Years ago, I penned the About Me section of my blog. Titled ‘Born to Write’, the 200-odd words captured who I was back then. It’s time for a re-write.
Topher Ong is a young writer from Sydney, New South Wales. He lives in short stories, blog posts, novels, and non-fiction and has written in all of the above. His pen has taken him to diverse places, from associate editor in high school to getting published in magazines, from fighting with koalas to besting academic essays at uni. Topher has graduated from two-time scrabble doubles champion to attaining an excellent result in that conundrum exam, the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The 8.5 Overall Band Score (including a perfect 9.0 in Speaking) represents probably his finest hour as a teenager. What’s more, he did all this in one try (‘one-and-done’ as they call it).
He has been a bookworm for most of his life. This habit was instilled in him early on, when he would peruse the Childcraft volumes. From there, he looked at encyclopaedias, greatly aided by the school library. Then it was onto the dailies, where not a day would go by without him devouring the papers. Finally, he became enamoured into the world of fiction, with the occasional foray into memoirs. He mainly goes for genre fiction, such as Grisham’s thrillers and Connelly’s police procedurals. He can also be seen chipping away at Karin Slaughter, Matthew Reilly, Don Brown, and others. One must note that I studied Jose Rizal (a national hero) as a teenager, being required reading in school. I’ve likewise encountered my fair share of plays. However, he is not really a fan of literature even though his style is most closely associated with that genre. In the IELTS, Chris secured an 8.5 Band Score in Reading.
While his reading skills were honed even before the classroom, his school experience fostered his writing faculties. Written exercises in primary school, essays and projects in high school served to bolster his interest. Soon he was joining the school organ, winning a schoolwide writing contest, and making his mark on the yearbook. Classmates and teachers alike were dazzled by his material. He was fortunate to have a number of invaluable allies along the way. As a teenager, they gave him the weapons to succeed and ensured that he would have auspicious chances to win. I’ll make sure to list them one by one when the time comes. In case you’re curious, he normed an 8.5 Band Score in Writing. Both the Writing and Speaking Tests were based on the marker’s discretion. In other words, the two Tests were subjectively evaluated.
I mentioned before that ‘this website is the aftermath of research and specialised study, being awarded an Honours degree and encountering a partridge of issues and themes along the way’. I can admit that I deal with heaps of different issues and themes. Through three years of serious blogging, I’ve done retro posts, written in my own language, compiled many sets of book reviews. I’ve put together product reviews, penned a letter to myself, dissected films and series. I’ve detailed my travel experiences, recycled my old projects, and even shared poetry. As writers, we’re only as good as our last post so you should try to make it count. As bloggers, we should soar higher, always preparing to scale new heights and conquer new goals. Without new ambitions, radical changes and much progress, we would struggle.
I confessed that ‘as I continue to grow in mind and become more seasoned, it would be my pleasure to take you along for the run’. That is exactly what I did: I’ve shared my tales and imparted my learning. Whether you were there or not, I made sure to deliver my thoughts. Sometimes coming up with fresh ideas each week is not easy but spare a thought for those who publish every day. Knowing how others could compose even more frequently inspires me to do more.
So, don’t be scared and let your voice be heard. At the moment, a mere six degrees of separation is in between us. Don’t wait for the next moment to interface; we should not be hosts to tomorrow’s uncertainty. As a recycled ad one intoned, ‘face your fears, live your dreams’.