds its leaves. You don't get any answer to that question. 

Ranvir Singh is wonderful and has given a very restrained performance. The movie ultimately belongs to Sonakshi Sinha, who dazzles us with her acting. A very mature performance, where she is able to bring the character of Pakhi to life. The music is very melodious and in keeping with the mood of the movie. The background score only adds to the mood of a scene.

Lootera is a unique movie, one which we get to see rarely these days. With all the Masala movies with their fight scenes and item numbers, Lootera will quietly make you skip a heart beat and you will get immersed in the love story of Pakhi and Varun.  

I would recommend this movie only to those people who love movies and would know what a good movie is all about.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Winner of Caption contest 24 ' You think you are funny?"

Here is the winner of the Caption Contest 24 ‘You think you are funny?’  
Seena : "Special Recession Offer - Hire One get One free - Gardener cum Barber - comes with own tools ".


Drop me a mail at and I will mail you the trophy.

Hope to see you in another round of Caption Contest this Wednesday.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Caption Contest 24 "You think you are funny?"

This is Caption Contest 24 'You think you are funny?

Please give a funny caption to the picture below.

All the Best. 

P.S: For those people who would like to know the rules, please check here

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Sab Chalta Hai

The "sab chalta hai" attitude of Indians is quite famous and many even take pride in having this state of mind. Have we become a society which is used to accepting a mediocre quality of life? Are we so immune to this attitude of our fellow countrymen that we don't stop to think twice whether it is right or wrong?
Image courtesy:
Everyday we face these situations, where "thoda adjust kar lo" has become a slogan of sorts. I believe that unless we live in a different country/place where things are much better managed, we can never know the difference. 

I have noticed these very annoying habits amongst people and they remain the same wherever you go in India.

1) What Queue?: People have no patience to wait in a queue for their turn. I have seen it happening at a number of places. People will push and shove you to be first at the movie ticket window or they will completely bypass the entire line and form a second line in front of that window. They completely flout norms of decency. These people irk me a lot, they make people who stand patiently for their turn look like fools. 
I wonder what happens to people while disembarking an air plane. I feel too much oxygen and cabin pressure affects their brains. There is such a rush to get down from the plane as if it is on fire and one needs to escape immediately. Even before the plane has completely halted and the seat belt signs have been switched off, passengers have this mad rush to pull down their luggage from overhead cabins. 

Have you tried shopping for groceries at a supermarket on a Sunday? It is like visiting kumbh ka mela where, if you don't hang on to your dear trolley, you don't know if you will ever be able to come out in one piece. You have to fiercely guard your place in the queue, as there are many people who can sneak in when you are not concentrating. 

2) Mere baap ka raasta hai (My father owns this road) : Driving on Indian roads is literally going on a war path. You never know when an enemy in his car will run you over. Rash driving is the name of the game.  Half the morons on the road have no driving sense and are clueless about lane driving. I also blame the RTO for giving a licence to all and sundry. 

Many have separation anxiety with their horns and need to comfort themselves by constantly honking it for no reason. I fail to understand the point of blowing the horn, when the driver can see that  the other vehicles in front of him can't go any faster or give him way.  At such times I feel like beating up the driver or doing something equally violent (see what I meant by going to war). 

With an endless mass of humanity on the Indian roads, a few bumps and scratches to our vehicle are to be expected. But, there are times when people will damage your car badly because of their driving and will not bother to even acknowledge or pay for it. 

Driving on the wrong side of the road is a matter of pride. Waiting in your vehicle at the Zebra crossing with bated breath  and zooming off even before the signal turns green, is another adventure sport. Some people believe that following traffic rules is for suckers and since "Mere baap ka rasta hai" those rules don't apply to me.

3) Not my property, so why should I bother : Recently I saw someone, who without any qualms plucked a plant from someone's well tended garden, without taking their permission. When I asked that person why she did it, she said it's just a plant. I asked wouldn't she have been embarrassed if the owner had walked in on her. She said big deal, I would anyway get the plant, right? My jaw dropped when I heard her careless answer. The end justifies the means for such people. 

Same is the case with our roads, historic monuments and government buildings. People defile, urinate and spit wherever it is convenient for them. I can never forget my trip to the Ajanta and Ellora caves, where some of the caves containing centuries old murals and carvings were turned into toilets. As long as my house is neat and tidy, I will not bother about anything or anyone, such is the attitude of our brethren.

These bad habits have become so deep rooted in our genetic make-up that it will only take a miracle to break the pattern. Our culture of which we are so proud does not teach us these things. Then, why this "Sab chalta hai" attitude about everything? Isn't it time we stop this, nahi to aise hi sab chalega. 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Winner of Caption Contest 23 "You think you are funny?"

Here is the winner of the Caption Contest 23, ‘You think you are funny?’  

Rachna Parmar : Your tooth is just a stone's throw away!


Drop me a mail at and I will mail you the trophy.

Hope to see you in another round of Caption Contest this Wednesday.

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