Book Review: You are a Writer

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Before I begin(even though I have already began) I think it is only right to acknowledge my friend, Hannah, a very talented child who gave M.E this book as a New Year’s gift even after I had last talked to her 2 months back. Pray you get friends like mine, and if you’re thinking of a gift any day, a book will do just fine. Again, Hannah, thank you.

You Are A Writer, Act Like One: Jeff Goins

I am a writer

I never really thought of myself as a writer, I probably still don’t(despite what my Twitter may say) and I think that is something every writer goes through. Well if you don’t, you are super talented. You see, unlike other indulgences like dancing, singing et al whereby if you are good, you can hear it, you can see it, writing is different. Writers have to be acknowledged. It is always good when you write something and someone says ‘I can relate’. It’s what we live for. We also suffer from the constant fear of never being good enough(Atelophobia, I googled that. Not yet that smart). Again, if you don’t, you are super talented. Most of us, I like to believe, write because we love to do it. It’s almost second to our nature. But then again, published or celebrated writers are not something that happen everyday, right?

“If you find yourself asking yourself “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” Chances are, you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self confident. The real one is scared to death.” -Steve Pressfield ‘the War of Art’

This is where the book comes in…

I’m not sure I know how book reviews are written so I’m just going through with this because an idea came to mind and I am trying to use the lessons I learnt(and still learning) from the book. In that sentence lies lessons from almost the whole book. The first being: Practice in public. So I have decided, expect a book review every last Sunday of the month. I’m not yet there but I’m taking some steps. Also, learn to choose yourself. Don’t wait to be picked, knocking on people’s doors asking ‘who wants a book review?’ No, just go ahead and write it. When you learn to choose yourself, they’ll be knocking on your door asking ‘Hey, do you have a book review?’ (Please do that every last Sunday, I’ll be honored)

It must have been last Sunday on the Afro Bloggers chat where we talked about consistency. Here’s the interesting thing, most of us ranted on lack of inspiration hence the inconsistency. Luckily enough, I was deep enough into the book to be able to share something which hit M.E real hard and made M.E sit up straight. Athletes are disciplined, they work and practise everyday to master their craft even when it seems they have arrived. They follow strict routines and crazy diets. They achieve results. On the other hand, we writers sit back and wait for the wind of inspiration and when it disappears…oh well, we wait for it to return. Now here’s the real deal bro, you’re not a writer if you’re not writing just like am not an athlete because I jog on some mornings(Ha! very rare mornings those ones). Don’t wait for the wind of inspiration, chase it. Hold onto nonsensical thoughts and write…(but also keep in mind that writers are born, not made πŸ™‚ Discipline yourself to write everyday. Offer sacrifices of your time. Let writing be your religion.

“Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on” -Louis L’Armour

I think am going too far in the book. I hear book reviews are supposed to be teasers sorta kinda? And I feel like I just blew that so let M.E annihilate this very well with one last lesson.

We writers also suffer from the feeling of being mentally naked. This time round if you don’t, you’re not yet there πŸ™‚ because let’s admit it, even when you write satire there’s a piece of you somewhere. People may not see it, but when you look at your work you can recognize it. It probably has your smile, your fears, your fantasies…something. Anything. But it is there. For example I was hesitant about sharing ‘Drowning’ because I knew the girl in the story so well, I felt her pain at a point in my life but when I did somebody called it beautiful chaos. I breathed. Don’t hold back trying to see through your audience’s eyes, you lose your style that way and soon become enslaved by your passion. Write whatever it is you will, because you are the voice of many. When you try to write what is ‘acceptable’, you fall short and start to doubt who you are. A writer.

In case the lessons got lost in my mumbo jumbo:

Choose yourself.

Write as a discipline. Sacred.

Don’t lose your voice. You speak for many.

Allow M.E add JUST one thing: Finish your articles. Finish your poems. Finish whatever you are writing. I suffer from half written things. If you don’t, I admire you. But if you do, I challenge you this week to go back and put full stops. Finish something woman. That’s how writers get their name. Act like that.

It has been a great blogging week for M.E, I went all psycho but I promise to try and be sane(like I am being right now) and the book? That’s not all there is to it, so here’s a chance to reward a loyal friend(In this case, loyal has lost meaning). If you want the book and I know you(this young girl is feeling fly:) just send a direct message, I’ll hook you up. If I don’t know you YET, I’d like to know you because I don’t want you to miss out on heaven hihi.

 

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24 thoughts on “Book Review: You are a Writer

  1. “When you try to write what is acceptable you fall short….”
    Words to live by..
    I am a book review virgin but I want to begin so bad and it is safe to say that you and that Xhosa girl Sinawo have inspired me to start.
    Good job and about the need to be acknowledged I can relate and assure you that I am on your cheer leading squad by default…

    I need that book in my life 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Writers are born.. made… all these things confuse me. I really just want to learn to be consistent first.. try to write everyday.. then let me know that I’m getting better.. or not. That’s when I’d understand that made.. born.. thing. Sigh

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff Goins… Have you checked out the facebook group ‘My 500 Words’? It’s a group created by Jeff, that runs on his principles and tips hence writers are encouraged to write at least 500 words every day.

    Otherwise awesome piece, It has given me more gas to turn writing into a mini habit… Thank you…

    Liked by 1 person

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