The Zen of Good Writing: Awesome Workshop by Suma Varughese

Writing Workshop

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The Good Writing Workshop

I recently attended The Zen of Good Writing Workshop by Suma Varughese which was a wonderful experience. Some weeks back I read her book 50 Life Lessons and reviewed it here. I came to know about this workshop on her Instagram profile, and decided to enroll for it. It was a general writing workshop with no particular genre in focus, but it did have a “Zen” to it.

The objectives of the workshop are:

1) To equip with tools of good writing

2) Make the participant fall in love with words and writing

3) Augment verbal skills

4) Kindle the confidence and kickstart the writing journey

It was a two days online workshop. A PDF had been provided which was to be printed and formed the basis of the workshop. The writing workshop was in sync with the international standards, particularly when it came with the styles of writing.

In the writing workshop while everyone was a budding writer, there were also poets, and painters and getting to read and see their art was indeed wonderful. Besides, I got to hear a moving story by a fellow participant that really made me thinking some of the situations in my life.

In the two days workshop, the best and the most unique part, I found was the pre-writing meditations, which was indeed something that I had never thought about. Also there were Affirmations for the writers.

One can master the skills of writing, but if one doesn’t have the mindset to handle it, the skill by themselves are of not much use. I have seen prolific writers pursuing traditional publishing and writing full length manuscripts every six months, but faced with rejections stepped aside. It is in such situations that these meditations and affirmations can be of great help in creating the confidence and empower one for the long journey of writing. Besides, with these, one can be manifesting success as well.

The Good Writing: 30 Days that includes Sentence Construction

An interesting feature of this workshop is that after the two days workshop, for the next thirty days, on the working days, word is given each day for sentence construction. Each day, on the WhatsApp Group, Suma Varughese would provide a word with its details like meaning, synonym, antonym, and also her own sentence. And we had to construct a sentence from that word. I have written the following sentences:

Sentence (the word on which sentence was to be written is highlighted)Remarks by Suma Varughese
Day 1The first words spoken by an infant is always mellifluous as if god’s own voice has been expressed through their innocence.Beautiful
Day 2The dreams during sleep makes us wander to unknown places, and often in that serendipity of wilderness we discover solutions to the pressing problems of life.Superb
Day 3The speaker beamed with effulgence of logic, but the audience found the speech acerbic and unkind.Very good ….the effulgence…
Day 4The Interstellar movie beautifully depicts time dilation when the space crew lands on the planet with undulating waters; each hour on that planet equaled seven years on Earth.

Revised: The Interstellar movie captured the essence of time dilation when the space crew lands on the planet with undulating waters; each hour on that planet equaled seven years on Earth.
Beautiful


Good
Day 5The Kathak dancer used her foot movement adroitly in sync with the tabla and twirled with eclat, an effortless poise like planet Earth that creates day and night by its disciplined spin.Beautiful analogy, Anup. A little correction…eclat with the effortless poise with which Planet Earth creates….
Day 6I recently visited a restaurant in Allahabad and was surprised by the decor in which iridescent strips of light were shaped into contours of a bare tree.Beautiful sentence
Day 7The whirring sound had reached a crescendo and made me feel as if I’ll faint, and then the dentist stopped the high speed bur and inserted a piece of cotton soaked in some chemical, bringing me instant relief.Lovely, Anup. A visit to the dentist is no picnic.
…as if I would …
Day 8Ravi’s heart was pounding looking at the laptop screen. Despite his best efforts, he had been unable to finish the exam paper. This was the moment of truth, and as he typed his roll number, his lips quivered with prayer. As the screen refreshed, he looked at with disbelief, and was flabbergasted to find himself in the top ten rank holders.Wow, awesome, Anup. Great use of the word and very well written.
Day 9A person ruthless in action and bereft of compassion may gloat in their victories, but ultimately lose respect.Beautiful
Day 10The leader shifted his head from left to right and looked at the people who were eager to listen, and took a pause that increased their curiosity; and then he spoke with a flourish and flamboyance that was remembered even a generation later when my father would recall the speech, though he could not recall what exactly was spoken!Beautiful… you should have given the leader a name. Remember never to leave questions in the reader’s mind.
Day 11Many real estate developers advertise idyllic settings in their brochures to the prospective buyers; but when it comes to reality, they are handed a run-down version where there are barren rocky lands instead of the green grassy gardens, muddy pathways instead of paved roads and a moss and algae filled dilapidated tank instead of the dreamy blue swimming pool.Beautiful, Anup. The sad part is that they advertise idyllic settings which they themselves destroy for profit.
Day 12“Get up. Shine. Be resplendent. Spread your light on everyone around,” the self help Guru exhorted the people who listened to him with awe as if mesmerized.Beautiful, Anup
Day 13The human mind is the fountainhead of all knowledge that has evolved, but its pristine essence is lost by the various aberrations emanating from its darkest corners.Beautiful, Anup
Day 14The management guru Peter Drucker, says that charisma is a cloak used by popular leaders for misdirection of public opinion and hiding their failures, and that all charismatic leaders have led their countries to economic bankruptcy and downfall.Beautiful, Anup. Very true that charisma is often used to manipulate.
Day 15Many psychologists and scientists have spent their lifetime trying to understand the way human mind functions, but this creation of nature continues to be inscrutable to the existing tools of science, and its mysteries continue to be explored by the philosophers, mystics, and the ordinary individuals whose deep personal experiences are rejected by mainstream science in name of imagination, hallucination, or simply termed as lacking rigors of scientific method.Beautiful and true, Anup…the human mind…
Day 16Sunset points always attract, but every evening is different – the hues that color the sky are ephemeral and the shades of sun are transient, as if the nature is telling us that there is no single way to see or define beauty, except to seek and find it.So beautiful, Anup…..as if Nature….
Day 17In the science fiction movie Avatar, an unwritten concord exists on Pandora between the local Na’vi tribe, the sacred tree of souls and the wildlife, all working to protect each other from exploitation by the colonizing humans.Beautiful, Anup. How I love that movie.
Day 18Jug Suraiya’s columns in Times of India was replete with piquant wit and humour.Very good, Anup
Day 19When little girls get to wear a sari for the first time, they sashay along the room with great pride, doesn’t matter if anyone is looking at them or not.So sweet, Anup.
Day 20Exemplary courage is not in fighting and winning, but in the ability to diffuse conflicts and bring peace.Superb, Anup

Suma Varughese also conducts various other writing workshops – those relating to advanced writing and also journal writing. You can find the details and dates of the various writing workshops on her Instagram profile at https://www.instagram.com/suma.varughese/ (That’s where I came to know about this writing workshop)

I’m sure, whatever point the participant is at in ones writing journey, they will gain a lot of insight through the workshops conducted by Suma Varughese.

Anup Mukherjee

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