Balancing Life and Writing
Welcome to my blog! It's Jillian, and today I want to chat with you about a topic that's near and dear to my heart: balancing life with writing. As an author and entrepreneur, finding that sweet spot between my creative pursuits and the everyday demands of life has been quite the journey. So, grab a cuppa, settle in, and let's dive into this exciting discussion!
First things first, let's acknowledge that life can be pretty hectic at times. Between work, family, relationships, and all the other responsibilities that come our way, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Trust me; I've been there. But fear not, my friends, because there are ways to strike a balance and make room for your writing passion.
One of the key things I've learned is to prioritize. Ask yourself, "What are the most important aspects of my life right now?" Identifying what truly matters to you is crucial, as is allocating your time and energy accordingly. Maybe it's your family or your job that takes precedence. By understanding your priorities, you can create a realistic schedule that accommodates both your responsibilities and your writing goals.
Now, let's talk about time management. Time is a precious resource, and we all have the same 24 hours in a day. It's how we use those hours that truly counts. One strategy that has worked wonders for me is setting aside dedicated writing time. Whether it's early in the morning or late at night, find a time when you feel most creative and focused, and commit to it. Even if it's just an hour a day, that consistent effort adds up over time and brings you closer to your writing dreams.
Speaking of dreams, let's address the elephant in the room: procrastination. We've all fallen victim to its seductive charm at some point. But guess what? It's time to break up with procrastination once and for all. One technique that has helped me conquer this beast is setting small, achievable goals. Break down your writing projects into manageable tasks and tackle them one at a time. Celebrate each milestone, no matter how small, and keep that momentum going. Trust me; it's incredibly empowering to see your progress unfold.
Another valuable piece of advice I'd like to share is to find a support system. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who understand and appreciate the writing journey. Join writing groups or online communities where you can share your experiences, seek feedback, and find inspiration. Having a support system not only keeps you accountable but also provides a safe space for creative exchange. Remember, writing doesn't have to be a solitary endeavor. Embrace the power of collaboration and connection.
Now, let's not forget self-care. Taking care of yourself is just as important as pursuing your writing dreams. Make sure to carve out time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Whether it's exercising, meditating, or simply taking a leisurely stroll in nature, find what brings you joy and helps you recharge. When you prioritize self-care, you'll find that your writing becomes even more fulfilling and authentic.
Lastly, let's address the elephant in the virtual room: technology. Yes, the digital world can be a double-edged sword. While it provides us with countless distractions, it also offers incredible tools to boost our productivity. Embrace apps and software that help you stay organized, set reminders, and track your progress. And when it's time to write, consider disconnecting from social media and other online temptations. Give yourself the gift of undivided attention to your craft.So, my dear friends, balancing life and writing is a delicate dance. It requires intention, perseverance, and a pinch of flexibility. But rest assured; it's absolutely possible.
A Voice Out of Poverty
by Jillian Haslam
A woman’s ascent from devastating poverty and childhood trauma to international standing as a prominent advocate for the poor and helpless.
As a young girl, Jillian Haslam saved a life. Herself tiny and aching from malnutrition, she stood for hours at a tea shop, begging for a ladle of milk to try and prevent her newborn sister from dying of starvation.
From the slums of Calcutta to the executive floors of a global bank, A Voice out of Poverty offers an unflinching look at one woman’s journey from destitution to success.
Throughout, Haslam demonstrates an inexhaustible drive to rise above adversity and find beacons of positivity in impossible circumstances. But her rise doesn’t stop at the top; she returns to her roots again and again to extend a hand to those left in the impoverished communities that she so narrowly escaped.
British by ancestry and born in India after its independence, Haslam and her family suffered degradation and prejudice. They were forced to live on the streets, flee danger in the middle of the night, and face persistent abuse and starvation.
This treacherous environment is the backdrop of an unlikely story of resilience and an unshakable family bond. From squalor and powerlessness, Haslam finds countless moments of grace, community, gratitude, and love.
A Voice out of Poverty is a raw and inspiring memoir that shows how beauty can be found in improbable places, and how “success” is not just the act of making it through. Rather, it is the act of reaching back to bring others with you.
A bristly, grey rat jutted its head through a wide crack in the peeling stucco wall, its long tail draped behind and hidden. It squinted its beady eyes and sniffed the air, as a light drizzle started to dampen the ground.
A few feet away, an older homeless woman, sitting under a precarious building canopy, shifted her eyes towards the rat, without moving her head. A stray dog nestled next to her, one of three gathered snuggly around her, bared its teeth, and growled at the rodent, without rising.
The woman swiveled her head in the rat’s direction and shooed it away with a claw-like hand slicing the air. The rat withdrew, vanishing inside the wall. The dog returned its head to rest on its paws and closed its eyes.
The drizzle turned into a light rain.
My mother and I took in the rat scene side by side as we ambled down the street. My eyes remained riveted on the homeless woman. I wondered if she had a family or young children like me. Then, the noisy “pop-pop” of a Vespa flew near my eyes and broke my concentration, causing me to pull my head back abruptly. I gripped my mother’s hand as tightly as I could.
The rain was now steady but not enough to flood the crowded streets or inhibit the pace of the fast-moving foot and vehicle traffic. I looked up to see an old man pulling a rickshaw coming towards us. I stared at him. His emaciated body looked as if his skin could peel off in thin layers, like a stale onion. He stared at me, sharing his single black tooth. I held my stare.
The rickshaw puller veered off the line of his path, forcing a dilapidated scooter that packed an entire family to swerve near us. The scooter splashed mud onto my legs and dress, and I started to cry. My only proper dress was drenched with filth. I now would have to undress to underclothes while it got washed. My mother stopped and crouched in front of me. I didn’t hide my disgust.
Jillian Haslam was born in 1970 and raised primarily in the slums of Calcutta. Despite the severe devastation of her family’s living circumstances, she completed her education and landed her first major employment as a personal assistant to the CEO at Bank of America in India.
Jillian rose through the ranks, and Bank of America appointed her president of its Charity and Diversity Network in India, where she spearheaded charitable work in four different cities. This led her to receive three philanthropic awards from Bank of America: the Star Recognition award, the Service Excellence award, and The Individual Achievement award.
In 2011, she published the first version of her memoir, Indian. English, which chronicles her life growing up amid dreadful poverty, abuse, and tragedy. The book sold over 150,000 copies, mostly while she was on the speaking circuit. Her story also incited interest from Hollywood and British film directors and producers, leading to the development of a feature film.
Charitable giving became Jillian’s life work. In 2012, she received the first runner up award for The Asian Woman of the Year in the “Social and Humanitarian” category. In early 2015, The Telegraph of Calcutta presented Jillian with the True Legend award for her exceptional contribution to social and humanitarian causes. In mid-2015, she was recognized as a finalist for the Role Model of the Year award for her work delivering speeches in educational institutes across the UK. In late 2016, she received an award for Excellence in Humanitarianism. And, in 2017, she received her greatest accolade, the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award.
Jillian became a speaker in demand and is a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). She has delivered several TEDx talks, among other prestigious speaking engagements, on various topics that flow from her life story. Jillian speaks on topics that include entrepreneurialism, the power of the mind, and human resilience.
She has also been featured on various TV networks, including Channel 5 and the BBC, and a wide range of print media, including The Independent, The Pioneer, The Times, The Telegraph, The Metro, Gulf News, and other major media outlets. Jillian’s charitable work continues under the auspices of the Remedia Trust where she oversees several separate charities: Ageing Smiles (for the elderly poor), Happy Hearts (for children), Empowering Girls (for teaching various workable skills), India’s Disabled (for building a mobile medical unit), E3 Growth (focused on education, employment, and employability), and the Mother Teresa Project (for women and single mothers).
Jillian currently lives in London with her husband.
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One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card.