When I first started to learn how to write, little did I realize that it is a very effective and powerful way of passing knowledge. It is also a very good tool of influence. What we write is actually a translation of what we see and hear, and what we want others to know and understand.
There are lots of things that we want to share with others … our ideas, our experiences, and of course our knowledge. We can talk to people about it, but the spoken word sometimes will not bring in the required effect, because what we hear in most cases will be forgotten in a split second. But on the other hand, if we write what we want to tell others, the chances are that these will be understood and remembered.
I believe this was the main reason why writing was created long ago. Imagine an important agreement containing numerous terms and conditions to be remembered by the parties involved. In no time this agreement will fall on non-implementation and non-compliance, because people forget.
This brings me to the other aspect of writing. The world today is filled with knowledge … knowledge to help us go through life. Knowledge important to our very existence. We can write all these in the normal form … essay writing, report writing or narrative writing, but in most cases this form of writing will not catch the attention of our target readers.
So we arrive at the idea of creating a form of writing, the contents of which will be easily assimilated and understood by our readers. This is the ‘creative writing’ that everyone is talking about.
A good example is writing for broadcasting. It is an art which is not necessarily hereditary. It is not something that is handed down from one generation to the next. It has to be developed and nurtured through the years. Experience is the best teacher in this task. It is through experience one can learn the many aspects and techniques of writing for the broadcast media. And the best thing is, to be involved in this art, does not necessarily require any ‘special’ ability, nor academic experience … for creativity in normally in-born.
I remember a former student of mine. He was, and still is, a rubber tapper by profession. He taps rubber trees which produce latex, and this he sells to earn his keeps. He has no previous experience at writing, what more for the broadcast media. He only managed to scrape through his secondary school education. One of his favourite pastimes is watching television and listening to the radio. He would be glued to the television or radio set, each time a drama program is on air. After a while, he realized that the stories are of everyday happenings … stories about society and about life. He felt he could write these stories himself. He felt there was nothing to it … he only has to try and give it a hard push. Furthermore he thought, there is a lot about life that people must know.
His chance came when he heard of a script writing course to be held not far from his village. He enrolled. And he went through the week-long course with excitement. When he completed the course, to his surprise he could write drama scripts … and write them well. I was equally amazed myself with his ability … and the results of his effort. His first work was sent to the local television station, and to his amazement … it went through the script checks enforced by the station. And today he is one of the regular writers.
That is the story of a rubber tapper turned script writer. There is nothing to it really. All one need is a little bit of hard work, a lot of reading, and a keen interest about the happenings in the community and the country. And of course lots and lots of practice.
In a country like Malaysia where the broadcast industry is fast developing, the chances are there. The many radio and television stations around, do need lots of script writers … good script writers, to write about things relevant to the needs of a developing nation … the needs of the people.
I believe this is a good opportunity for those with the ability of translating events and happenings into words, to take advantage of the situation. There is an abundance of knowledge to be passed on … and writing, especially writing for the media, is the best means of doing this … writing and at the same time sharing knowledge for the good of our future generation.