Want To Write? Start With Reading!

I’ve received many requests to share my writing tips. Well, to be honest, I don’t really have any, but I’ve always loved to read. It’s been a major part of developing my writing skills and I have to admit, I have ORD – Obsessive Reading Disorder! Just one book a day can stimulate my mind into creative mode and get those imaginative juices flowing. So no, I don’t really have any tips, but I believe there is one core, essential practice which is the foundation of writing.

You. Need. To. READ.

Seem daunting? It might sound like that at first, but it is the key to writing. You’ll need to read to find ideas and check your work. It happens whilst you’re writing! When I say read, I don’t mean read for a day or two then stop, I mean read everyday! Make it part of your daily routine. Make it part of your LIFE! Keep a book close wherever you go, so if you have spare time, you can open it up and peruse with ease.

At an early age, we all learn to read and as we get older, we start to read more difficult texts. We’ve been reading naturally all this time, and yet some people sweat at the thought of having to read something. If you could do it so young, why can’t you do it now?

The action of reading has many benefits. Books can teach us grammar and punctuation skills and language basics. Your vocabulary will be enriched too. Books are like dictionaries – there’s bound to be new words on show! The human brain is similar to a sponge, so it will absorb everything it reads. For me, reading also enlarges my imagination and stimulates my creativity. Books have many other benefits, such as improving your health, helping growth and much more. It’s clear that books are a writer’s best friends!

So now you see why reading is so crucial. We shouldn’t just give up reading because it seems hard or boring. If you did, you wouldn’t be reading this right now! But then there’s the choice of what to read and what’s good to read and what’s bad. Well, like I have said in the previous post, there is nothing good or bad, it’s just what you personally prefer! I love reading science fiction and fantasy, but other people might not. However, even though I like these specific genres, I still read a broad range of books. It’s great to read many books, but if you want, you can find the genre that suits you. The best way to find your perfect genre is to read a range of them, and work out their pros and cons so you will be able to find the one that you like the most. Once that’s done, you can read with relaxation and soon write! Remember, reading is an important step towards making yourself a better writer!

Yes, I think it’s great to read, but when I say ‘read’, I don’t mean just in English. You can read in your own mother tongue or your preferred language! Be it Malay, Urdu, Thai, Arabic, Gaelic, Chinese…you can read in any language you want! Don’t let language be a barrier that stops you from reading! And of course, remember to be bold, be brave, challenge yourself to read, readREAD and never stop reading! Now, if you’ve managed to read up to this point, then you’ve successfully read 581 words! So that’s me sharing my experience with you. Hope you find it useful.

Keep calm and carry on reading so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

– Lemony Snicket

mukhtar book in park.jpg

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Sunday with Adam- Life Behind the Scenes! 🎬

Hey guys! I hope everything’s swell. Are you enjoying the brand new series of Sunday with Adam? Have you guys tried the recipe for Chips to the Next Level yet? If not, then you should try it now! Finally, Episode 2 of the kids series has been released! This time, it’s… Icy Bites! This delicious dish has got cookies 🍪, which pack a CRUNCH, and ice cream🍦, which is divine and delicious! You definitely can’t resist this perfect treat! So, you’ve seen it all on screen, but you can’t imagine what life is like behind the scenes of Sunday with Adam…

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At first, I was thinking that everything would be easy-peasy, as it seems in the video. It was only until we started shooting that I came face to face with the challenges! It was going to be a bit more harder than I thought!😵

Before we started to shoot the videos, Mr OCD Uncle had to plan everything from scratch. First, he had to think of the dishes that he was going to cook. Next, he had to decide which order he would cook them in. After that, he had to list down all the ingredients he needed. Then, he had to go grocery shopping for all the ingredients. Once that was done, he had to draw a design for the plating. Finally, he had to think of catchy names that would make the dishes even more attractive. BTW, Mr OCD Uncle managed to do all of this as a ONE MAN SHOW! I would say that he is equivalent to a superhero!!😤 One second he’s cooking at the worktop and the other he’s climbing up the ladder to check on the camera!💥

When the prep was done, we moved on to the shooting. The first stage was setting the scene! Now this was a very crucial but time-consuming part of the shooting. It took almost 2 hours to set everything up before each shooting day! We had to make sure that the spotlights were in the correct position so there was no shadow. The cameras also had to be in the right place so everything could be seen. Alongside that, we needed a nice background so we had to make sure the surface that we were working on was SPOTLESS ✨! The ingredients also had to be at a high standard.That’s why, early in the morning, Mr OCD Uncle goes grocery shopping to make sure we have high quality ingredients! For example, apples had to be a strong tone of red and shiny, lemons and limes had to be the perfect shape and mint had to be fresh and crisp. Everything had to be to a T! Whew, was that hard!

As soon as everything was set up, it was time to shoot the video! This was also a long process, it took half a day to do it! We didn’t start cooking straight away though. Before we did anything else, we needed to take a video of the spread of ingredients that we were going to use in our dish. Only then we could start cooking. Plating was also a very important issue. It was critical to make sure that the food looked stunning!😱 Because it was a cookery video, everything had to look irresistibly delicious! :p We also had to have perfect timing! For example, in Chips to the Next Level, we had to get the dish to the table quickly otherwise when we sliced it, we wouldn’t get that oozy, cheesy effect. And then we faced a bigger challenge with this episode. Since we were using ice cream in Icy Bites, the heat from the spotlight could have melted it so we had to get it onto the plate fast enough. It was a race against time! You should’ve seen me running around behind the scenes like a headless chicken! 😀

Did you notice that Mr OCD Uncle has also come up with something very smart in this brand new series of Sunday with Adam? He has invented ‘While Waiting…’! It is his own trademark and nobody else has ever done it before! This is the part I find fun as much as cooking. Whilst we are waiting for our food to cook, we do an activity together. For example, in Chips to the Next Level, we played Noughts & Crosses together. Then in Icy Bites, we played Monopoly, the board game. Clever, right?😁

Then along comes the final step, editing! And boy, did that take a long time! Because of the time limit on Instagram, all videos have to be no longer than 1 minute. Can you imagine how hard it was to shorten a video with a total length of a few hours into 1 minute? And that’s not all! We had to make sure it had a flow. It also had to have connectivity. Last but not least, we had to find a song! And it couldn’t be just any old song, it had to be a song that matched the video, it had to be a song that suited it. The song had to be something that was catchy, something that would stick in peoples minds. Finally, we had pieced all the jigsaws together so our masterpiece was complete!

So you see, a short but beautiful video has taken a lot of hard work behind the scenes. And it’s not just Sunday with Adam who works hard; the people who made the movies you love and the cartoons you watch have all strived and put their heart into their creation so they could make their own masterpiece. Now you know that some of the things you love have taken a lot of labour! Always appreciate other people’s hard work!

“The greatest achievements in life are only gained by hard work and toil.”

The Pawsome Lion

Friday 14th October 2016

p/s: Let’s Cook & Sway!

p/p/s: Don’t forget to follow Mr OCD Uncle on Instagram & Facebook: @adamdidam & subscribe to his YouTube channel too!😉