Travel Blog #2 – My College trip to Mysore, India.

It was an emotional time both because it was going to be my last college trip and also because I was having a hard time with life in general.

I was and still am so busy with college. That’s why I haven’t been writing as much as I used to. I’ll be back here in a few weeks time. And well, this trip was a very welcome break. I was quite reluctant to take it at first and I might have even been quite salty during the trip 😀 but I’m glad I did.

If you’re wondering why I was salty, just imagine sharing a hotel room with your TEACHER. Yikes. It was too much information for me to be around to watch her bodily functions and the happenings of her personal life. 😐 Listening to my teacher talk to her mother on the phone while in our room totally changed my perspective on her. She was this strict, authoritarian professor who took no shit from no one. But getting all up close and personal has made her a lot more human in my eyes. She’s not THAT bad I guess.

There was some epic class bonding as always. People who had their noses buried in books all day let loose and tried to have fun. It was nice seeing a different side to everyone. It always happens I guess. When a group of people are thrust together and forced to coexist, they go from classmates to friends. Survival buddies if you will.

For those of you who do not know, Mysore is a city rich in culture and vast beauty. It has marvelous architecture. Maybe even some of the best you’ll see in India.

We went to the Mysore Palace. The royal family still lives here. It was like an underrated Taj Mahal of sorts.

And then we went to the head quarters of Infosys at Mysore. It’s a software company. And it put the palace to shame. Have a look and you’ll understand why!

I don’t understand in what world people get to work in places like this. I mean, if it were me. I wouldn’t be able to sit inside and look at a computer screen all day. I’d probably be out in the campus all day gawking at how beautiful everything looks.

So if you ever go to Mysore, whether you visit the palace or not, make sure you visit the Infosys headquarters. 😀

We also went to the zoo. It was hilarious because we were way too old for a place like that. 😀 But I love animals so I didn’t really mind.

– The Obsessive Writer

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Giving People What they Want

Seems like the straightforward thing to do to get them to give you their time of day, isn’t it?

That’s the advice I was given when I said I wanted more readers for my blog. I don’t know what it is about me. Maybe it’s the part of me that’s a writer that is always craving attention. (Sigh) But whenever I moan about not making a good enough impression on any kinda crowd this is what people ALWAYS tell me. “If you want them to like you, give them what they want”.

What happens when you do that? I’m not gonna say that I haven’t tried it. I have. Time and again. Failed and succeeded. The whole shebang. But I think at the end of the day I just stopped being myself. What’s the point in impressing anyone if you did it in the guise of someone else? I don’t understand the satisfaction in that.

I’ve given it some careful thought. I, like every other writer here want my blog to do well. But I’m not suddenly going to start writing about things I don’t care about for the views. Don’t get me wrong. Making my readers happy is important to me. But I believe that they come here for me. So I’m gonna make sure that this site no matter what, stays what it is. I will make sure that whenever you read anything on this site, it always feels like you’re hearing it from this same girl. And thank you for all the support so far. I’ve been a bit down lately but I’m back. 🙂 Stay tuned for more obsession this week!

– The Obsessive Writer.

Free, Personal, Premium or Business? – Choosing the right WordPress Plan

A lot of people have been commenting lately asking for advice on which plan they should choose. I recently upgraded to the Personal plan and so I have some insight to offer which is why I decided to make a post out of it. I hope it answers all of your questions.

Whether you’re just starting off on WordPress for a creative platform, or an online journal or a business there is indeed a perfect plan for each of you which was tailored to your needs.

Who should go for the Free Plan?

If you’re not already on WordPress, or if you’re simply here to experiment and understand how WordPress works. The Free plan is the one for you. You get a decent subdomain which looks like this,

“Yourblogname.wordpress.com”

It’s good enough for anyone at the beginning. And as free things tend to be, it doesn’t come with many privileges. Since it is free, WordPress runs Ads on your site and you can’t remove them or get paid for them. You have a bunch of free themes to choose from, you get 3GB of space to upload media, you get to personalize your site to a certain extent as much as the theme allows, you get Jetpack which shows you your everyday stats and that’s about it. If this is all you’re looking for and you don’t mind the Ads on your site then the Free Plan is your best bet.

Who should go for the Personal Plan?

If you’re interested in this plan, and end up buying it, you’ll probably have a nice little smile on your face because you got the best of both worlds. It’s the cheapest bargain you can get for all of these amazing features.

With the Personal plan you get an increased 6GB of storage space, you get your own domain name which looks like,

“Yourblogname.com”

It removes the ugly .wordpress.com subdomain from your website address. You officially own your site and are in control of everything that happens on it. Starting with the Ads. You can choose to disable Ads altogether or you can apply to the WordAds program and once you reach a certain amount of views per month they’ll accept your application and pay you for the Ads they host on your site based on your views. This is an amazing way to make a few bucks off of doing something you love – blogging.

If you’re a small business, you don’t necessarily need WooCommerce. (it is a feature that deals with payment and shipping of your products) You can probably just display your products and leave a PayPal link on your site to allow your customers to pay through that and ship your products on your own. But keep in mind this is only for a small scale business that’s only starting out. Think of this as a way of testing the waters before you really jump in with the sales.

The Personal plan doesn’t allow you to upload videos but you can always upload your videos on Youtube and link to them on your site. It looks just as good.

The Personal plan allows you to change the font, background colour, and other features of your theme which are not available on the Free theme. You will no longer feel boxed into the generic WordPress theme and be able to distinguish your site from others in a notable way.

The plan also comes with a live chat support with WordPress. My experience with the Happiness Engineers at WordPress Customer Service has always been a very positive one. Even as I was typing in this article, I needed their help. I was researching about the discount on each plan and I accidentally purchased two domains. It was a purchase of over 100 dollars and I panicked as it was a Sunday and I thought no one would be able to help, but they instantly showed up and responded to my emails and refunded my accidental purchase. In the past they have also helped me to set up WordAds, figure out how to use and customise themes and so on. The Happiness Engineers are a great value added service you get by upgrading to the Personal Plan. The live chat makes it seem as if you have professional help right there within the confines of your home.

To sum up, the Personal plan is for anyone like me. A hobbyist who is passionate about writing, who would like their own domain and be able to advertise and get paid for it. The customer support is also very handy. If you go on the Internet and do a small search you’ll find that everyone recommends self-hosting on WordPress.Org instead of going for any of these plans. But a major drawback with that is you lose your connection to the WordPress reader which is a great source of views. It’s an excellent community to be a part of and you lose that if you self-host.

Who should go for the Premium Plan?

The first and foremost thing is, you can start advertising instantly. It comes with all the features of the Personal plan and more. As I mentioned earlier, you can indeed advertise with the Personal plan, but you have to wait a while before you get accepted. You need to be getting at least a few thousand views a month to get accepted into the WordAds program. But with the Premium Plan you get accepted instantly.

The Personal plan is my favourite but the Premium plan is the most popular amongst users. It is also relatively cheap. And a good bargain for the features it offers.

The Premium plan allows you to upload videos and other media upto 13 Gb. That’s pretty good.

The most notable feature of the Premium plan is that you get a little more customisation. On the Free and Personal plans you can only do with your site what your theme allows you to do. With the Premium plan you can directly edit the CSS code of your site and make it extremely unique. You will no longer be tied to the limitations of your theme.

You may have seen several themes on WordPress and wanted to use it, but alas! only to find out that you had to pay for it. When you purchase the Premium plan you get access to ALL of those paid themes and they are absolutely free. Now you might start to understand why the Premium theme is the most popular of them all. Each of those themes cost over 50 U.S dollars or more. And there are hundreds of such paid themes which you get for free with the Premium plan.

So the Premium plan is for anyone who wants to use WordPress for professional reasons. You get to customise your site, get access to all the Premium themes for free, advertise instantly and upload videos directly on to your site. It’s a good bargain for this price especially because of the discount that is available right now.

Who should go for the Business plan?

As the name suggest it is mainly targeted at businesses. I mentioned earlier that a small business could do without this plan by simply leaving a link to their PayPal account. But when you’ve come to a stage where you get at least a 100 customers a week, it’s going to get complicated to do everything manually. Also you don’t see professional sites like Amazon leaving PayPal links and manually sending a human being to ask each customer for their shipping address. Automation makes things simpler.

The Business Plan comes with WooCommerce which allows easy shipping and payment for all your products. You have a live customer support team that will assist you with all your needs right from setting it all up to maintenance issues.

Google Analytics and SEO tools are of great use to any blogger. SEO – Search Engine Optimisation is essentially a technique to get your site indexed better on search engine results. The more your content shows up whenever a relevant search is made, the more views you get. You can also improve your site’s ranking which will display it above all the other sites that have results for the same search. To explain in simpler terms, people are more likely to search for something using a particular set of keywords. Only if your post has those keywords it’ll show up in the search results related to that topic. With SEO tools you are always advised to use better keywords in your content. It recommends keywords related to your topic based on their popularity. You get all this with the Business plan.

The best way to customise your site is through Plug-In’s. They’re essentially apps for your site. And WordPress has tonnes of them to satisfy your every need. Only the Business Plan lets you install Plug-In’s. Even if you’re not a business and you’re just a blog you will one day need to install Plug-In’s for some service or the other. When the time comes and you have established your blog you should upgrade to the Business Plan to get all the benefits WordPress has to offer.

The Business Plan comes with unlimited storage, unlimited access to all Premium and Business themes. You can also remove the WordPress branding from your site and truly make it your own.

I hope this post was useful. 🙂

Please drop a comment below if you have any more questions!

– The Obsessive Writer.

Do you HAVE to be nice?

I know what you’re thinking. I must be an ignorant jerk to actually ask that! But I wonder sometimes because not everyone is nice. You need to eat food to survive, and so people eat. I don’t see anyone being nice because that’s another basic requirement.

On days like today, I think it should be classified as something very important. If people faced real consequences for their horrendous actions they might stop. The world could be a nice place and there might be good more than there is bad. But even the nicest person can be mean sometimes. There have been times when I’ve been in a foul mood and taken it out on innocent bystanders.

Everybody’s fighting their own battles. However hard your problems may seem right now, everybody else has hardships too. If maybe, just maybe we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes we might be able to understand the effect our words and actions can have.

Do we have to be nice? I think you can’t always keep up with that. No one is that good at controlling their emotions. But being mean on accident, because you are falling apart is different from being mean just cause you can.

People with big roles that have an impact on others’ lives just have to learn. They have to learn to be nice. Consider teachers, they shape people’s lives. If they act like bullies then who teaches kids not to bully in the first place? I have had some discouraging teachers in the past. It just gets worse as you grow older and get into college. It’s like when you grow up, they don’t have to care as much about wrecking your dreams.

I have a teacher, she’s pretty young. She’s only a few years older than me and my friends and she constantly bullies all the kids who aren’t scared of her. You know the type? The kind that’s insecure about their authority and does mean things to validate themselves. Some days it just gets to me. How she has smiles for the kids she likes and hurtful things to say to the others. I had this moment today where I just wanted to quit school and not come back. But then as time passed I decided that one person cannot be the end of me. I can take more than that.

So for those of you, with such important roles in life, please be nice. You were given that role to do good. And for those of you like me who have had bad days, cheer up. One persons opinion is not the end of the world. Let all kinds of criticism be constructive to you! That’s how you pay them back.

Happy blogging 🙂

– The Obsessive Writer

You might need this.

Songs have that effect on people that nothing else can! They’re just words sometimes. But they hit you harder than what you read on paper.

We all have bad days. I assume I have the worst. All of our minds have a few dark corners. I hope this song throws some light on your day. 🙂

So many wonderful lives are lost to depression every day, every hour, every minute as you’re reading this. It’s a shame to think that many of them could have been saved with a simple helping hand. A kind gesture.

I am extending my hand right now, by sharing this with you. If you’re down right now, I hope this helps. 🙂

Happy Blogging! – The Obsessive Writer.

The Relationship Rule Book.

What defines a good relationship? How far are you willing to adjust for the person you love?

I hear people defining rules and standards for a good, “socially acceptable” relationship every day. It’s hard to not let it get to you. Sometimes it’s easy to let those standards they dictate define your own relationship. It happens to the best of us.

Everyone has their own definition of what’s right and wrong. Is it okay to look at another women as long as it doesn’t get physical? Is it okay as long as the woman you’re attracted to is an actor or any other unattainable person? Whenever I find myself talking about this, I stand corrected. Good men, women, people I respect they all stand by these socially acceptable standards like it’s made of stone. To all of them I say, Fuck you. I do not apologise.

I live by my standards, and my standards only. I decide whether I’m okay with the things the man I love does. We decide what goes and doesn’t go in our relationship.

But in the end, when push comes to shove, all those standards, no matter who makes them, they go in the trash. A good relationship is simply two people who will not be pulled apart even if the whole world tried to split them up. There is a natural feeling of forever when you think of them and even if a mountain suddenly sprouts up in between you two, you’d climb it in a heart beat, without a second thought. That’s what defines a good relationship.

– The Obsessive Writer

The Birthday Post

I was born on the 20th of January, 1998. Birthdays have always meant a lot to me. There were mandatory surprises and friends and family members trying their best to make my day special. I’ve always been lucky when it comes to these things. This year was a little different. It was a little crazy. And there were fewer people involved. Initially I thought it would be a bummer. I wasn’t even excited for this birthday to begin with because I thought the fewer the people, the less fun things would be. But man was I wrong. It’s not the size of the circle. It’s how tightly knit it is, that matters. In my case I just needed one person to have the best 20th birthday anyone could have. I had to write about this because it feels like the end of an era. I can no longer call myself a teenager. That part of my life is over. Being a teenager was literally my identity. In fact a year or so ago even my blog was called “Teenblogzz”. And right now if you searched my blog you will find a million instances where I make teenager references. It feels so strange that I’m not one anymore. But I am happy that I got to do everything I wanted and be everything I wanted to be in these years. There were ups and downs but I wouldn’t change a single detail.So, dear Teenage, It’s been a pleasure. I guess this is good bye. :)- The Obsessive Writer- The Obsessive Writer