Thursday, April 26, 2012

The journalism encounter

The more I think about it, the more I feel that journalism and extramarital affairs have much in common. Both are highly addictive, exciting and often involve a significant amount of danger.

I say this as a former journalist who is presently out of a job and weighing the options on whether delving right back into this extremely challenging field of writing is necessarily a good thing.

Perhaps my exposure to journalism isn't quite the standard fare as compared to the experiences of most:

  1. I have never worked for the newspaper
    (I worked for a weekly magazine funded mostly by an NGO)
  2. I have never worked on shift
    (I worked from 9.30am - 6.30pm, five days a week plus the odd weekend and night assignments that are inevitable for anyone wishing to cover current issues or unfolding news)
  3. I wasn't confined to beat/specialised reporting
    (I wrote articles for all six sections of the publication I worked for)
  4. I never took any formal courses in communications nor journalism
    (I was a [computer] programmer for about two years; when I finally jumped into a writing career, I had to pick up the required skills while on the job)
  5. I frequently and regularly annoyed the editor
    (to a degree that possibly no other journalist before me has been capable of - well, at least that's how I perceived it from the way my editor responded to my antics)
But before you rubbish off my experiences as being fake, I did, however, experience the following:

  1. Pressing deadlines
  2. Coverage of government events and announcements, including trips to Parliament and police headquarters
  3. Possession of a genuine, government-issued Media Tag
  4. Investigative work involving use of the Internet and interactions with various parties who were related to the subject matter being written on
  5. Frequent outings to meet people (important and otherwise) and to conduct interviews with them
  6. Frantic photo taking attempts in order to give the editor something visually pleasing to include in stories I wrote
  7. Last minute assignments which necessitated vacating an already packed personal schedule
  8. Writer's block during the 1-2 hours in which a news story was to be crafted
  9. An almost perpetual insufficient amount of information for feature articles

Why would anyone want to dig their noses into someone else's business just so they can flex their writing muscles to tell the whole world about something they hadn't cared about before and may not even bother with after having read a laboriously crafted article?

Hmm. Let's leave it at that for now. I'll get back to you when I've figured this whole journalism thing out.

Meanwhile, I'd like to stay unattached for now (to any employer, that is).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pause for effect

Hello there.

I'm hoping that my sporadic blogging habits will mean there is greater appreciation for posts when I actually do write them. Wistful thinking, I know, but what is life without a little hope, eh?

Well, in any case, here I am, dropping in on all you silent readers out there as living proof that this writer still lives.

Things just got busier now that Deric and I have acquired the keys to our new place. It's quite exciting, really, and this would be the first time in my life that there's an empty space over which I can have full say about how it should be decorated and upkept. Absolutely fantastic!

Oh hmm but then again, coming back to the part on the full say, there's still his view to consider... Ah well. At least it's only for the two of us to fight out. Teehee.

In other news, my Mum pointed out to me today several feature articles in The Star (Now everyone can publish, E-book millionaires, Going digital ) which talk about e-publishing. Sounds so simple and potentially lucrative. I should really get down to writing something book worthy.

With each passing day, I've begun to realise just how big a responsibility it is to be a wife. Meeting sexual demands sounds scary enough (I've never really though of myself as having much libido). Then there's the need to take charge of home affairs and keep the place spick and span. Also, the obligation to stay involved and alert in all decision making that is required (this involves not falling asleep when I can't follow what all those figures we're discussing are about - something that has, I'll admit, happen several times already hehe). And of course, there's the obvious task of taking care of the husband too, and that can be a handful in itself since guys are often nonchalant about many things that matter (I am generalising here, of course).

To top it all off, I would still need to manage my own state of affairs at the same time (job, health, beauty, etc).


As it is, I am rather slow moving and at times, clumsy in managing my own stuff. I forget things. I misplace things, then spend a considerable amount of time unearthing where it is they're at. My room is more often in a mess than it is in order, and I keep a ton of junk, inclusive of all sorts of strange memoir that range from ice cream sticks to random pieces of paper to program booklets, ticket stubs and product labels.

It would be quite amusing to see what sort of a wife I turn out to be. Then again, it may not be so amusing when I have to suffer the consequences of my incompetency.

Besides all this serious, life altering stuff, I've recently felt the magnetic pull of art and craft work again. Having to hunt for materials to use for wedding favours has put me in close proximity to all these delectable items that I used to love in my childhood and teenage days. If only I could find the time to pick these things up again - knitting, tatting, crotcheting, embroidery, etc.

Perhaps if I ever become a homemaker, I could devote time to such things. It seems like such a tempting option right now, especially since I have no full time job. But of course, I know that's not really a good idea right now, given that our expenses require that both of us work. Sigh.

Alrighty, I have work to do now - the kind that pays money in return. So that'll be it for today. You can go now. Scat.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Grammatically yours

I've recently acquired another freelance job, making my employment count a grand total of two now.

It's pretty interesting, I feel, because one of the jobs is requiring me to resurrect my knowledge on the (formal) study of the English language - things that I've abandoned ever since graduating with an SPM certificate from secondary school.

I remember some time ago I was thinking to myself that I need to revise these language concepts so I can acquire more insight on how I can deliberately improve my writing (since I'd be aware of what I was actually doing).

The only reason that I stopped short of actually putting those thoughts into action was that I wondered if after I had revisited all those troublesome principles of the English language, I might actually suddenly grow a distaste for writing altogether or become so confined in the way I constructed sentences that I would no longer know what it is to write creatively and freely.

But I suppose that makes as much sense as saying I'd better not go for music lessons because learning to read music notes will ruin my ability to create good music. Formally and informally trained musicians alike all have the ability to create splendid music, since it's based on their efforts rather than merely knowledge or creativity.

So I guess for writing it must be the same. Well, at least I hope so.

Whatever the case may be, I'm learning new things. Which is surely a good thing. Right now, those new things I speak of consist of editing skills and English language concepts. Both very handy skills to tuck stealthily under my belt for the day when I become an author. Teehee. One step closer.

Meanwhile, it has recently dawned on me that planning for my wedding is, in essence, assuming an event organiser's role. Hmm. Well, no wonder then that I at times feel extremely uncomfortable managing or deciding on things for my wedding. I don't like event management or organising or whatever other name you want to call it. For me, the only thing I like doing at functions or events is attending them. 

Unfortunately, in the absence of a wedding planner, I have to be involved in most of the decisions for my wedding. I mean, after all, it is my wedding. Heh.

I guess the part that irks me is that no matter how much items on the To-Do List get cleared, there's always plenty more stuff still undone that requires my attention. Sigh. Is this how it will continue to be right up till the day of the wedding, I wonder...

Things I could possibly write about right now:

  1.  Wedding prep
  2. My journey so far as a writer
  3. Family
  4. My deceased dog, Hans
  5. My random musings on life
  6. My comments on photos I've randomly taken
  7. Bible truths which I should be starting to uncover in preparation for my role as a future wife
  8. Things I'm continuously learning in life

That's more than enough material for a book, isn't it?

Bah. Who am I kidding?

Okay, back to enjoying the rainy weather and dreamy thoughts for now then. See ya.