“I believe words have
limitless power. Writing is an act of arranging words into a piece of content
to express and develop ideas. It’s up to the ability of the writer to make good
use of this power.”
This was Khanh’s answer to my question about her definition
of writing during lunch break. This struck up a conversation about writing and
her job as a writer at Rice.
Just by coincidence, she ended up as our new writer. She
said after her graduation, she didn’t intend to go back to Vietnam
straightaway, but Rice’s videos changed her mind. She recalled that one day,
Rice’s recruitment ad popped up on my feed, and I told myself this is my chance
and I needed to do something about it. Voila, after all, I’m here now with you
guys, she smiled.
Khanh’s background is more about public relation writing as
well as research proposal and argumentative writing. She admitted that it’s not
that I haven’t learnt and practised creative writing before, but at Rice, I
have more chance to learn and experiment with a variety of writing styles. That
makes me grow as a person and as a writer.
Unlike what I usually did in the past, I was taught that
creative writing is not about gathering facts or my knowledge about a specific
subject, it’s more about ideas and what comes from my heart. Habits are hard to
break, but I try my best now, she added.
When she was asked about her experience on her first film
set, she thought that this is a life-changing experience as she is familiar
with individual creativity rather than collective creativity. She explained
that in my opinion, the process for writing a book, an article or a research
paper is more about individual creativity whereas the process for filmmaking
requires not only the creativity of scriptwriters but also those of the whole
film crew to produce a film or video idea.
For me, screenwriting is another level as we also need to
think about how to turn ideas into reality; she laughed. This experience left a
mark on her mind. She told me she put a lot of thoughts into her writing path
afterwards. She understands she loves writing, but she hasn’t figured out what
kind of writer she wants to become.
We ended this conversation with the question of where she
sees herself in 5 years from now on. Khanh fell into silence for a while before
answering my question.
“Probably I will keep
writing somewhere else. One thing I’m sure that I never give up writing whether
I can continue to pursue it professionally or not, so it’s important for me to
enrich my experience by pushing myself out of my writing comfort zone to find
where am I belong to. This will take time and hard work, but there’s no way
around to know how to use the power of words.”