Lu-Hai Liang

thoughts from a freelance foreign correspondent

2016: things I should do

with 3 comments


  1. Write a Novel

Even if it takes two years, the sense of completion I’d feel would be worth it. That I started and finished a novel. More than that, I think of how much I’d learn.

I am increasingly convinced that strong storytelling is the key, whether it’s in marketing, advertising, speechwriting, blogging, journalism, or “content creation”. That a deep understanding of narrative, story, and essence is the fundamental skill needed.

I already have a “model book”, that is, a book which I’ll study chapter by chapter; analyzing line by line what’s going on, after which I’ll produce my version. It’s writing-by-numbers you might think, but by learning the infrastructure and superstructure of a novel like this I think I’ll indelibly absorb something useful.

How do you tell a story, what are the mechanics of narrative, constructing a plot, creating a character, developing a character, describing a believable person with spark and breath on a page — dialogue, mood, and tone. All this I have some sense of from the dozens of novels I’ve read but I won’t know until I do it myself.

I think I’ll be able to better tell a story, write an article, design a campaign, once I understand the bones of something as large as a novel intimately.

2. Be a more global writer

Go to South Korea. Tokyo. Bangkok. Around China. Taiwan. HK. Try to be an Asia correspondent. Join the dots. Put the pieces together. How things relate. Write and report more from more places. Have a different experience.

3. Work on one or more “big stories”

An inspiring, romantic title, a journey, an adventure, a deep study of a subject worth exploring, something inspiring.

4. Consume less

I won’t be buying more clothes, unless I genuinely need it or I really love it. I won’t spend extra and indulge in food unless I actually feel like it. Spending–buying stuff are just boring, displacement activities that don’t mean anything. So I’ll cut down on this.

5. Connect with more people

Just put more effort into meeting more people, making genuine effort, and getting to know people.

6. Go to America

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially checking out the national parks, the landscape and some of the cities. If anyone wants to be my guide, let me know. In general, I should do more of the things I’ve always wanted to do.

Written by Lu-Hai Liang

January 7, 2016 at 8:52 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Good post mate. Best of luck with the year – sounds like it’s gonna be a good one!

    Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2016 20:52:58 +0000


    January 8, 2016 at 12:56 am

  2. Hi Lu! Sounds like a great and ambitious plan. 🙂 How about starting your own magazine? We’re looking for quality journalists who have the potential to launch their own brand. Let me know if you are interested.


    January 8, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    • Hi Dana, thanks for your comment. Please shoot me an email, address found in the ‘About’ section.

      Lu-Hai Liang

      January 8, 2016 at 12:31 pm

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