Friday, 10 October 2014

Fighting To Keep My Passion For Writing

I love writing. I love writing my blog, I love writing about the woo-woo spiritual stuff that the other side  of me writes about regularly, and  I love writing about sports – Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in particular.  

Yes I do have a clandestine love affair for the sport and secretly wished I was 25 years younger so that I could take down the trash-talkers I write about most of the time.  However, that is of course just a dream and my husband's nightmare.  The Universe is so perfectly clever, knowing that my brash and callous nature would cause me to lose a kneecap in the cage that it had decided to get me to concentrate on my day job, run my business and just for the fun of it, get my ass into the gym to pretend to fight like Cris Cyborg or Connor McGregor while I write about fighters who try very hard to be Cris Cyborg and Connor McGregor.

Lately however, I have been getting slightly dispassionate, uninspired and disillusioned.  You see, in the course of writing about my favorite sport, I keep reading the same stuff about fighters, how they train, what they eat, how they cut weight, and how they want to "beat the crap out of their opponent" in their upcoming fights. And horrors, i discovered myself writing the same thing too.  My passion gradually waned when my articles were written from interviews that are orchestrated like the script of a governmental speech.  The articles began to look similar and read like it was the manual of a new  kitchen appliance.  I started to question my journalistic integrity and wondered if I could have written that piece a little differently.

I was trained in creative journalism.  No, it is not about the skill of sensationalizing an event as mundane as the opening of a new jar of candy that is expected in most tabloids.  It is about creatively thinking of unique story angles that a reader would find valuable to read.  In this world of combat sports, I am bored of the same repetitions about being trained by world champions when my readers want to get to know the true human being behind the gloves. I am looking for authenticity. I am looking for truly interesting stories that define the fighters as regular people with substance on top of the guts and skills they display within the cage.

Some of these genuine stories are far and few in between.  

I got excited by the story of a fighter whose family had left his ancestral home when he was just a wee boy, relocating to a foreign land far away, only to make an emotional return many years later to fight for the first time back at his ancestral homeland.  That story had given me a glimpse of the experience of his past that had shaped his character and attitude as an athlete and a fighter.  After publishing that story, I witnessed him losing a fight after being accidentally stomped on by his opponent, yet he accepted that defeat with graciousness, joked about it and moved on, like a champion.  As the writer of that story, I connected the dots of this display of sportsmanship with his childhood experience. 

I was enthused by conversations with fighters who were authentic. One of them was a professional chef who juggled between his day job and  his training efforts as a professional fighter. I knew that interview with him was going to be a lot more fun, the minute he opened our conversation with a joke,” If it all goes pear-shaped, at least I can cook!”  

Even a 16 year old amateur fighter triggered much interest in me because I saw a boy display a lot of humility in spite of his excellent performance in the cage and his winning streak as an amateur fighter. You see, he made me wonder how someone exposed to an industry like this at such a young age, could still hold his own and display that humility so lacking amongst the many that I have encountered. 

When I got to meet my favourite female fighter who was a former Strikeforce Women’s featherweight champion and current Invicta world champion in the featherweight category, I really did not care about how far she had come and what she had done to become a formidable female fighter that is worthy of putting a lousey fighter in her place even at a weight category of 135pounds. And she responded to my yearning for that story with a bit more substance when she spoke about her difficult childhood, and her insecurities.  She even shared that her greatest challenge was dealing with the public's misconceived perceptions about her when they do not know the real person behind her fight persona. She was not afraid to allow me to uncover her vulnerability and I respected her for it.  

Do not get me wrong.  I enjoy talking to real fighters. However, the key word here is REAL.  I crave for authenticity and I think, I can write much better and with a little more passion when I can get to know the real people behind their gloves.  

The photo accompanying this blog post was taken by David Ash,

About The Writer

The writer of this blog post is a Marketing and PR professional for over 20 years.  Due to her love for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), she is also a freelance sports writer on the side, contributing MMA-related articles to several sports media.  She works in partnership with her husband, David Ash, who is an avid sports photographer from  She is passionate about Muay Thai and nurtures a dream to fight competitively one day when her coach stops making fun of her.  She is also a psychic intuitive by birth and runs a consultancy that does tarot and numerology readings under her brand, Sun Goddess Tarot.  This blog is affectionately called "The Crazy AngMo" as she is married to one, although she has not yet explained to THE Ang Mo that when translated, he has been labeled  “the bloke with ginger hair”.  

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