It Wasn’t A Sequel To Begin With
November 29, 2012 – 18:32 | No Comment

My 3rd novel wasn’t meant to be a sequel to the 2nd novel in the first place. Then something happened. Characters began to beg to be included in the story. Thus, a sequel was born.

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A Generalist Thinking

Submitted by on December 7, 2009 – 23:10No Comment

According to Dictionary.com, a SPECIALIST is a person who devotes himself or herself to one subject or to one particular branch of a subject or pursuit. While a GENERALIST is a person whose knowledge, aptitudes, and skills are applied to a field as a whole or to a variety of different fields. Both definitions are in opposition to the other. If you were given a choice, which would you choose to pursue? To be a specialist in the one thing you love to do, or to be a generalist in the many things you love to do?

I have never looked at it this way before; never looked at myself as a Specialist if I were to choose to pursue solely on copywriting. I have always wanted to be someone who can express myself visually and writtenly. Does that make me a Generalist? I first heard of this word last week and I thought, “Wow! I didn’t know there is such a word. Could I be a Generalist after all? Would I make a better Generalist than a Specialist?”

In today’s world, Generalists are in bigger demand than Specialists. Generalists save costs for companies and are able to produce better quality of jobs because they know a bit of everything. I should have known that from the very start of my career because I have the cutting edge of knowing graphic design and copywriting at the same time. It gives me the upper hand and helps me to stand one level higher than other applicants. It’s just silly that only now do I realize this important element in the working force. Would I have travelled down a different road if I knew there is such a term called Generalist?

Humans are stubborn creature. When they decide on a principle, they hold on to it tightly. When the world changes, their principles never change and it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous because sometimes we have to change in order to gain the best for ourselves. I know friends who run after money. They have a great job, good colleagues and wonderful environment – everyone’s dream job – but when a bigger pay checque comes along from other companies, they quickly change because money comes first. Who cares if they are not happy somewhere else?

I have my principles too. I believe that if we want something hard enough, it will come to us. I believe that if we want to be that someone so much, we could. My first target is to be a Writer, to change the world with my words. My second is to embrace the cap of a Creative Director, to change the way people look at communication methods. And then what? I want to combine them both. Because I know I am not good enough to soar like an eagle just focusing on one field alone. I could never be the best selling author in Malaysia but I’ll be happy just selling my books. I could never be another Yasmin Ahmad winning awards for creative ideas but I’ll be happy just coming out with some. Maybe I am a born Generalist. Never genius in something; Always good in just everything.

Graphic design inspires me; Writing drives me. Why do I have to choose between both? That’s one of the major questions which have been playing in my mind for the past one month. I am torn between passion and survival. I am stretch to the max when it comes to choosing between specialising in one or just being good in both. And the world is not listening to how I feel inside about this scenario. Why do they care as long as you have a job and live your life? Look at everyone around us. They are just living for the sake of living. Do they realize that the world is rounder than they imagined?

It’s your life. You have to know how you want to live it. You have to know if you want to be a Specialist or a Generalist. You have to know what is best for yourself to keep you happy. You have yourself to answer to at the end of every day. And that is a big responsibility. So which do you choose?

Originally written by Gina Yap Lai Yoong © 2008

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