Most writers’ stories begin the same way. Boy picks up a book and begins fantasising about being rescued by a demigoddess. Girl reads her first whodunit novel and begins sticking gum to her shoes.
I hail from a humble Chinese-speaking family. My earliest gaffe was writing “my mother is a cooker” — in one fell swoop I had objectified women around the world. I was getting borderline passes for my English papers only by strokes of luck. You would not find me ensconced in a nook with a 300-page book. As a young child, my talent was not apparent — I could not dribble a ball, sing on key nor create an imagined mammoth monster on a blank canvas.
But something awoke in me when I was 15. I had a penchant for tickling people’s funny bones. I could make people laugh. That paroxysm of laughter was my glory on a pedestal. And I loved writing compositions: I always jettisoned the happily-ever-after endings for nail-biting cliff-hangers. I added one word to my arsenal, and then another.
And so in less than a year, I leapfrogged from a C5 and clinched an A1 for my GCE O Level English.
My decision to go freelance when I was 23 was a bold albeit reckless one. But it was an inspired one. I was working in a production company and the freelancers would traipse in singing their “top of the morning to ya!” salutations. And I thought: “I should be one of them!”
And so my career began, with such a soft whisper of fanfare it was like dry leaves crackling. My first portfolio comprised my blog entries such as “What’s so happy about a birthday, anyway?” For reasons unbeknownst to me, companies gave me the break I needed and entrusted their projects to me. My first newsletter came and my first annual report project went swimmingly. I steadily built my portfolio.
Over the years, my conviction has deepened. I pride myself on producing only impeccable work. That entails rewriting drafts until I bleed before the first draft is presented. My confidence has grown too. I have the moxie to be a breath of fresh air and write copy that is riveting and different.
"We collaborated with Alden when he was just a young writer still learning the ropes. Even then we could trust him with our editorial projects, many of which were with government agencies. He would show up and get the work done, and each project was a success. Our clients like his works, and they keep coming back. If you need a writer who can take charge, Alden’s the right choice."
"Alden is a skilled wordsmith from whom I never fail to pick up nuggets of wisdom. Through our collaborations, I learnt that he's someone who pays great care to the quality of his work and is genuinely concerned about his clients' success. Indeed, I have come to see him as one of the mentor figures that can guide me on my entrepreneurial and writing pursuits."