you want to be a writer?
"Seeking the validation of self is perhaps the sole
preoccupation of youth. Such affirmation sought after in numerous
ways, can only be successfully attained through two
mediums: love and art."
This is what
the editors of a publication called Final Draft have to say in their
Editors' note. This group of young writers call themselves the Young
Writers' Association and are dedicated to one common goal - writing.
is not limited to a particular set of people. Most of us have dreamed
of being an author or poet. There are those random scribblings through
which we try to express our views on world problems and offer solutions.
Somehow, at that moment in time, it seems worthwhile, as you feel
you can change the world and cause waves in the world of literature.
about expressing your feelings and thoughts on paper. Who knows,
you might actually be able to inspire someone out there with your
Sit down, ponder
on what's in your heart... Spend some time reflecting on it and
write - be it a poem, a short story or prose. Then send it to be
published. Why? Because you think, it is brilliant.
So is this
the proper way to go about it?
assume that what you have written is the best thing under the sun,"
says Chayanka, an aspiring young writer. "I have been writing
or trying to write for a long time, but I critically evaluate each
and every piece and make sure that there is no room for improvement.
And I am also very sceptical about getting it published. I learnt
this the hard way - I tend to assume that since it is mine, that
it is really good, whereas it really isn't."
the Chairman of the Young Writers' Association stresses the importance
of reading when you want to write. "Reading should always be
the first step. I am saying this through personal experience. But
somehow, it all depends on what you hope to do with your writing."
does not depend on anything. It largely depends on your feelings.
"But any other kind of writing has to have a lot of discipline,
is the key to proper writing says playwright Ruwanthi de Chickera.
"However, I don't consider myself an experienced writer!"
she adds with a laugh.
What does being
objective mean? It means dealing with what is external to the mind,
actually existing, or real. For a person who writes, it means dealing
with outward things or recording facts uncoloured by feelings or
So what has
worked for Ruwanthi? "Writing is a mixture of passion and skill.
The first stages of writing are always subjective; it involves releasing
of thoughts and feelings and whatever that inspires you. But feeling
is not enough...
to be able to craft it. Rhythm and structuring of sentences is extremely
important. What matters in the end is how you say it!"
a fair amount of distance between myself and what I write. I actually
had to wait two years before I could pull out the first drafts of
Middle of Silence and Two Times Two is Two to work on it again,"
she adds. "But even then, I don't show it to anyone, until
I have edited it and till I think it is perfect and that there is
no room for improvement."
For young aspiring
writers out there, she says, "Be critical!" What matters
in the end is not what other people have to say about it, but what
you think about it. The passion could be there, but realise the
importance of crafting your work and structuring it.
de Silva also echoed Ruwanthi's views. But she adds to it by saying
that one should be aware of what one is writing about. "Topicality
is important. Choose something you know about and never attempt
to write about what you do not know." She believes in the importance
of being aware of your topic and the necessity of research when
writing about something.
do great things. It can inspire people and can change them for the
better. Trying to write involves great strength of mind, and wanting
to show it to the world requires even more. But skill is a must.
Work on what ever you have written until there is no room for improvement.
Take out your favourite piece and if you feel there still is something
wrong, don't be afraid to edit it hundreds of times, as Ruwanthi
de Chickera says.
In the end,
remember, it is only through writing that certainties can be found.
'real fun' game
By Thiruni Kelegama and Ishani Ranasinghe
Known as the cradle of motor racing, it is where an aspiring
racing driver learns his racing lines and perhaps lays a foundation
for competitive motor racing. It is also an opportunity to break
away from the monotony and stresses of everyday life and feel the
adrenaline rush of prokarting.
the enthusiasts say, trains an individual to perform to one's peak
in competitive and disciplined racing.
It is also
the stepping-stone to go-karting, which is the ideal launch into
formula racing. But, as we found out, you do not need special skills
to enjoy it. For most of us, who would never dare to touch a racing
car, prokarting can be an extremely exciting pastime
a late Thursday night, an empty track greeted us at Millennium Park,
Colombo's popular prokarting venue. But, it was not meant to last.
As it grew darker and deeper into the night, crowds started pouring
a German who was in Sri Lanka for a holiday had decided to come
prokarting to see whether it was as fun here as it is in Germany.
was so good!" he exclaimed as soon as he finished his 25 laps.
"I will come back," he vowed. "And when I do, I'll
break the existing record for a lap which is 14 seconds."
Park has a scaled down version of a Formula 1 track which is fibre-coated
and covered overhead with a 40' high roof for the ultimate experience
of leisure prokarting and racing.
attracts a large group of people belonging to all walks of society.
Most of the crowd that came in for the cricket matches did not forget
to try their hands at prokarting. Sandeep, Balaji and Arvind from
Chennai after going for a couple of spins agreed that it is exciting
and in a way tested their limits.
very safe," assures Melville VanderHoeven, the Manager of Colombo
Prokarts, the outfit that handles the prokarting at Millennium Park.
"It is essential that everyone wears head gear for their own
safety. Prokarting is still very popular in Sri Lanka, which is
why we have organised the All Island Prokart Championship."
There are two
championship races each year, in the junior, ladies, P1 (Under 65kg)
and P2 (Over 65kg) categories.
5 - the day of the race - the place was buzzing with excitement!
races had started as we walked in and it certainly was a pleasant
surprise to see the karts being skilfully handled by kids as young
as 11 years. Sharez Mendis came in first, Rikaaz Khalid came in
second and Yannick Lawrence came in third.
us most was the very fact that these young racers were so skilful,
especially when some of them found it impossible to reach the brake
and the accelerator without the aid of a cushion. Asked why they
loved prokarting so much, they all had the same thing to say, "It
is real fun!"
been prokarting for some time..." they echoed. Any plans to
stop? "Not at all!" they said heartily.
The next race
was the ladies' event where Jeromy Vibratheebam (21) who is employed
at Pramuka Bank was all excited at her upcoming event.
started prokart racing because I was forced to. At the Interbank
competition they needed people to race and I had no choice but to
agree," she says. " That was the first time I had even
seen a prokart track but after the race, which we won, I was hooked
and the rest is history."
(26) comes once a month to practise. "I feel reckless on these
wheels." She also adds what we have been hearing from the die-hard
fans of prokarting and even the beginners, "It's fun!"
certainly seemed strange that everyone we spoke to echoed these
very words. But, after a few reckless, life endangering and not
to mention disastrous moments on the track, we didn't fail to disagree.