Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Thinking about Writing

I think writing for an online blog is a lot more difficult than writing for the local mainstream media. Online media has varied readers, and it has the persistency of content, as it would stay longer than the printed version of the conventional media. In that case, we do need to be very careful in checking links, and verified facts. Off course online articles in a blog can be corrected, but to make a correction for the online articles in a citizen journalism website is a little bit more complicated. So, we do need to be very objective (blog or opinion is always subjective, but we need to read other opinions and be objective before we can present a more reliable opinion)!

I’ve been through some thinking about my activity as a citizen reporter. I did not write for OhmyNews International for about three months (or more?), some friends from the Indonesian Heritage Society (IHS) were also asking me to write for the newsletter but I did not do it. Time management is my biggest problem…

I’ve got personal problems with the twins. They are going into an elementary school without the ability to read (they are going to be six next October). Two psychologists consulted before entering them to the elementary school said that it would help to boost their curiosity to get into reading if their friends can read. So, they thought it would be better to send them to elementary school than sending them into another kindergarten. They’ve got good IQ score (yes, their class teacher-now- said they are very clever as long as they are not asked to write down their answers).

That one “little problem” is affecting almost all my activities. “Little” I said, as they are not six years old yet. There is the possibility that they are not ready because they were born prematurely. If we are using the calendar according to the 9 months pregnancy they should be counted 6 years old in November. I’ve read a book that we should consider premature babies in their “true calendar” not the “birth-date calendar”.

That’s a little bit about my problem in stealing time to write… Writing a diary like this is easier than writing an article. Writing a short article for wikimu is easier as I wrote them in Indonesian, my mother tongue…

The urge to write for wikimu is higher than for OMNI or IHS’ newsletter, because the readers of wikimu are local citizens. I think it is more important to share with my local community. It’s not because I think that international community is not important…but their ability to search for information and their willingness to study Indonesian culture sometimes are higher than what general Indonesians had. Writing for such a local citizen journalism website seemed to success triggering citizens to write their own exploration, and also firing the topic into the mainstream media’s attention.

I rarely write about architecture in my blog. I think I should try to change that. Perhaps I was afraid of plagiarism, or because I did not intend to make this blog as my professional blog. The main idea of this blog is actually not about me, it should be about Indonesia. As Indonesian people tended to appreciate all those foreign tourism sites more than our local heritage, I did wrote about Louvre to remind local citizens that we do need to preserve things before we could get into that stage! Look at the Citra Niaga Complex, it won the Aga Khan Award, but now it is neglected and in poor condition…To have something last over centuries (like the Borobudur temple) we do need to put attention and money into it.

Several days ago, a friend commented that we should think about money. If we work only for being in love with the work, it wouldn’t be worthwhile. “If you do something,” he said, “be more serious into it, and think how to get money from it.” I remember Marcus Buckingham, the writer of “Go put your strengths to work”, wrote in his book:
What happens when you feel lots of I (Instinct), G (Growth), N (needs), but you just can’t seem to generate any S (Success)? What about those all-appetite, no-ability activities?

Well, in common parlance, we have a word for them. We call them hobbies. And they stay hobbies because no one is paying you to do them. In hobby world you can indulge your desire to throw oil paint onto a canvas or hack away with your seven iron or fill your shower with song, no one really cares that your performance is significantly subpar-or, in the case of the seven iron, significantly over par-because your livelihood doesn’t depend on your performance.

But back in the real world, the world of work and wages and customers and expectations, we quickly dismiss this as a luxury.

Both comments are underlining the spirit of the world today…we should be financially independent to be have freedom of choosing our field of work. But, those who are lucky enough could also be able to turn their hobbies as their deep well of money…

Yet, citizen journalism should be seen as a way of participating to the enhancement of global peace, universal togetherness on earth…

I’m still in searching of balancing the idealism of life and the needs of material/financial support to enrich the content of living in that idealism.

Read also old posts (English):

Post in Indonesian language:

1 comment:

john cole said...

thought-provoking -- i trust that all will work out well for your twins -- also, it's helpful hearing what you think about balancing the competing needs & wishes we have -- personally, i've found that what starts out as a hobby can later bring in the cash but it takes much more time & effort than a corporate job does, although working solo is more pleasant than working for an employer is -- the risk consists in dealing with those moments when all seems lost: corporate jobs may shield us better from failure -- strangely enough, in contrast, two different corporations i worked for encountered severe financial problems soon after i left them: one went bust & the other is still going downhill today -- in fact, it's part of the dow jones 30 stocks, which shows that we never know who's going to come upon hard times