Skip to main content

Want to Write Better? Become a Better Reader!

Busy with exams this month, so leaving you with this Austin Kleon post with tonnes of quotes on reading.

Here’s a few of my favourite ones …

“You can’t be a good writer without being a devoted reader.”
—J.K. Rowling

“Read, read, read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read!”
—William Faulkner

“When I’m reading, I’m looking for something to steal. Readers ask me all the time the traditional question ‘Where do you get your ideas from?” I reply: ‘We are all having ideas all the time. But I’m on the lookout for them. You’re not.’”
—Philip Pullman

Go, read.

P.S. and forward this to your friends and ask them to subscribe!


Why I use Gender Neutral Pronouns

A young friend of mine had this to say a while back, when I suggested he use gender neutral pronouns in his writing.

the gender thing. I thought a lot about it and came to the conclusion that it is okay to be biased in your writing. Me being a male, it is only natural for me to use 'he' more often than 'she'. But the idea of flipping the roles1 seems interesting :) I'd keep that in mind.

And I don’t know why that bothered me.
Am I imposing my view on a young, impressionable mind by insisting he write a certain way?
Why did I branch out of my normal, grammatical/typo corrections to suggest this?

Then it struck me. Seth Godin, saying, “People like us, do things like this.”
I believe in a certain manner of treating people.
I believe that every one needs to be treated with inclusiveness.
I believe that half of our species has never been treated with the respect they deserve. (and some others have been ruthlessly shunned)
I believe language deepens such prejudice.

And so, this is my little rebellion.
I will do my utmost to treat people with respect.
I use my pronouns so that any thing desirable or powerful or important is not automatically associated with men.
I use my pronouns so that anything associated with grunt work is not just something women do.
I want my language to be as inclusive as possible.
This is my tribe.

This was my realisation and what set me at peace.
Everyone is not like me or shares my views. I should be ever more cognisant of this fact.
I have my tribe of like minded people.
People like me, do things like me :)

As for you, my young friend, I hope to welcome you someday into my tribe!

P.S. If you like my writing, you should share this with your friends and ask them to subscribe!


  1. The role flipping was another suggestion. Flip genders when describing stuff. A male receptionist. A female surgeon. A male seamstress. A female truck driver. Copied as always, from the always wise Seth 

Happy Women’s Day!

Like I wrote at the other place,

I’ve been hugged and kissed and kicked,
and taught and influenced and befriended
and loved by so many of you!

I would not be me, if it weren’t for you!

It’s only grown truer with time.
Even more love and gratitude!


Thank you, Kushal!

Began reading The Warren Buffett Shareholder today.
This is from the preface.

Many contributors to this book remark upon Buffetts’s distinctive teaching style, which tends to instruct people how to think rather than what to think.

And

John Bogle has attended one Meeting, but attests that even one can change your world.

A couple of pages later

Our premise was that Berkshire’s intrinsic value owes a lot to the Meeting and the shareholder community.
Buffett wrote in his 2014 letter …

… This culture grows stronger every year, and it will remain intact long after Charlie and I have left the scene.

Berkshire Hathaway has created a culture of intelligence, inquisitivness, integrity and learning. This culture is part of the “company” in both the corporate meaning of that word and in its sense as a society of people coming together (com) to break bread (pan).

Replace Warren with Kushal, Berkshire with the DGPLUG IRC channel and the shareholder meeting with the Summer Training.
And, nothing changes.

Amidst all the shouting and the craziness, that is the channel generally, it all goes up a hundredfold when the training happens.
Tempers flare. The kids are unruly. Mayhem ensues.

Yet, it all settles down soon enough.
Folks learn earnestly.
Wisdom is shared.
Bonds are made. Friendships built.
Across time and space.

And the Atlas who holds this little world on his shoulders is Kushal.
It is he, who literally, wrote the book on what we learn.
It is he, who pays for and maintains much of the infrastructure we need.
It is he, who conducts quite a few of the topics we learn.
It is he, who bribes, and cajoles old mages to come share their wisdom, with callow, inexperienced youth.
And it is he, who keeps this little corner of the world, warm and cozy and friendly, year after year after year.

The number of folks who owe their careers to him are many.
And the folks who have their lives changed by the training, many more still.
I don’t remember if I ever said this to him, but he has given more to humanity in ten years, what others haven’t in their entire lives.
And somewhere in the middle of the chapter, I found what succintly summarises the way I feel about the Summer Training.

And amid their decades of lessons, they get to the core message of all shareholders at the Berkshire Annual Meeting: if you’ve never been, go; if you always go, keep going.

And for everything you do, thank you Kushal!