This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Samuel Loh (16A01A), Vice-Chairperson
The average day in Raffles Press is spent confronting one of mankind’s most perennial, yet outwardly unimpressive, questions: how do we say what we think? Incredible thoughts occur to everybody, but the best writers make extraordinary things ordinary, and the most complex abstractions relatable. At Raffles Press, this is just the issue we endeavour to tackle.
Regular sessions at Raffles Press generally begin with a brainstorming exercise, where club members discuss pertinent happenings and current affairs — both within and without our school — that are of great concern or may interest a Rafflesian audience . It’s an excellent opportunity to bring up issues you feel strongly for. Sharing your views with like-minded, enthusiastic writers is particularly enriching as a platform to apprise yourself of various styles of writing and unique perspectives to nourish your own appetite for learning beyond the classroom. Expect workshops conducted by professionals and alumni who’re more than happy to share their wealth of experience writing as formal journalists as part of recognizable titles like The Straits Times. Expect to be an important part of the writing process of what has since become a characteristic mainstay of the RI student’s reading diet: the Rafflesian Times.
And who ever said good writing was the product of solitude? Don’t miss out on the fun at club bonding activities, which often include trips to peculiarly charming corners of Singapore that promise good sights, good food, and even better company.
Just as editing a peer’s work offers valuable experience, conceptualizing and writing your own article can be an immensely rewarding endeavor. The writing process traditionally involves initial discussions with fellow writers to formulate your views, then gathering resources and information to substantiate your claims. Arranging and conducting interviews with stakeholders or experts are part and parcel of producing engaging and well-argued articles, so be ready to pick up some useful skills along the way. Above all, keep a positive mindset and expect your writing to become adventures of their own. There’s no telling when a piece of investigative journalism might involve masquerading as prospective employers to explore the unheard stories of Singapore’s domestic worker industry; exclusive interviews with the humans behind wildly-popular Humans of Singapore; or a school performance you never expected to attend, but found pretty intriguing, after all. Perhaps the best side of writing is just how much you can do to make it exciting and enjoyable for yourself.
Writer’s blocks, sleepless nights, and countless reviews become your best friends. But your fellow cowriters and editors can always be relied upon to provide that little burst of inspiration needed to keep your creative juices flowing. Interestingly enough, well-known author Maya Angelou claimed that there exists “no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”. A day in the life of Raffles Press is yet another day closer to telling that story.