March 28, 2011

It’s funny…I’ve always enjoyed writing, but recently, after contributing regularly to Citizen Matters and latterly to City Buzz, I have begun classifying this as “work”. I suppose it’s not so much being paid for the writing (the pay is PEANUTS!) but the fact of having to finish within an externally-set deadline, that makes it “work”.

The research for an article, and particularly talking to people about their work,passions, or events is always the fun part of writing. I enjoy meeting people,and I feel I listen, and elicit good responses from them as a general rule. I think I make a good interviewer…but haven’t watched others at work, so have nothing, really, to compare myself to. It’s just that what one enjoys, one tends to do well.

There are days when I am least inclined to write..and those, obviously, are the days when I get calls or emails saying they’d like a write-up on this or that. Most of the “thises” and the “thats” are events that I have attended, so I can never resist the call! So I sit and put the tips of my fingers to the keyboard (it sounds SO much nicer to say, “pen to paper”…but that’s a thing of the past!) and…sometimes the words flow, sometimes they constipate themselves behind my eyes, and it takes a real effort, and perhaps the laxative of “mental grunting”, to get them out!

If writing just a few small articles can be so much of effort, I can only wonder how people ever write books, and quite understand the vast majority of writers whose “great novels” are still sitting between their ears instead of between the covers of an actual book!

I also find that writing short articles of 400 or 450 words is as much of a challenge (or more) than the 1500-word articles that I usually do. To condense what is relevant into a few words without losing details is quite tough, and my sympathy goes out to newspaper reporters who have to face this task every day!

Done with one write-up, so sneaking off going decorously to Park View to have a baitu with Zainab…will have to come back and face the next one…about wildlife photography.