This blog started on a suggestion from my wife (totally her fault then) after I had remarked that there are so many issues in Singapore today I could be sending letters to the press every day. I have indeed been writing to our papers — not a lot, about a handful of times this year — and interestingly, as I look back, it was on a different topic each occasion. So maybe I do have a lot to talk about, even if much of it is none of my business. I have also become accustomed to writing in a way that gets my letters published.
But that’s the thing. Why restrict myself to a certain style of writing so that my letters get accepted? Why subject my efforts to the whims of an editor who may not like what I write? Why contribute to the bottom line of a press I can be critical of? Well, for the readership obviously. A blog like this can never garner an audience like a national paper, so that’s the biggest trade-off. On the plus side, I can write as much as I like, in whichever way I want.
There is no agenda. My motives are to talk about matters I care about and have fun along the way. Writing on current affairs forces me to challenge my views, because balance is important and bigotry best avoided. I am no more learned than anyone else, nor will I pretend to be. Since I can be wrong with alarming regularity, opposing views are welcome; to spare me making a fool, please tell me if I’m sprouting nonsense.
I aim to always be critical but fair. If all I can offer is praise and concordance, you are better off reading government newsletters. Or the Straits Times editorial, as cynics may say. Yet, I will abstain from blaming everything on the government, even if it’s fun to do so and earns me a lot of likes. But the temptation is strong and I succumb more often than I would like to. As bloggers like to catch on to popular topics, I tell myself not to sensationalise or flame anybody for the sake of readership. Again, I fail sometimes.
Like many, I also seek to improve my writing. It is above-average at best and tends to be plain, straight and boring. But since I take considerable care to review what I post, I avoid most basic mistakes — let me know if you spot any. While I wish I could write beautiful prose and have a vocabulary beyond my 100 words, I’m wary of mistaking stylishness for style and sounding pompous. Occasionally I look to venture out of my comfort zone with something different, such as satire or something like this. As I’m not creative and have the imagination of a fridge magnet, the result may sound lame, whimsical or utterly boliao. But that will not stop me from mixing the serious with the light-hearted.
As a self reminder, I will minimise the usage of clichés and redundant words, prefer tight over loose structure, and say what I want to say without qualifying it with a “I think” or “My opinion is that” because you are smart enough to tell. I will also refrain from writing in the third person (my self-introduction notwithstanding), because it’s really passé and not as cute as some think.
I won’t pretend I’m writing only for myself. Yes, please be generous with your comments. Your feedback and interaction make my day and keep me going, though I must draw the line at stalking and marriage proposals.
I hope you enjoy reading.