Sunday, September 15, 2013

Being a Bold Writer - Recollection of writing a (controversial) article on IndonesiaMengglobal.com


Earlier this month, IndonesiaMengglobal.com published an article that I had written with regards to nationalism. Yes, it was quite a heated analysis of the idea of nationalism in Indonesia, based on some recent experiences of mine. When I wrote it, I did not realize how controversial it would appear to some, if not most, readers. Instead, in my head it was an honest take on the events that had unraveled in relation to nationalism. 

Through platforms, such as IM, I learned that being a bold writer does not always connote the idea above!

As a responsible publication, IM is equipped with a team of sharp and knowledgeable editors who is responsible for reviewing articles before publishing them on the site. After a few years working on another online publication, I was well aware about the dangers of op-ed pieces, especially those that run the risk of not being positively perceived. Even so, "there is no such thing as bad press," is not merely a saying. But it never occurred to me that this post would somehow garner more viewers, as I was not consciously striving towards a larger list of readers. 
Thankfully, I gained much-needed experience,
instead of feeling that (see above)

Following publication, the piece received several responses. As a writer who rarely hears back from the readers, I was both excited and overwhelmed by the comments. Some thanked me for putting together such a piece, while one particular reader charged me with an interesting argument. A natural debater with a curious mind, I felt refreshed by this sudden interruption, if you will.

Additionally, the reactions helped place things in perspective. Indeed, they became a series of wake up calls. Early on in high school, my writings began to be published in newspapers, magazines, online publications, and blogs. Yet, I often had the privilege of hiding under a shell, as I rarely heard from the readers or editors. As time passed, I became more complacent about my work. In a way it allowed me to become bolder with each article, but it also meant a reduction in the rigor of the research that I conducted prior to writing. Clearly it allowed me to deal with fears and voice out my perspectives more openly.

Today, another IM contributor wrote a response to my article on nationalism. Rafadi Hakim provided his take on the issue of nationalism. "I believe that to be an educated person is to be aware of a certain ethics of global citizenship." he said mid-article, summing up the fact that there is a need to look beyond the idea of nationalism. Hakim introduces the idea that, in fact, it is a larger pressing concern, which is global citizenship. I appreciate the final paragraph of his article as it sums up his beautiful perspective on citizenship, in general, "I simply have to say that being a “nationalist” is not necessarily the mark of a remarkable educational journey. At the end, we all have to be compassionate, regardless of our national identities." 

A screenshot of Hakim's article on IM, check it out on http://indonesiamengglobal.com/2013/09/beyond-national-pride-compassion-and-the-ethics-of-global-citizenship/

Through Hakim's response article, I realized the importance of exposing one's perspective in front of others. Yes, it is nerve-wrecking, but it also allows us to observe other people's views on the subject at hand. Exposing myself, in this case, has given me the chance to hear another person's thoughts, and hopefully begin a conversation that would highlight my days to come. Writing on a variety of platforms, especially IM has provided me with a larger network. I have met and gotten to know a handful of individuals who have changed my life through a variety of interactions, including meaningful discussions. As someone who dislikes confrontations, I have become much more in tuned with ways to deal with disagreements, such as those that are anonymous and, often, more vicious in nature. Writing for these platforms have really been a great part of my recent years. 

Thank you to those who have given me the opportunity to voice out my perspective; readers, both lovers and haters; as well as those who support me continuously by making me aware of my writing skills or lack thereof. 


References:
Indonesia Mengglobal's website - http://indonesiamengglobal.com

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