Being a writer, something you get asked quite often is “Why don't you write about that?” Everyone has an opinion on what would make a “good” article. Usually the answer to this question is that writing “about that” would not make for a very interesting read or it doesn't appeal to your target audience. Sometimes there comes along a great idea which has no chance of getting past the editor's chopping block. And a few times there are ideas which make you wonder how long you'd be around even if you did manage to miraculously publish them.
WHAT MY BEST FRIEND WANTS ME TO WRITE
My best friend is one of those people who inevitably land themselves in some kind of drama every other week. One week she randomly comes up to me and says “You should write an article about how men are the most confusing creatures on the planet!” It sounded intriguing, so I asked her to elaborate. To which she responded, “I don't know. They just are!” So next week look out for a one-line article with that heading maybe?
WHAT MY PARENTS WANT ME TO WRITE
The other day we were having one of those family dinners which are never just dinners. They are either a commentary on your life, or society, or as it were on that day, affairs of state. Evidently my parents think it might be a good idea to publish a piece on taxation. I just decide to chew faster while internally debating whether three meals a day are really essential.
WHAT MY CHAUFFEUR WANTS ME TO WRITE
I got some mind-blowing insights on what is truly important to people when I began to write this article, and this was one of the most interesting ones. One day in the traffic, my chauffeur says, “You write in the paper right? Look at that cement truck ahead, and how its pouring cement as it drives down the road. You should write about that. It's these trucks that are ruining our roads.” Alas, although I believe the country would be better off if the average youth were more interested in the road evenness, I don't see that happening anytime soon.
WHAT MY TEACHERS WANT ME TO WRITE
Upon discovering that I write for SHOUT, a teacher of mine once told me that I should use this platform that I have to spread information about employment opportunities. Filling a youth magazine job circulars might not be the best way to go, but I don't tell them that. Instead I express my full fledged enthusiasm for the idea. I still needed that A.
WHAT MY YOUNGER SIBLINGS WANT ME TO “WRITE”
Every week a supplement of The Daily Star comes out with a game segment which includes a “Find Five Differences between these Two Pictures” section. It's a family favourite and my little brother and sister are particularly interested in it. One day as I read SHOUT they come up to me saying “Apu, you make this paper, why don't you fill your pages with this game?”
Trust me, if I “made this paper”, that's definitely what I would do.
Rabita Saleh is a perfectionist/workaholic. Email feedback to this generally boring person at firstname.lastname@example.org