Introduction

PicsArt_1447417137855The Blog

“Scribbles,” as the title suggests, is the online scribbling pad of a writer who is fed up of writing SEO content. Each scribble is an attempt to reawaken the creative spirit that SEO writing literally murders.

When Scribbles was born, it hardly had a shape—it was just a doodle, a scribble. But today, it has a focus—it is a record of all my creative scribbles, my thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects, my stories and poems, my ideas and experiences, and my photos.

“Scribbles” is an AWARD FREE blog. I am very grateful to those who nominate me for awards. You make my day and greatly encourage and inspire me. But I decided to stop accepting any more awards after the Sunshine Blogger Award because I feel blessed and rewarded whenever you visit “Scribbles” and leave behind your likes and comments.  I consider that to be my biggest award.

My greatest inspiration is my son, the little scribble, as I affectionately call him. So, I lovingly dedicate this blog to him. Thanks baby for all the beautiful colors you have filled in my life.

I am also grateful to every single person who visits this blog. Thanks for the visit. And please come again.

The Blogger

The blogger is Sonia D’Costa, Mom and Freelance Writer in Mangalore.

A list of things that interest me would be endless, so I am just mentioning a few—nature, photography, reading, writing, people, lifestyle, culture, science, drawing, cooking, blogging, photo editing, learning new things, and keeping chickens.

In brief, I am deeply interested in life and believe in living it to the lees. I am also a great admirer and follower of the Wiccan Rede: “Do what you will, so long as it harms none.”

To put it very simply, I am a work-at-home Mom (WAHM).

If you and I were to have a chat, it would go like this:

You: What is a WAHM?

Me: A WAHM is a mother who earns an income by working at home. A father who does the same would be a work-at-home Dad (WAHD).

You: How do you earn an income from home?

Me: I write.

You: Can I read your books?

Me: I wish you could, but I have not published a single book.

You: Which newspaper do your articles come in?

Me: None of them! I do not work for any newspaper.

You: It looks like you haven’t written much.

Me: You are mistaken. I have produced content in bulk. I have lost count of the number of the articles I have written and gotten paid for. I must have written thousands of them.

You: But you say I cannot read a single of your articles. Where are your articles?

Me: I don’t know. You see, I write for unknown affiliates. Once I write and sell an article, I have nothing to do with it. The person who has purchased my articles can use them any way he/she likes. Since most of my clients are bloggers and affiliates, they publish my articles on their websites or blogs.

But hey, I never said you cannot read my articles. My writings are all over this blog. You may read and re-read them as many times as you wish.

You: Who is an affiliate?

Me: An affiliate is a person who promotes someone else’s products and services. Affiliates are paid commission if their promotional activities result in a sale.

Imagine that you write motivational e-books. An affiliate is the person who promotes your e-books by publishing informative articles about them on his/her blog or website. Visitors to the website or blog read these articles and buy your ebooks. You pay the affiliate commission for the sale.

I am the person who writes all those informative articles about your motivational e-books. My content helps affiliates promote third-party products and services and generate sales. Affiliates pay me for all the content that I write for them.

You: Have you tried being an affiliate?

Me: No, but one of these days, I may. It’s not as easy as it sounds. It is something totally new to me—a totally different cup of tea.

You: How long have you been doing this?

Me: I have been writing for pay for the past 10 years.

You: You really get paid?

Me: Yes. I did get cheated once or twice, but that’s all. You see, the world has several honest people too. They are serious about their business and badly need writers. They do not want to risk losing their writers by not paying them.

You: So, how did it all begin? I mean, how did you start writing?

Me: I guess I was around ten years old when I began writing in the Enid Blyton style—stories of super independent kids heading off on their own with their well-behaved dogs and routing gangs of criminals. I never completed any of these stories. I guess most of them ended up in the fire that heated our bath water back then.

I do remember writing a Suppandi story for Tinkle when I was older, but Uncle Pai did not find it good enough for his publication and returned it to me with words of encouragement. Unfortunately, his words of encouragement failed to encourage me and I stopped writing for years.

I started again in college, and this time, I wrote in two languages—Konkani and English. Many of my Konkani articles, poems, novels, and stories got published in various Konkani magazines. I read a few of them out on All India Radio (AIR) too. As for the English writings, they ended up in the college print magazine and various wall magazines. I don’t have any of these writings with me. You see, I hate clutter. So I just chucked the pile into the bonfire.

After getting my BA, I did not write for two more years. However, once I became a lecturer, I wrote a lot of English articles, poems, and stories, but gave up writing in Konkani. A handful of my English stories got published in Deccan Herald. Since I was now writing on my computer, these writings still exist, stored in my hard disk. I have even published some of them on this blog.

I quit my teaching job just to become a content writer. Over the last ten years, I have worked for several clients. I have even edited copy for a few clients, including Mangalore Today. But now, I am a professional creator of content, most of which is promotional content.

You: I too want to write. Please can you teach me? Can you help me find a writing job? I too want to work from home.

Me: First of all, you must understand that working from home is not a piece of cake. You have to get work done and meet deadlines, and home is not really the ideal place to finish a project within a deadline. Children demand your attention. Household chores need to be done. Your neighbors drop in for a visit. The television blares in the living room. To make matters worse, you long for the company of co-workers who do not exist because you work alone. I am just fortunate that such a lifestyle suits me.

I would love to teach you how to write, but it is something that cannot be taught. If you want to write, you shouldn’t be wasting your time talking to me. You should be writing. Just don’t expect your first piece of writing to get the Booker Award. And don’t go into depression if nobody feels like reading it. Just write and enjoy it.

Many people have asked me if I can help them find a writing job. My answer is a simple no. I cannot help anybody find a writing job. But I can give you a few tips.

  • Create a portfolio of your writings.
  • Store the hard copies of your best stories in a file.
  • Create a blog.
  • You need to do the above to show the world that you can indeed write.
  • Now put on your best dress, your cleanest pair of shoes, and your brightest smile and start visiting editors of leading publications.
  • Tell them that you are a freelancer and would like to contribute your stories to their newspapers, journals, or magazines.
  • Just tell them. Don’t beg, plead, whine, or grovel before them.
  • Don’t expect all of them to get overenthusiastic about you. Some of them will be willing to give you a chance.

You don’t like visiting editors? There are thousands of opportunities online. Use Google. Believe me, it is a writer’s best friend.

Good luck!

The Disclaimer

“Scribbles” is a collection of posts in several categories. I bust myths in “Myths and Me,” record my parenting experiences in “Parenting,” write about my life experiences in “Experiences,” record my joys and sorrows as a writer in “Blogging Adventures,” store my photos in “My Photos,”  scribble poems and stories in “Creative Side,” and write about anything and everything that interests me in “Life.”

The writings in “Creative Side” are works of fiction. They are a collection of my unpublished short stories, parts of novels, musings, and poems. All these are figments of my imagination. They are not stories of either my life or yours. I am not responsible for any similarities you may find between the characters I have created and the people in your life.

Every single piece of writing here and about 95% of the images and videos are original and copyright protected. However, I have borrowed a few images and videos from friends, Wikimedia Commons, and the public domain. I have attributed all these works to their owners.

You will find a sprinkling of health-related articles in the “Life” category. I have written these posts because I am interested in mental disorders such as depression. I am not a doctor. All these articles are based on Internet research and shouldn’t be taken as a substitute for medical assistance. If you are suffering from depression or any other health issue, mental or physical, you must stop reading my articles and visit a doctor.

 

Sonia D’Costa

Mom and Freelance Writer in Mangalore

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