Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Keep Writing

one of my first printed write-up, way back Jan2003
    First, let me tell you that I am not a “writer”, at least in a strict sense, and just became a recent lucky author of my new book.

But I do write and recently restarted my blog (which contains text-full of posts), and have past written stories which remained unpublished. Many colleagues were wondering how I was able to write a lengthy manuscript – being a “non-writer”. But being a non-fiction scribbler with a good imagination, I realized that it was relatively easy to do, a matter of flowing my thoughts into typewritten words. Of course I struggled every now and then, especially the very first time I’ve written something.

Kilimanjaro story (2002) was the ‘breaker’ of my non-writing persona. Trying to do my colleague a favour (to write about my African trip) – I opened my laptop and attempted to type something while fighting flight boredom en route to Kobe. A 4-hour flight can do magic. I was at first ‘blank’ not knowing where to start. After like an endless ‘staring-the-blank-page’ mode, I template-copied a ‘sequence’ from one of the military novels that I’ve read. I started with time (say 23:00h), then wrote what was happening or I was doing at that point in time. Soon I added more ‘time’ and ‘activity’, and the story naturally flowed. After the Japan trip, I continued writing the story and ended-up with a 9-page write-up – my then LONGEST written story. Having a non-perfect grammar was another challenge – an area where I got help from friends and in the case of my manuscript – 3 reviews from 3 editors. But there’s one lesson to be learned – ANYONE can write his/her unique story/ stories. We are all unique and have our own story to tell.

But what for? Here are some thought offers on why we should start (or keep) writing…

1. Writing about something helps us better understand the subject that we are writing about. It validates our thoughts. If we put words about something, we’d quickly realize if it is half-baked or complete. If it is the former, then we naturally research some more to complete the write-up. Things that seem very easy for us may suddenly reveal areas that are gray to us.

2. Writing helps us organize our thoughts. This is very evident for the likes of technical or work-related writing (my work as Project Manager necessitates documentation). But even stories or personal narratives may be better presented/ arranged / sequenced / grouped and generally organized through writing. If you write something, you’d easily see when something is ‘off’, it’s like drawing a picture – if it looks bad for your own taste, then some improvement is clearly needed. Organizing one’s thought is a prelude to #1 (understanding) and #3 (talking).

3. Written thoughts make talking easy. I first realize this when I answer ‘email interview questions’. I email back replies and consequently organized and framed my thoughts – and when I did meet the interviewer (or when asked the same questions by another interviewer), the answers just naturally came out - like how I wrote them. Let me add, it helps improve our language skills. My English was really bad some 10+ years ago. Far from perfect, and I still struggle now, but I saw improvement.

4. It could be your stress reliever. Writing about your emotions, about your problems, among other things – may offer a good release. Don’t keep the bad energies inside, write them down.

another printed write-up (June2004); submitting stories
to magazine editors were part of my experiment (to explore
the writing world) 

5. It captures history. I don’t keep diaries. Sadly, I sometimes find it hard to recall past experiences. If I didn’t start writing, say my Everest story- right after my trip, I would probably have forgotten important facts about the climb. I glad I did write my Everest story right after the trip. Unfortunately, details of my experiences that I had eons ago were already ‘blurred’ by time, like an old floppy disk where the data stored was no longer readable.

6. It helps us appreciate our past experiences and consequently - life. One of the simplest sources of contentment is memory - reminiscing great experiences in one’s life. A couple of months back, I dug an adventure race story that I’ve written last 2003- and shared it with my team mates. Instantly, good memories of adventure and camaraderie were recalled making us smile with pride and fulfilment.

7. Writing helps us share, or if lucky – inspire others. This is one important factor why I pursued my ‘book project’. I bought and read many books that kept me informed, aware or inspired. And I wish to do the same.

In conclusion, I think one doesn’t need to be a blogger, a journalist, a writer or a book author – to write about his/her unique stories, experiences, opinions or thoughts. It’s a modern man’s tool/skill to capture thoughts into a visible/readable form. So whether these about-to-be-written stories remain in one’s hard drive or manually written in some ‘scrap papers’, notebook and diaries – the writer may still benefit from them.

Who knows – maybe a few years or months from now, one will find a proper medium to share those stories. A personal blog, print or e-magazines, facebook perhaps, maybe even a future book. :)

Start writing, keep writing…

finally, my own book ;)

No comments: