Mused is an attempt towards a better informed society. Good content and literature is essential in making any society prosper, grow and develop. Whilst struggling with economic, political or social problems in Pakistan, we often tend to over-look the root of the cause; little intellectual growth. No matter how much we strive for our economy or peace in political matters, if we do not work on our intellectual capacities and not give food to our minds, social growth will always remain stunted.
Mused– The Art of Everything
To bring about an intellectual revolution, Daastan has been working tirelessly for these past few years in developing opportunities for writers and content creators to widen the access of literature to our public. Mused is Daastan’s first Live Show, aimed towards boosting the creative industry and helping artists accelerate their growth, both intellectually and career-wise. Spanned across a number of seasons, each season of Mused deals with a separate theme. These include book writing, female entrepreneurship, creative spaces in South Asia and more.
The first season of Mused dealt with the theme “The Art and the Artist – Writing a Book.” If you missed the live show, not to worry! Become part of the discussion by watching the session here
The Host– Miss Summaiya Naveed
Mused is hosted by Daastan’s Editor, Ms. Summaiya Naveed. Summaiya is a published writer with a particular interest in poetry. She is an English Literature and Linguistics grad in the making and has worked for the Pakistani literary community as both an editor and a content creator. She is one of those passionate writers who possess the courage to submit to whatever circumstances they are faced with while pursuing a career they love. Through Mused, she is bringing together artists from all creative communities into a single space.
For the first episode, we received an energetic and were able to reach 1000+ viewers. Here is a quick summary of what the discussion was.
What we talked about
The agenda for the first episode was 3-fold.
1. Tips on Improving your Language
The episode began with how to improve your expression. For this, Summaiya explained to us the difference between informing and expressing. She emphasized the need to express in a way that the reader feels engaged and can relate to. It was also advised to use simple basic vocabulary so that the essence of the work was highlighted and not covered up by complicated vocabulary. She explained how in the manuscripts she had come across as an editor, most writers try to plant in fancy words and phrases to make the text look more professional which often backfires because there is little sense made by merely attaching enormous words for simplistic feelings.
Another mistake she pointed out was the use of clichés in writing. This, she explained, creates a boring image and suggests un-originality on part of the writer. To improve expression, she suggested extensive reading to explore further expressions and using writing prompts to develop writing skills.
2. Preliminaries of Book Writing
The second idea discussed was the Preliminaries of Book Writing. Summaiya pointed out that when writers are inspired by some idea, most of the time, they just start writing instantly without pre-planning the material. By laying down a rough timeline of your story and sketching out the main events that will take place, the story achieves greater finesse. Thus, she suggested making a journal and keep filling it with the events of the story. Decide before hand how the story will start, reach a middle and what will happen at the end.
After setting up a fair idea of the timeline and events, start building your characters. A very good idea of doing this, Summaiya explained, was to put your characters in different situations and see how they will act upon it. Get to know your character before telling the reader who he/she is. After characterization, came setting. She talked about the importance of the time and place of your story and developing the characters accordingly. Lastly, tone and genre were extensively discussed. Summaiya describes that each genre has a specific tone which should be maintained throughout the story. The tone is vital since it is
what through the tone that the reader will connect and be a part of the story.
3. The Confidence to Self-Publish
Lastly and most importantly, we discussed the lack of confidence in many writers when it comes to publishing their own work. Summaiya encouraged writers to put their work out there and emphasized on the need for Pakistani writers to contribute in this social development of their society. She also assured new writers that even though their book might not reach the kind of fame they had imagined, they should not beat themselves up about it. Pakistan’s literary space is still young and evolving and it will take time for us to get to the point where our writers reach international recognition. But this must not dishearten you and your strife should go on. Pakistani literature needs you!
Moreover, joining literary communities on social media was another suggestion made. This will widen your exposure and allow you to explore and be inspired by other struggling or contemporary writers. Through these communities you can also take part in literary activities and improve your skills. We were lastly reminded that we ourselves are our biggest hindrance and also our biggest supporters. Which role we play in our journey is entirely our own choice.
This sums up our first live session of Mused. We hope that you enjoyed the first episode and we look forward to bringing more informative sessions to keep the healthy debate active and alive. If you feel you share our passion for literary development in Pakistan and want to work on our mission, sign up with us at Daastan. Let’s grow together!