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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Writing Books

 When it comes to writers my idols include Danielle Steel, Stephen King, Enid Blyton, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Chiamanda Adichie, Chinua Achebe , J.K Rowling, Barbara Cartland and  Dan Brown. When I was a young child, I developed an interest in writing and spent half the time trying to put something worthwhile on paper. Looking back, I realise my interest wasn't out of the blue; it was through reading and watching book adaptations on T.V- The adventures of Tom Sawyer, Jane Eyre, Little Women, Ivanhoe, Alice in Wonderland, The Legend of King Arthur, The Prince and The Pauper, Oliver Twist and David Copperfield.  Folktales came to me through Nigerian programmes like Storyland and Tales By Moonlight and books like Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast and stories from Enid Blyton. I spent most of the time over the years trying to put something worthwhile on paper and in 2006, my current books were published.
Right now I'm working on my first novel and more stories for kids; but right  I'm discouraged and unmotivated because of distractions, obligations and lack of money. Also; I'm not satisfied with my approach and I wind up having to start all over again! But a writer I chat with on Twitter says it's not unusual but I shouldn't  be overly concerned with how I sound, I have to leave that to the readers to judge; so I'm struggling to do just that.
A friend approached me today asking me to 'teach' her how to write. My reply was: everybody has a story to tell, I can't teach her to write- nobody  taught me. Besides, writing is a matter of interest, not talent; if you aren't in a habit of reading a lot, you can't put anything on paper. But another friend disagreed with what I said. As far as she was concerned, writing came from talent; not everybody had the skill to write books. After my own struggles and reading about other writers' struggles, I know better; it is interest and determination. It took four years for Barbara Taylor Bradford to complete her first and most famous book "A Woman of Substance", Stephen King's writing career started by writing short stories for magazines and manuscripts that were ignored until  his first novel ''Carrie'' was finally published.
Maybe I'm being impatient about it all- I want to be in King's and the other writers' level; to be a best selling author overnight; more for the recognition than the money- which I also want. But I also want to leave a legacy behind, something I'll always be remembered for. I don't see writing as a thankless, hopeless task because it's my true calling. But if I'm going to be a successful writer I have to be more focused, more determined, more optimistic and believe in myself. Luckily I'm not one to wait for inspiration; I do what I call 'practice writing' by writing fan fiction and posting it on the internet and then I  turn to the 'real' work and try to improve on it. It's been 6 years since my first publications so my determination has to remain strong. And by God's grace; I will succeed.

"When inspiration comes; let it find me working."- Pablo Picasso


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