Why Learning is Unlearning

I created a list of urgent tasks yesterday. I started out with 3 points and slowly expanded the list to 16 points. I noticed that as soon as I had written down a point, I would forget the rest of my concerns related to that point (unlearn) and then my mind would start scrambling again till the next point comes in view (learn).  This “Learn and Unlearn” process can be seen almost everywhere. Think about it! its a scattered process because the universe is scattered.

The problem with creative people is that they are a kind of universe. For example, I know Technical Writing, Biological Sciences, Philosophy, English Literature, Event Management, and Mathematical Sciences. But during my spare time, I am an explorer who is continuously learning something else; for example, Dancing, Acting, Nutrition, Photography, and Creative Writing. I do all these fun things on the side because they are part of my existence and I cannot exist without them. This intriguing challenge is there because “Learning” is tied into “Unlearning” and this is a critical element of “Adult Growth and Development”.

Here are some useful articles on this phenomenon:

Why the Problem with Learning Is Unlearning
Learning and Unlearning: A Journey of Self-Acceptance
Unlearning: The key to unlock 21st Century problems?

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Byakugan and My Stereodepth Vision

Simulacrum means that some of the fiction is derived from reality and some reality is created by using fiction. I was just reviewing Naruto a while ago when I noticed the Byakugan. The Byakugan allows the clan to see further away and in more detail than the rest of the humans. It’s like X-Ray vision where you can see people by using their energy shields (post 1, post 2). High levels of Stereodepth vision is like the Byakugan because it lets me sense people even if I am not looking at them. It also lets me see my friends and family during sleep by allowing for psychic signals. So, animes represent the reality but in exaggerated form; and, it plays out the personality styles pretty well. For instance, Hinata uses Byakugan to execute the Eight Trigrams 32 Palms style. Similarly, ENFPs like me do things in a specific sequence, which allow for a stronger reaction at the end. For instance, the ENFPs do not engage in throwing bluffs while trying to prove something. They only bow to properly researched and proven data and documentation while making conclusions or issuing statements. That’s how their brains work. Hinata’s Eight Trigrams 32 Palms style as well as the attitude of Hinata’s brother Neji are actually great examples of ENFP-style learning. In the Dojo, the ENFP would rather learn every point and then create their own sequences and styles than to fight like the rest of the martial artists─and best of all, they don’t ever give up. Naruto does a great job in utilizing personality styles and its more in demand because the viewers feel that all the conversations and tackles are for real. If you really want to ace in writing, then learn about all the Personality Styles and hang around relevant individuals to see how they talk and react.


Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

How I Beat Stress

Coping with stress isn’t an easy thing to do especially when you are changing into a mature adult. It requires patience and persistence as well as an understanding about your mental and physical needs, which change as you age. I must comment that as a psychic, I have to dodge a lot of negative energy and embrace the positive energy. There are times when I am sitting in a place where there is so much negative energy that my sponge-like brain absorbs all of it; and, then it can retain and replay it back for several years. This is why a lot of my stress relieving activities involve managing my energy levels.

Here are some stress relieving activities I employ to beat stress:


Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Creating a More Spontaneous Approach to Writing

I am listening to some of my recordings about women abuse and entertaining lucid dreams. They aren’t straightforward and sometimes I am acting. They feel very impressive although they are just the first draft. Listening to myself feels very difficult because my voice has a certain sort of resonance or vibration to it─this has been noticed by those who have come across me─ and its not just my smart approach and use of literary devices. Its very confusing hearing myself out because I end up sounding more creative when I am being spontaneous─I hope my eyes don’t fall out of my sockets; some of the recordings are really that fast. By the way, these recordings are a response to a comment by one of the judges whom I met at one of the events where I gave a performance. He told me that he felt very stupefied after hearing my poetry and then he commented, “I wonder how amazing you would sound if you were to act a little more spontaneous”.

Copyright © 2010 by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Brainstorming as a Character

This is a hectic technique because it requires use of acting and writing skills. You can do this routine in small chunks; you just need to know where each snippet is saved. To accomplish this technique, you will have to role play and imagine being in the position of your character─be spontaneous and shocking. I use this technique to handle characters who are a little foreign to me or who have so many aspects that it is tough to imagine them comprehensively. For instance, for my upcoming novel Saryan, I am brainstorming to figure out the way the cops/detectives react, behave, and think. During this routine, you will have to use your mental and physical notepads to scratch the surface of your observations and then scratch what lies beneath. Here you are not only building your character but you are also learning how to make this character stand out. This session will have two phases: brainstorming phase and then an expansion phase. During the expansion phase, you will take your brainstormed content and re-imagine it within the setting of your novel.

Here are some ideas I just generated while creating the cops/detectives for my upcoming novel Saryan:

  • Always give them the benefit of doubt while acting nice or getting along.
  • Always suspect everyone.
  • Always take mental notes of everything that you observe and see.
  • Listen to all the nonsense crap someone is saying. There are clues in there.
  • Be supportive of community. People think, “We have found a good cop. Life will work out this way.” That’s how people share information with you.
  • Sometimes, they tease to intimidate you or for fun. They think if they should be teasing everyone who belong to a group or just be selective about it.
  • Think in a scattered way without feeling an obligation to agree with his/her peers. For instance, “What’s this other sound? No! that other sound. Where is it coming from?”
  • Able to form concrete conclusions by using less evidence. Hence, the line, “You might be ahead criminal, but I am 10 points ahead of you.”
  • Be secretive about things and hold back. This requires lots of patience and most people cannot do this at all.
  • Throw a litmus paper test to see if someone is on your side or not.


Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Act It All The Way Through

Writers can learn from actors because acting is inherently linked to writing. I know this because I have always felt drawn to the actors and their minds─like Charles Dickens, I am an ENFP who likes to act because it drives her mad with pleasure. When some writers are thinking of fun things to say or different ways of conveying the same message, they mumble sentences to themselves. Others prefer to close their eyes, zone out, and think. Rigorous writers like me use brute forcing to create characters and dialogues by acting in front of a mirror.

I have been acting in front of the mirror or playing make-believe games ever since I was a child. Because I wasn’t formally introduced to any professional writers as a child, I did not knew what this need to act meant. In one game, I used to hold my hands up after twisting them at my back and then circle the room for like an hour or so. Mom used to feel puzzled at this game; so I would tell her, “I am the penguin.” I used to feel somewhat puzzled at myself when similar behaviour continued during my teenage years. While I was attending high school, I would secretly enjoy acting as a teacher and writing on walls while teaching imaginary children. Only as an adult, I realized that this acting was actually assisting me in designing dialogues while interacting with imaginary characters.

As you tap into your in-built secrets that will allow you to become more versed in writing, remember to record yourself every time you are acting things out. You will feel very surprised at the variation in speech and style that occurs during these moments. Read “5 Secrets Writers Can Learn from Actors” to learn all the savvy details of this issue.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Studying and Creating Characters

Study 16 Personality Styles  and those around you if you wish to study or create characters. Get a notepad and write down personality traits and associated behaviours. Think of yourself as a Psychologist who is examining patients or an Ecologist who is reviewing the environment. Below is an example that will help you figure things out.

Listen to the song “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid”. Just like me, Ariel is an ENFP; and, thus she is the most critical character (factor) in this fairytale. It doesn’t take more than one song to figure out how an ENFP behaves or thinks. That’s how every personality type has some strengths or weaknesses that make them shine no matter what. Just like me, Ariel likes keeping memorable objects (thingamabobs), reading books, dancing, and connecting and falling in love with people. Inside our innocent minds, little things become very significant; such as, the gadgets or pins that a friend offered ten years ago. Another similarity between us is that we both easily fall for natural elements like sand, fire, sea, and humans. In addition, we both instinctively know how to help people think and react properly; but, when the time is right, both of us fight back with whatever we have got on her hands. Just like me, Ariel defines the world around her through her intelligence, wit, and courage; at the same time, we are both outliers (different). That’s how, we always keeps wishing that we want to be “part of the world” that has already accepted or rejected us.

You see what I mean!

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Staying Creative and Genuine

Staying creative while sounding genuine requires the writer to learn that they are required to document things as much as they can and that everything they write won’t be published. This is a hard lesson for all the writers because of the level of attachment they have with their ideas. To overcome this gap, I save all of my written ideas or brainstorms and review them after several months; and, I try to stay close to anyone who has inspired me by sending them Thank You cards or Twitter Likes. This activity helps me detach myself from my writings partially so that its easier for me to reanalyze my creative works while deciding what should be formally published and what should be ignored. If you do things this way, you will realize that it becomes easier to erase previous memories and learn anew while fitting into any given circle of writers. Its like waking up from sleep and becoming eager to learn old concepts in a different manner or new concepts with heightened curiosity.

Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.

Creating Plots and Subplot

I slept last night after rubbing my imaginary ring (totem) on my finger, thinking about some of my favorite writers, and my upcoming novel Saryan. I became lucid slowly during sleep, but I didn’t document my dream. Eventually, I woke up and stared at the ceiling to regain my focus. My eyes closed again and again due to fatigue. And, then I imagined or saw something queer on the ceiling. I have drawn what I imagined. I added words to it later after I was a bit more awake. I learned “Comparison” and “Juxtapositioning” in the classroom but “Mergence” is something I have not formally learned. What if my subconscious leaked out what it saw in some novels I have read?


My last thought before I slept was how to merge “She: The Mirror” with “Saryan” even if it means merging only some portions. The images on the wall clearly showed me the images for the “Mergence” technique. Here are the definitions for the three techniques I intend to use in my new novel:

Comparison: If you wish to maintain original sequences, then use comparison to show cause and effect as well as change in character.

Juxtapositioning: If you wish to keep your subplot independent from the plot, then juxtapose them; i.e., offer comparison and contrast by keeping subplot and plot side by side.

Mergence: If you wish to merge your plot and subplot, then you can either slowly fully merge one into the other (first pic) or connect them at only some points (second pic). Later method would allow you to show any kind of relationship between only specific points while leaving the rest of the chunks untouched.

Copyright © 2010 by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.