Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Writing is tough job, even if you know what your message is

Recently, I've been given the opportunity to write some articles for the company I'm currently working for. Embarking on this journey as a starting writer, I began to realize how difficult it is to construct professional-grade writing as it is very different than writing a blog like this. I've always thought that writing is just about the way one feels about a certain matter and how one communicates it as if he or she was speaking to another person. But I've found that there are more aspects to consider besides just getting the message out i.e. how does my message reflect me as a writer, will the readers understand what I mean, are my facts factual enough, etc.

I can construct the skeleton-structure of the article within moments, given I have the idea on the core message to relay to others. This is the easy part, and I think any seasoned writer would agree on that. Then, it comes to consideration of factors like language, readability, simplicity, purposeful and call-to-action-after-reading, This is where it gets mighty tough. One sentence may some times take what seems like forever to produce because I'm thinking and perhaps reconsidering writing it differently as I go. So, I "spit" out words on the draft with bullet points or mind-maps, to connect them much later. After spending some time doing that, now I have a cluster of words that I need to assemble into a sentence which I intended on much earlier. I don't know if I'm doing it right, but it seems to be working gradually for me. In between, I'll need to take a break, step away from my work, and to resume them when I have "fresh" eyes.

After hours of doing that, I think I might have just gotten one paragraph sorted out. Thereafter, comes more troubles - doubting the paragraph I had just produced, and the continuation to the next one. Repeat these, and before I knew it, countless hours have passed by.

In order to have something to write, one doesn't just think of an idea and produces a wonderful article. I have to ensure what I want to "say" is valid, has some facts to it and not just purely made out of my opinion or assumption. Some information may be common knowledge (e.g. drinking water is good for health), while some could be unique to certain industries or practices (e.g. consumption of RO water in long term may lead to health issues). This calls for conducting due research on the respective areas, and boy, can they be a pain at times! There's just too much information available on the Internet, and not all of them are true or accurate. I have to be very careful when reading articles and be wary of the sources of information.

At the end, I was able to put together a piece of work which I believed was ready for reviewing. It was no easy job. I had shown my draft to a few close friends, to get the initial feedback before I hand in my work to a professional. They gave me different but valuable opinions and insights on areas to improve. I had to carefully digest and reflect on their feedback. Long story short, I repeated some of the things I mentioned earlier, and another few days have passed by before I actually submitted the work.

I used to think it was easy for those who write books, especially when they have a series or sequels or both! I thought as long as one has sufficient experience and knowledge, it would be easy to write them down. Clearly, my perception is inaccurate and immature. I will now appreciate more when I read other people's work! To all the authors out there, you guys are simply amazing and thank you for sharing your stories with the world!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

I Hate Funerals

I can't say enough how much I hate funerals. I know no one likes it. But I HATE it with a Passion!

So, why do I dislike it that much that I have to repeat the word 'hate' twice? Everyone knows funerals are to honor the passing of loved one(s) and pray that he/her may be at peace where ever the after-life is. However, it messes me up on the inside and because of that, I'll have another million questions running through my head!

Emotions are stirred up, tears slowly creep up and the body reacts to the solemn music and atmosphere. I'll try to hold it in as much as I can, but each time it gets tougher to keep them all in one place without 'exploding'. Then comes questions about my own life - purpose, meaning, legacy, etc, as I hear the life stories of the deceased and reflect on them.

Another reason for my loathe towards funeral is seeing a good person being taken away. We could use one more person like that, but instead of having one more, we lost one. Yes, some people have told me that I can stand in as a "replacement" of the good guy, until another one shows up. But, I'm no good-guy quality as the deceased was. It was natural for the departed ones, but it'll take me a lot more than just wanting it. And comes the debate of doing the right thing versus doing things right.

Long story short, I really despise funeral.