Sunday 25 August 2013

by Lee Ting An, Sophomore 2 Cempaka, Class of 2015

Photo credit : Amanda Lee, Class of 2014

This sleepy Saturday morning, the eager, budding young writers of YJC editorial gathered at school to listen to a talk conducted by Ms Lili Lajman. A freelance writer for the New Straits Times, Ms Lili (as she asked us to call her) shared with us invaluable advice from her experience as a journalist. After all, who would know better the little tips and tricks of the trade than one who’s already made it in that field? The insider secrets of a journalist were more than welcome to us (we are called YJC for a reason), and the humour with which she shared them was more than appreciated (powerpoint poisoning!) The ice was a little thick in the beginning, with us writers a little in awe and nervous excitement, Ms Lili also maybe feeling more of the latter. However, the ice immediately began to thaw when the first slide held the words 'tell us why you're here today, on a lazy Saturday morning, when you could be sleeping in your comfy bed at home'. Like how doctors connect with other doctors, teachers with other teachers, scientists with scientists; all of us connected like birds of a feather because as quoted by Cornelia Funke "all writers are lunatics!" We learnt or re-learnt, how important it is to read a lot, write a lot, then read and write some more. Questions and idea which had to be cajoled out of us in the beginning, were free-flowing towards the end. 

However drowsy we were in the beginning, ask anyone who attended, and they’ll tell you they got the message just fine: the secret of writing? There is no secret - just let your creativity guide you. So thank you Ms. Lili, for attempting and hopefully succeeding to teach us the secret of writing - you can take her word for it that it was no simple task. We hope you like our bookmark (made with love from YJC!) as much as we enjoyed your free flow of sweets. Here’s a quote we think you might like: 
‘Learn the rules of good writing... then learn how to break them.’ -Ane Mulligan

In conclusion, is there really such thing as a way to "Write Right"? 

Not really, no.  As Ernest Hemingway wisely put it: “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

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