My Journey So Far.
“Your voice is the mantle that illuminates your path”- Oluwapelumi Okeh.
I wanted a voice and I found one. Here I am, looking back a year and thinking of how far I have come. Its been officially a year that I began writing professionally. I remember making the decision, telling my best friend at that time that I would love to create a space where I could talk about my emotions, my struggles. A place where I could write about things that people could find relatable, an avenue where people could share their personal experiences too, a place where people could come and seek answers to whatever problem they may be facing, a place where life issues could be discussed.
A lot happened in the space of one year and I got to feel some certain consciously mental emotions that I had never felt before. Truly, I experienced a lot of waves and fluctuations and I think the most difficult to deal with was the fact that I had put myself in a vulnerable position to either be criticized or accepted (one of the hardest things to do willingly). I undoubtedly enjoy writing, but there is this pressure or fear of wanting to write things that other people would enjoy and accept. Humans are indeed very opinionated. Therefore, it is very vital for writers to stay true to themselves no matter the platform or topics they choose to address. Let me not delve too deeply into that as this article is a summary of my journey so far.
One of the greatest fears of many writers (Yes. I keep saying writers instead of bloggers. That’s because I’m a writer and not a blogger). One of the greatest fears any writer could have is the fear of publishing a work that no one would read or cherish. This is why I have decided to use this medium to thank all my readers for constantly reading my articles, I appreciate everyone who even despite having opposite views and opinion from mine still take the time out to engage with my articles.
Writing is a liberating affair for me. It is the medium to which I have been able to express myself. It gave me the hope and courage to express myself when other things had failed and it is for this reason I am ever elated when I get sent emails telling me how my writings have influenced their lives. There are many with the opinion that a writer must learn to separate himself from his article before the article can be accepted as a worthy work of art. However, I am among the very few that believe that a writer is only as good as how he can use his emotions to write. Now, don’t get me wrong. You can write an unbiased literary piece of work even when your emotions are involved. It is this very act that differentiates every writer.
Personally, my emotions and feelings have been one of my driving forces. Of course, this has its disadvantages as it mostly influences my standpoint on certain issues. This is why I mostly provide full disclosure to my readers by informing them that my opinions are mine and mine alone; therefore, they shouldn’t be used as the ultimate guideline in steering through life.
A perfect example of the above point is the Dying multiple deaths article. I wrote this article at a point in my life when I began to question the reasons behind pain and disappointment. At the point of writing that particular article, I was going through a really tough time. Every single day I would wake up with so much sadness, I felt like I didn’t deserve what life was throwing at me and it seemed to feel like the situation I was experiencing was never going to end. I was most especially hurt because I was continually being hurt by people I trusted (a story for another day).
Now, one very ironic thing I have discovered through this journey is that as a writer your favourite piece might not get the most traction or engagement given that your interest might not be aligned with that of your readers at that particular point. When this happens, the mistake many make is rushing to produce articles that would bring in traffic while neglecting to focus on providing valuable content that withstands the peculiarities of time and seasons. As a writer, you must carve a niche for yourself, you can also decide to bring versatility to the table when you feel like it. However, ensure that every piece of the story, or article you publish is not only relevant at the time of publication but even months afterwards.
Have I thought about quitting writing?
Hell no! I haven’t thought about quitting. Nonetheless, I cannot recount how many times I have had to take time-off anything that was relating to writing. When I am in this zoned-out mood, and I have an article that I need to submit to a client, I take time off anything writing-related and treat myself to a good time. By the time I have done this, I am usually at the top of my game and ready to give my best. This short time-off I take is what I have termed as my “mini-vacation”. Sometimes, you publish an article and you are feeling all optimistic that the article would garner several views, and then you eventually check the statistics of the article, and you are left dumbfounded. I assure you that this is very normal and has happened to all writers at one point or the other.
I do not necessarily have a favourite article given that all my articles are absolute favourites of mine. However, the top 5 articles with the most views are:
- Jesus said use your head.
- My Experience with the Lagos State Okada Ban.
- Unravelling life as a 20-something.
- Fascism: What the World Never Admits.
- Is it really bad to be vulnerable?
Of course(●’◡’●), my first article holds a special place in my heart. You can visibly see the growth when you compare it with my other articles. You can check it out here –––> The Nucleus Between Religion and Regression in Nigeria.
What I have learned so far.
- Write from the heart:
It’s important to write from the heart and be as original as possible. Never try to copy anyone’s writing style. Be creative, unique, and original.
Be consistent with your writing. Sometimes we have our lows and other times you might experience the writer’s block. However, remember that someone is reading, many are expecting something from you, although they may never tell you this.
- You need to learn other skills:
As a writer, you might need to learn other skills to enable you to have a successful writing career. You might need to learn a few things here and there, especially if you own a blog. You might need to learn how to use correct SEO’s that will bring in organic readers, learn how to edit, design, how to use social media to your advantage, and even graphic and web designing. In most cases, a writer needs to learn how to carry research so that their articles are based on fact findings rather than baseless claims.
- Some days are bad:
You are going to experience some very tough times but once you get the hang of whatever you need to, you will be fine. Some days, you might just have only a few people reading your article and you might not even get any comment. Do not worry yourself too much about this as one thing I can assure you is that, as long as you keep writing original and valuable content, someone will continue reading.
- Take a break:
Understanding that taking a break from writing is not a crime and it is essentially important for any creative mind. Don’t be scared of taking a break from writing when it is needed. Take time out to feel refreshed and get inspired. Your career will not be in flames because you decided to take time off. Instead, see taking a break as an investment into the future of your productivity.
- Just do it:
Whatever it is you have been thinking of doing whether it involves writing, starting up a business, or a new project. Do it! There will never be a “right time” to do a great thing. You must create the time for whatever it is you want and expect that it would have positive results. In being optimistic, it is important that you control your expectations and do not allow it to go overboard. It is emphatically true that Rome was indeed not built in a day (Lol. I totally dislike using this particular saying but it suffices right now)
Finally, the journey so far hasn’t been an easy one as I have blabbed on about. It has been filled with highs and lows but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If I had to do this all over again, I wouldn’t change anything. We learn and grow every day and that’s what makes our story uniquely beautiful. I wish I could send a special message to every one of you reading this right now. This is me saying thanks for every single time you visited LulusArena.com, thanks for every time you will keep reading my articles in the future, thank you for every single time you decided to drop a comment, and ultimately, for every time you shared my articles.