After staring at my screen for an hour trying to write a critical article for a media (a long process of typing tentatively, deleting, typing tentatively some more, deleting some more as well), I decided that, at least for now, I am only capable of two types of writing.
The first is what I call 'menulis tulus' (this inner dialogue I call my blog). I write without thinking. Freely, passionately. As an illustration, my hands make those clackity-clack sound on the keyboard because I'm typing without pause.
The second is my academic writing, so far my theses (and several published journal articles). It's easier for me to write an academic article because I can fill in my logical gaps by referring to other scholars/studies. I get to explain more of the context and my own perspective in the larger spectrum of the debate.
At first I thought I needed to get my thoughts out there, via the popular media. But I figured there are some people who are brilliant critical writers whose articles are published numerously in the media. There are people who are great public speakers who have the natural talent (and perhaps acquired skill) to speak to an audience.
Maybe I have my own niche. Isn't the point of working (well, aside from the obvious (slash inevitable) bringing food to the table) - finding something you do passionately? I teach passionately. I blog passionately. I, ironically, write my thesis passionately. I believe the intention is more important than the implication.
I won't discredit writing an article for the media just yet. But for now, I'm focusing on the things I know I do with heart, naturally, almost effortlessly, and hope that one day momentum will allow it to spiral greater than the intention with which it was initiated.
To every person their own.