Whenever I would get stuck writing a piece, and trust me, ‘whenever’ actually means ‘every. piece. every. single. time.’, the words of wisdom had always been “Just write it in the way you would want to read it.”
Then the real world called, where the way ‘You’ want to read it doesn’t matter. Its not about ‘you’. Its about selling the story. (That’s why my blog is never famous because talking about my ordinary self doesn’t sell) There’s target ‘audience’ to consider. There’s the paper’s ‘purpose’, there’s ‘promotion’, and then there’s the ‘attracting potential advertisers.’
Oh there’s also using the ‘right’ words that would generate the maximum amount of hits. So that’s why so many things are changed- Cut, shortened, strangled, standardized, and my ‘big’ words changed so that ten year olds can understand.
I know this is the journalistic profession. I know this is how it is and how it will be. But everything within me screams out in protest whenever it happens. I love my editor too, I do, and I understand why she changes things. But still my stubbornness often causes me to forego self-editing and sticking to what my heart wants. Its a prevailing tug-of- war between what I know I must do, and what my heart wants to do. But I think I’m getting better in finding the balance. Boss gave my latest some positive remarks.
Then there’s the ‘talking-to-people’ part. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to be able to talk to David Choi, and who knows, in the future, maybe even Obama might be within reach. But the whole reason I got into writing in the first place was so I could avoid speaking to people. (Tee Jowee circa 1998 coming through!)
I spend the majority of my time before interviews lamenting to myself, “I just want to write! I don’t want to talk to people!” But “no~”, I had to “have a dream” and be all “idealistic” on that mofo, willingly placing myself in a profession where I had to be the one directing the conversation and asking all the right questions.
“I know lah, I know. Even in writing all this I know that- how am I going to talk to future presidents if I can’t even speak normal now?!”
(that was me in speech form)
Like every dream job, there are two sides to every story. There must be some way to curb this right? God gave me a mouth to speak.
“God! Where is my Aaron?! Let someone else do it!”
Then God says: “WOIH! I give you mouth to talk why you don’t talk?!”
Okay God, I cede I cede. The thing about fighting with God is, you always lose. Darn.
Speaking of speaking- I write more than I speak. That’s because people no longer listen- or so I rationalize. Then again, you could say that people no longer read. So I’m screwed either way.
I came to realize was that the only difference between being a writer and not being a writer, is calling yourself a one; And the distinction after that is whether you’re a good enough one to get noticed. Further on that realization, is that with new media and definitely social media, you almost need your own fan base to achieve some sort of momentum in your career.
Thank you Qirby, Image Credits here.
As much as I wish it wasn’t true, it makes sense. I comfort myself with the fact that there isn’t one way to be successful in life, and I’m going to keep going at it. Because heck, making you read my self-absorbed ramblings gives me a sort of sadistic pleasure.
Here, in the office, everyone’s a writer. There’s a songwriter, a journalist-writer, an editor-writer, a writer-writer, and a sometimes-writer-of-briefs-that-need-writing.
Some of us have already taken up the ‘writer’ persona. Unshaven, growing a stubble, scarf around neck…
Myself? I’ve adopted the habit of coffee-drinking, and I’m less fashion-forward these days. I often slip into my old clothes, unmade hair, and notions of, “Ah! no one’s gonna see me.”
“I regret a bit.” about the drinking coffee part.
Writing had always been something that came almost without thinking to me. By this I am not saying that I am able to churn out awesomeness without thinking, “NO, no!” could not be further from it. This was more like a “I didn’t think very highly of it.” situation.
To my ten or eleven year old self, there were professions in the world like scientists, physicists, neurologists and all other ‘-gists’ that got the ‘brilliant minds’ branding and were the only verifiable career paths worth pursuing (needless to say my view of brilliance was heavily- skewed). The sciences were what I once thought I would end up doing, but to quote a friend,
“God knew I wouldn’t be good at math, so He gave me a mom that would read me Peter and Jane every night before I went to bed.”
Hence, here I am.