Write 30 minutes a day

I have probably mentioned here many times that I work with SAP. Last week, we had our DKOM (Developer Kick-Off Meeting) which is an annual event that set and share the objectives, guidance, vision and strategy for the development community. One of the guest speeches for the event was by Dr. Deepak B. Phatak, a distinguished professor from the CSE department of IIT Mumbai. Today’s blog post is about a few things that he mentioned in his speech as answers to queries from the audience (By the way, Dr. Phatak was named one of the 50 most powerful people of India in 2009)

A developer asked him a question about writing. Basically, the asker felt that he had got a lot of ideas that he can talk about but was just not able to organize the same into a well written document or paper. The answer was pretty simple: “Write for 30 minutes every day before you go to sleep“. Here’s the summary of the rest of the speech that may be relevant to every blogger or writer.

Become a better writer

Well, regular reading for 30 minutes before sleep is something that a lot of people recommend. However, if you want to improve your writing skills, you have got to write for at least 30 minutes a day preferably before you go to sleep. You have to not only write, but keep your notes timestamped so that you can refer back in the future to see how you have improved. Giving importance to punctuation is another thing that he stressed on as it enhances the written language big time.

Well, he didn’t talk about the need to write online however one’s timestamped every day notes is nothing but a blog if it’s taken online.

Other tips for bloggers

Well, Dr. Phatak’s speech was not exactly around blogging or writing but more about the need for students to master languages (not just science and technology), think, research, teach etc. Some of the other points that he mentioned which I thought are relevant for bloggers include:


Deepak feels that mentoring is a great way to improve own skills while we pass knowledge to others. I feel that as a blogger, if you can mentor three or four budding bloggers, you will really improve yourself and in fact learn more.

Ask questions

There’s nothing called a ‘stupid question’ and unfortunately our old educational and hierarchies prevented us from learning to our true potential. A great way to improve your knowledge is to ‘question’. Well, this may not be exactly relevant to blogging but in a fast changing world of technology, unless you keep asking questions yourself (and others) you are not going to improve. Deepak says ‘ask questions like a kid – uninhibited and unafraid’.

Research but don’t repeat

One of the key principles at IITs while forming question papers is that, none of the exam questions get repeated over the years. Coming up with original thoughts is the key to real success and I can relate this to blog plagiarism. Copycats, read it twice!

Be good at your mother tongue first

It is NOT mandatory that one has to always go for the English language. He insists that your thoughts are well conversed and conveyed in your mother tongue. ‘Foreign’ will always be alien to you. This doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t write in English if he’s most comfortable in that language.

Number system

Numbers and statistics are something that we built into our system. High number of marks are not always the reflection of one’s true calibre and sometimes it’s even the measurement of tweaking the system or anomalies there in. However, as long as our system of education continues to be like this, we can’t help much.

The takeaways from the speech was keywords like ‘research’, ‘fresh thinking’, ‘mentoring’, etc – just thought of sharing my experience here…

Happy blogging!


  1. Thanks Ajeet for your post. I have this habit of drafting my posts in the night.. if not the complete post, then half or atleast some title and keypoint… Probably I agree with Mr. Deepak.. It’s best to write at the end of the day.. Another non realistic but interesting fact, you keep dreaming about relevant stuff you did last time before sleeping.. Personally I found it very productive..

    • @Harsh, thank you for your views. Mostly I too prefer writing posts/drafts at night. Hmm, dreaming of what you achieved before sleeping sounds like a highly satisfying thing :)

  2. Interesting stuff here Ajith. I hadn’t thought about it before but I write every day, and a lot as well. I hope that means that I’ve gotten the basic concepts down; it certainly means I have my own style down and I kind of like it. I have to say that I’ve never heard the time stamp thing before, but since I almost always finish what I start, I figure it’s not something I need to worry about all that much. Nice post; great stuff here.

    • @Mitch, you are already an experienced writer and orator (from your leadership workshops etc).

      As for time stamping, it’s just to keep track of how you are improving – particularly good for a beginner may be…

  3. Nihar :

    Great post

    Thanks for sharing the Mr. Deepak’s speech and giving your perspective on blogging.

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