Of choosing the right words and being a story teller

By Qamarina Razali

Walking down shelf by shelf in exploring new books is an adventure worth for a lifetime. I’d say it is the thrill of hunting for the unfamiliar that’s addictive.

When your hands finally reach out for that one particular book, you know you are about to cave in for an exciting journey.

Somewhere at a distance though, you will find another person sitting at a warung, flipping the pages of a daily newspaper with furrowed eyebrows, while drowning in his own spheres of thoughts.

Holding a cup of teh tarik would not stop him from catching up on the latest news printed on the rectangular sheets.

I suppose those were the conventional scenario you would find yesterday. With today’s technology, what are used to be found only in binds of papers can now be easily within our reach with just one click on the Internet. People, nowadays, are often seen holding smartphones instead of traditional forms of reading materials.

Of course, each has its own for and against. Nevertheless, one thing for sure both offer streams of diverse knowledge one should never take for granted.

From shelved books to news articles online, reading materials have been embedded into our society to cater for the inquisitive minds of knowledge-seekers. It’s no wonder if one ponders on the identity of people who are behind these written stories. Because to story-tell is not as easy as it seems.

There must have been a time when you are just so astonished by how a story could be so beautifully written.

The power of words

The way some words are rightly matched next to each other, constituting a wonderful piece never fail to amaze me. Thereafter, being capable of unfolding events of life through written words is an ability I most envy.

The power these words hold lies in the hand of the story-teller.

There are a lot of questions revolving within our world that the answers are yet to be uncovered. And I believe a pen and a paper can change that. Or maybe a keyboard on a laptop too.

Anything, really.

But my point is, penned words have the capability to provide answers that people seek.

And it cannot be denied that to present answers and insights to life occasions with well-researched information requires a lot of skills, hence, possessing an area of specialisation can help necessitate that goal.

When I joined a news training session in our university in early March, the invited speaker, Dina Murad, who’s an experienced journalist from a local English daily, said something that until now, stays with me.  

“Find your own beat.”

Discovering your own beat means realising the type of niche you’re going for as a journalist. 

Finding beats in journalism

There are numerous types of beats in journalism.  For instance, journalists can be specialised in covering a specific topic such as politics, education, business, entertainment and many more.

Naturally, being in the area of a certain specialisation also means knowledge that is acquired inherently comes with a responsibility. Words can sometimes be manipulative, thus one can never be too careful in offering transparency to the truth.

Especially as a Muslim, it’s important to remember that the amanah we hold in this world will surely be amongst the things that will be asked in the Hereafter. That being said, this also applies to any kind of work out there as well.

Considering how immense the impact of even a few written words can have on readers shows that words indeed play a significant role in our life.

While the road faced by writers are undeniably challenging, may the passion to uncover the wonders of life becomes the fuel to move forward. 

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