Let’s talk about the difficulties of writing.
Writing is hard (yea, let’s cut to it, no need for shenanigans). Writing is fucking hard. I know you must have read on various blogs how with a few steps you can become a great writer and whatnot. It is a lie. There are no steps, there are no rules. You just write.
You think say e easy to carry biro talk say you dey write? You no know say na winch craft somtin? Broda, sista, to write no be beans o (Okay, normal English now).
I have a confession to make; I’ve been looking for a formula, for a state of mind that can wield any story. I won’t say I’ve not been successful, but this endeavour has remarkably stressed my soul. Instead, I find myself jumping ship. Today it is “dream the words”, tomorrow is “go with the flow”, the day after it is “visualise the scenes”, the other day it was “write it like a journal”, and today it is “philosophise through it”. Do you see what I’m talking about? The quest to find a formula has left me a mad man. I can’t decide on anything about writing. The mental shifts leave we weak and hopeless. But don’t get me wrong, these shift are like travels and I pick a thing or two from them. The spasms might not necessary take me to the promised land, but they give me EXPERIENCE. Now I can write a lot about writing. I can give advice because I have seen hardship.
So, there is no formula. If anybody tells you there is a formula to being a good/great writer, then that person is a liar or a writer [lol]. True! Cos a writer is a liar; don’t you know? Seriously, looking for a formula is like chasing ghosts, you never really catch any (or have you caught a ghost before?) There is no formula. But by all means, travel like me, search your mind and beyond for patterns, it will make you a wise writer wannabe, but it won’t bring you to that promised land. Because how do you want to get home when you keep travelling? So, are you a traveller or a writer?
Do you know that there are sometimes when I’m writing and I’d suddenly just be like, “What the hell am I doing? Why am I writing so much? Why are there so many words? What am I trying to say…?”
I call these times the moments of artistic doubt. It’s like your brain just goes off, empties itself, and doubt (oh, brother doubt) just floods in, and you’re like, “What the fuck am I doing? Is this writing? What do these words mean?! Why am I writing them?” Well, philosophy leads to doubt and doubt leads to mild schizophrenia. It is not a crime to doubt yourself, it is actually a trait of genius. Because if you can’t attack yourself, then you’d never be able to attack your work, and you’d write lots of rubbish. You should be able to say, “Hold on a minute, why am I doing this? Why am I like this? What am I trying to prove? Why do I believe in words?” Yea, you should be able to doubt yourself, and maybe cry, and scream. Don’t worry, you’d come back to normal. But if you don’t doubt, then how would you know for sure that writing is your calling?
So, writing is hard, freaking hard, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. To be good at it is to fight with yourself. The secrets of writing are in the doubts, those moments you ask yourself what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Those are the moments mother nature tells you a thing or two. Those are the moments of mental anguish. And, no pain no gain.
So, don’t be a writer, be writing.