01.10.2014

Writing for a column

An English literature teacher way back in high school once told his students that he enjoyed teaching the subject because language is important not only as a means of communication, but will play an important part in our future in appreciating books and other resources of knowledge.

He also instilled in his students that writing can be angled to the way the writer wants it to be, and a literary output can be interpreted in many ways, according to the perception of individuals based on his intelligence, environment, culture, and education.

That class decades ago gave this scribe a dream – one to resolve in becoming proficient in the English language, and the other the hope of becoming a writer.

Fast forward the scenario to the present day. After years of having to write for a living, amongst doing other things to put food on the family table, the English teacher’s words were found to be very true. Writing professionally is of course an exercise of putting ideas into words in a standard format meant for a particular target readership. After a while, it became a routine – until a stint at a creative writing class changed all the perceived ideas about the way a person should write.

Joining a writing program while doing graduate study, it was noted that the young academic taking the class was energetic and passionate about writing in a creative way – far more different than a school teacher’s style. She taught her students to write from the heart, and from their own experience.

Other than a number of basic writing principles to follow, she insisted that writers should be creative, letting our imagination run wild. The assignments, sessions which included not only written ones, also required students to read it in front of the class, and subsequently received constructive comments from both fellow students and the lecturer.

Having a little extra time on hand, this vernal scribe began to explore into the world of writing in the hope of sharing ideas and views with others.

A consideration to be mulled over is what topic would be best to write. The three taboos of politics, religion, and sex were the first ones to be strike out of the list. Recollecting the creative writing interesting days of allowing imagination to run wild during our class assignments, topics related to human interest came on top of the list.

Consultations were made with old friends who have been in the journalist fraternity, a few of whom now write part time. They and a number of those still working, all agreed that topics related to human interest would be the best bet. It not only requires a skill in putting words in print, but would require a background of lifetime experience to fall back to.

So readers of this news portal would have the opportunity of having a column to browse through, and brickbats are very much welcomed. Hopefully these ramblings would inform, entertain, change current views and perceptions, and may at times bring out an urge to criticise constructively what has been voiced out.

It also comes with a disclaimer that all that would be said would be the personal views and thoughts of the writer and is not the responsibility or official stand of the party.

It is said that when a man has tasted a lot of salt over the years, his thinking and perception may be a tad out of line with those of the younger generation or the present era. This is very much a self-reflection and written to evoke thoughts that would remain dormant in some of our readers. Their comments are therefore most acceptable.

The column will maintain an open discussion, rational and moderate. The format can be critical, sometimes even a little harsh, but at no point do we ever venture beyond the borders of decency and fair play in any public issue debate.

At times it is hoped that the writing would be on the serious side, sometime light, and if possible with a dash of cynical humour thrown in. Readers will see a variety of topics, ranging from the pedagogical to passing thoughts while going through the passage of life.

All in all, promises are not to be made, but it is best to let readers be the judge.