The first edition of the write challenge had 455 posts in 5 days. That translates to 91 posts a day. Wow. I found several beautiful articles in the challenge. I didn’t read all the posts – but I had occasion to read a lot of the posts and loved several of them. I greatly appreciate Medha Shri’s Wednesday editorial which contains a curated collection of member posts (I typically used to read most of the os.me posts, so I found it interesting to see which of the posts would come up under the curated list).

The role of a curator has gained popularity in this day and age of information overload, and I’ve wanted to try out being a curator. I wanted to take the opportunity and curate a set of 8 posts that caught my attention from the first write challenge. Before we get to the posts – I wanted to mention that curation is not easy at all. Curating posts entails reading all posts, selecting a small subset among a plethora of well-written posts, reading them closely to assimilate the post, and summarize it in a way that encourages the reader to read the post. While I had intended this to be an “easy” post for this edition of the challenge, this turned out to be one of my most time-consuming articles. My appreciation for Medha Shri’s work increased several times over after attempting this exercise – Thank You Medha ji for your tireless efforts in curating os.me posts in your editorial.

8 Interesting Posts from the First Write Challenge

The Joys of Reading – Written by the winner of the challenge, Hritik, this provocative piece examines why our educational system unconsciously makes students dislike reading. I can relate – I was assigned to read David Copperfield in third standard – I couldn’t understand a word of it, even after my Mom and a kind neighbor tried helping me read, and I became averse to reading for a long time. Hritik chanced upon Geronimo Stilton’s The Phoenix of Destiny and Amish’s The Immortals of Meluha, which gave him the keys to a new portal, and he has not turned back, ravenously devouring books since then.

First Steps of Improvement – Rajesh Kodukula take three time periods – One day, daily discipline for the longer term, as well as the mid to long term periods, and gives excellent suggestions to inculcate habits and establish processes to achieve success. He suggests several popular methods and techniques, including the Pomodoro, the principles of “Eat the Frog” and “Deep Work”, Jerry Seinfeld’s “Don’t Break the Chain”, He has written other fantastic posts for the write challenge, do check them out.

There’s No One Like You -This is a truly beautiful poem penned by Chitrotpala Chaitali Dash, who has dedicated this poem to Anandamayee Maa.

Big Magic – Surekha Chandrasekhar reviews Big Magic written by Elizabeth Gilbert (best known as the author of Eat, Pray, Love). The book explores the uncovering of the creativity and talents in each person. Gilbert said that Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way (incidentally, a book that I purchased for my wife who is an artist, but I ended up reading it first) was instrumental in her writing Eat, Pray, Love. The article does an excellent job of covering the salient points in this book.

Tulsi Ma – Ritu Om Chatterjee writes about her experience of finding a Tulsi plant in her residential complex uncared for; she cares for it for 15 days, and nurses the Tulsi plant back to life. Interspersed in the article is invaluable information about the Tulsi plant – I should say Tulsi Ma – from a biological as well as spiritual perspective. A truly engaging read. Ritu Om has written 11 beautifully crafted posts during the write challenge, all worthwhile reads. 

The Magic of Ayurveda – Nalin suffered from acute and chronic tonsillitis. He used to suffer from many ENT problems. This would adversely impact his studies and general well being. Until Ayurveda cured him. I can relate closely – I too suffered many ENT problems and had acute sinus issues, till Yoga cured me. Nalin was prolific in the write challenge, churning 30+ articles.

Focus > Distraction – Krittika Kuhar explores an all important topic – that of building focus, and tackling distractions. She primarily focuses on the expositions of Cal Newport and Chris Bailey, but she explores suggestions from a variety of sources, and produces a masterpiece of an article. 

Bhai – Would you like to read a poignant story of a brother and sister? Do you have kleenexes handy for the inevitable waterworks after reading this post? Would you like to wonder if what you read is art in its purest form? If you answered these questions in the affirmative, Hemanya Vashishtha’s Bhai is for you. Hemanya wrote one brilliant post each day of the write challenge, do read them all.

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