As a young girl, Jillian Haslam saved a life.
Welcome to one of the July 21st stops on the blog tour for A Voice out of Poverty by Jillian Haslam with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, more guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
Finding the Ideal Writing Space
Hey there, fellow wordsmiths! Today, I want to dive deep into a topic that is near and dear to my heart—finding the ideal writing space. Let’s discover how to unlock your creativity in every corner. As writers, we know that our environment can either make or break our creativity. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together and explore how to create the perfect haven where words flow like a never-ending river.
Now, I must admit that I’m quite the aficionado when it comes to searching for the ultimate writing spot. So, allow me to share some valuable tips and tricks that have transformed my writing process and sparked countless moments of inspiration.
Embrace the Power of Comfort: As writers, we spend hours upon hours hunched over our keyboards, lost in our thoughts. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize comfort. Find a chair that supports your back and cushions that feel like clouds beneath you. Your body will thank you, and you’ll be amazed at how much more effortlessly the words flow when you’re physically at ease.
Declutter Your Mind and Workspace: My friends, a cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. Before you sit down to write, take a few moments to declutter your surroundings. Remove any unnecessary distractions and organize your desk so that everything you need is within arm’s reach. Trust me, a tidy and organized space can do wonders for your focus and productivity.
Embrace Natural Light: Ah, the beautiful dance of sunlight. There’s something magical about writing bathed in natural light. Find a spot near a window and let the rays of sunshine invigorate your spirit. Not only will it boost your mood, but it will also infuse your writing with a certain warmth and vitality.
Personalize Your Space: Your writing space should be an extension of your unique personality and style. Surround yourself with things that inspire you—a favorite quote, a cherished photo, or even a quirky trinket that makes you smile. Make it YOUR space, a sanctuary that sparks your imagination every time you enter.
Embrace the Power of Music: Ah, music, the language of the soul. Experiment with different genres and find the melodies that resonate with your writing. Some find solace in classical tunes, while others thrive on energetic beats. Let music become the backdrop to your writing journey, guiding your emotions and setting the perfect ambiance.
Venture Beyond the Conventional: The beauty of writing is that it can happen anywhere and everywhere. Don’t limit yourself to a traditional desk or study. Explore different environments and let them breathe new life into your words. Grab your laptop and head to a local café, a park bench, the beach or even your favorite library. Inspiration often lies beyond the four walls of our comfort zones.
Nurture a Sense of Tranquility: To unlock your creativity, you need to find your Zen. Whether it’s through meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a moment to soak in the beauty of nature, create a sense of tranquility in your writing space. A calm mind is a fertile ground for ideas to blossom.
Remember, my fellow writers, the ideal writing space is a personal journey. It’s not about conforming to any set standards; it’s about finding what resonates with your soul and fuels your creative fire. So, go forth and experiment. Discover the nooks and crannies that make your heart sing, and your words dance.
In conclusion, searching for the ideal writing space is an ongoing adventure, and evolving and adapting as you grow as a writer is perfectly okay. Explore, experiment, and most importantly, embrace the joy of writing in whatever space brings you the most inspiration. Happy writing, my friends!
About the Book
A Voice out of Poverty
The Power to Achieve through Adversity
by Jillian Haslam
Published 8 March 2023
Page Count: 245
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
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.
“Oh, come on now Jillu, it’s not that bad!” she said. The brusque tone harkened to how she’d counsel us not to yield to emotion. My mother relentlessly stressed that life could always have been harder. Never make a fuss. Be grateful for what you have, however paltry. Things can be worse.
I wasn’t appeased, and my mother could tell.
“We can get it cleaned up when we get back,” she added, wiping tears from my cheeks with a single thumb. Her other hand was trapped inside the hand of my younger sister, four-year-old Vanessa, who held on as if worried she’d fly away like a released balloon if she let go.
“Anyway, we’re leaving in a few days, and where we’re going is better.” More parental reassurance about greener pastures.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“To Mrs. Brown’s. She’s letting us sleep on the floor in her room for a while. It will be crowded but all of us will be together again.”
“You mean Daddy and Donna can go there too?” I asked, my mood brightening. I saw a ghost of a smile emerging on Vanessa’s face as she took it all in. We often lived apart as a family because of our circumstances.
“Yes, but we can only stay for a few weeks, and then we must find somewhere else again. But don’t worry, you know Daddy and I always find us something.”
“Okay,” I said, nodding.
We resumed shuffling down the streets, navigating mass congestion. I turned my head for a long look back at the old woman and her dogs. I felt a surge of empathy for her, alone in wet and dirty clothes, facing each day with the promise of nothing. Soon we’d have a roof over our heads in a family home while she’d continue to fend for herself in the unsympathetic and unforgiving slum streets. She’d continue to get wet and dirty. She’d continue to try to survive each day with no family to love and care for her; I felt grateful for what I had and prayed that someday she might have the same. As those thoughts flooded me, she gingerly placed sheets of old newspaper on the wet ground to sit on.
The rain fell a little harder.
About the Author
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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