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June 25, 2014 Posted by tahir in Writing

My thoughts on writing and time management

Many thanks to those of you were able to attend my Reddit AMA live. For those who were unable to attend, I’ll be sharing a selection of questions and answers over the next couple of weeks. To view the entire AMA, please click the above link. 

Q. How do you get started with writing a book?

A. I come from a family in which everyone was writing books. And I grew up knowing a lot of successful writers. And that was like a magic wand in that it showed me that there was nothing special in writing books, no mystery, just grind. Do the grind and the book gets written. Write 3000 words a day, every day, for 30 days and you’ll have a 300-page book. It’s a fail-proof method. Plan it though.

To answer your question – I went on a load of random travels and then sewed them later into a rather weak narrative, when I was 22 years old. It’s called BEYOND THE DEVIL’S TEETH. I’m not so pleased with it, but I am pleased that I did it — as it led to other stuff.

Q. I am finding it difficult to market this work and write new stuff. How do you juggle your time – you are so prolific?

A. Time juggling: I find that I’m good at doing total-focus, a kind of deep immersion. That’s how I blot everything else out and that works for me. But at the same time I drown everyday in emails and stuff. There’s too much of it and it’s crazy. We all drown in it — especially because email is so immediate. I just counted my outgoing emails today. i have already written 85 outgoing today. Some of them are long; others shorter. And I’ve had 290 incoming. I miss letters and the days when time was less compressed.


How to get a job in travel writing

TS6Many thanks to those of you were able to attend my Reddit AMA live. For those who were unable to attend, I’ll be sharing a selection of questions and answers over the next couple of weeks. To view the entire AMA, please click the above link. 

Q. It’s a dream of mine to be able to make a living off traveling and exploring like you do. What would you say is the best first step in getting a job writing about exotic locations for a magazine or travel website?


  1. Get enough money to go somewhere far away.
  2. Believe in yourself.
  3. Find a strange, quirky, moving, or downright interesting angle on a person/thing/event at that place. Try to find a news angle or what’s called a ‘peg’, which gives an editor a reason for using it.
  4. Do a blog and get a following on that – also offer guest blogs to established bloggers.
  5. Reuse good material.
  6. Offer good material to editors (web sites, magazines, newspapers etc.) in other countries which wouldn’t be so likely to be offered strange stuff. They usually handle the translating and they often pay well.
  7. Don’t give up.
  8. Remember, the more work you do, the bigger your footprint.
  9. Again, believe in yourself.
  10. Don’t ever ever ever listen to anyone who tells you to can the idea and get a ‘real’ job.
June 9, 2014 Posted by tahir in Writing

Top 10 Reasons to Give Up Your Job



  1. Because you’re a slave to someone else.
  2. Because without realising it, you’re suffocating.
  3. Because you waste your life in office politics.
  4. Because you trick yourself into thinking you’re doing something worthwhile.
  5. Because you’re not free to travel, or to think.
  6. Because you hate your boss.
  7. Because the company owns you.
  8. Because you could become the greatest traveller of your age.
  9. Because you’ll blink and suddenly you’ll be ready for retirement.
  10. Because it’s worth $200,000 a year not to have a boss.


June 2, 2014 Posted by tahir in Writing

Ten Ways to Be Creative

Tahir story 129 s


  1. Sit in a café and watch the street until you think of 10 amazing ideas.
  2. Write pages and pages of random details from memory.
  3. Take 5 random objects and invent something new using them.
  4. Think like a 4-year-old child.
  5. Read three stories from The Arabian Nights before you think creative.
  6. Time yourself making numbered lists of ideas.
  7. Look at what you know in new ways.
  8. Confront danger face on.
  9. Learn from people who aren’t afraid to be thought to be afraid.
  10. Don’t ever doubt your own creativity.

Top 10 Tips About Writing

Power of Words


  1. Write, write, write.
  2. Follow your gut.
  3. Finish writing the book at all costs, then shape it.
  4. Don’t show a work in progress to anyone.
  5. Don’t take bad reviews personally.
  6. Hone your skill.
  7. Use the simplest words and structure possible.
  8. Enjoy what you’re writing.
  9. Write what you know.
  10. Don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t encourage you.