“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” (Maya Angelou)
Writing like every other form of art requires creativity, passion and dedication but I think most times we are the ones who are underrated, we are the ones who are less paid and a lot of times if feels that nobody can hear our cry.
I decided to write this article for that young writer who is getting tired and who thinks writing is a waste of time, I hope my story challenges and inspires you to go back and pick your pen.
I WANT TO WRITE
I started writing when I was nine years old, something happened to me that I couldn’t bear to tell anyone, my self-esteem was being crushed and I needed help but just at the right time I found writing. I decided to write how I was feeling in a book and at that instant there was a connection between a book, a pen and my heart you can call it love at first sight.
As I wrote my experiences more, I knew I wanted to world to hear my story, after I gained my self-esteem I wanted to help people who like me was going through some challenges and there was only method I knew how I to use and that was writing.
It was later in my life I got to understand that God wanted me to write, I had a message to share and writing was definitely my purpose. I picked up writing as a profession in 2015 and it is still my best decision till date.
I studied computer science in school and everyone felt I was going to be a programmer but somehow I couldn’t cope, coding felt like jargons to me (apology to all programmers, I respect you guys a lot!) but I knew I wasn’t going to be a computer scientist but writing was a profession I was sacred to venture into. I told my parents and like every normal parent they got scared for me, it felt like their baby girl was confused but my mind was made up about writing.
I started writing, started my own blog, I was enjoying it but there was just one problem I was broke and the bloggers who gave me side jobs were offering me peanuts, I can tell you it was frustrating. The truth is money fuels your passion but here was the thing I was committed to it and I knew someday I will make millions from writing.
I’m still yet to make the millions so don’t think of sending me your account number at least not yet but what I make now as a writer is a lot more than I started with and I’m so confident that writing will take me far, I know it could be tough being a writer, a lot of people told me to get a real life, somebody once told me to quit writing because people don’t read anymore but it was my dream and I refused to allow people take it from me.
Writing for me is my purpose, it is my voice, it is my world and just like every other art it is beautiful and it is a profession you can make millions from all you need is diligence and consistency.
SO YOU WANT TO WRITE
I want to share with you some tips on how to be a good writer and make some cool cash while at it.
Why do you want to write: You need to ask yourself this question over and over? Some days would be tough, your articles would be rejected, people would ask you questions but what keeps you going is the why. Do you want to write because you want to help people or you want to make people happy or you have a story to share? Whatever your reason (s) is make sure it is enough to keep you going.
Don’t let money be your motivation: if money is your motivation you won’t go far as a writer because if you are not making enough money you will be frustrated. I know we all need money, people’s smiles and thumb ups will not pay the bills but it would bring satisfaction and in a lot of cases great referrals. You can pick up another job and making writing a side hustle but here is the deal, don’t stop writing, if you are born to write I can assure you that you won’t find the fulfillment until you write.
Target audience: This is very important. The ones you want to read your books, the ones you are really writing for, you need to consider them. Your message is not for everyone and that is the bitter truth so knowing your target audience is very important. If you are writing for teenagers you need to understand what style of writing will catch their attention, if you are writing for kids you need to know what will get them glued to your writing. Know your audience!
Read books: there is only one way to learn and that is by studying the works of those who have gone ahead. I’m a crazy reader and if there is one place I’m always scared to visit, it is a bookshop because my appetite for books never finishes. I never loved books but because I wanted to write I had to train my mind to love books. Pick up books of authors you admire and even the ones you don’t admire just read. There was a time I fell in love with Maya Angelou I had to go find her poems, I studied and I got a new approach to writing poems. Read like your life depends on it but don’t forget to create your own style.
Be versatile: As a writer, don’t be a one way traffic. It is expedient you pick a genre (style) you want to work with. There are six genres in writing and that is expository, descriptive, letters and journals, narrative, persuasive and poetry. Pick a genre but learn about styles too because you will always need them. It is very expedient you have a style so that your audience know what to expect from you but that does not mean you can’t try others.
Sell yourself: the secret to this is to keep learning and don’t be scared to sell yourself as a writer, don’t let people underrate you. Write your books, package them and sell. Don’t be deceived people still read and you can make millions from writing. I can recommend Okada books, Mixsie audio books and Kobo they are great platforms that can help you sell your books and these guys will give you your money, they are so transparent. With a great writing and amazing marketing your book will definitely sell.
Surround yourself with other writers: join a community of writers, reach out to other writers and ask for help. This has kept me going a lot of times, I try to reach out to other writers when I’m so down and their words keeps me going, show them your works let them criticize your writings because that is a sure way to be a better writer. If you need some you can reach out to me and I’ll gladly recommend some.
This is the nightmare of every writer, when you get stuck on that page. I have about three books I stopped halfway because I had a serious writer’s block but I’m sure visiting them soon. There are ways to handle this. Just stop, don’t force words even if you have a deadline you need to relax and take a stroll or do something fun. Just give your brain and mind some rest. I love taking strolls or listening to music but once in a while I watch movies. Find out what works out for you and come back to your writing by the time you are back you are ready to fire on!
I’ve faced a lot as a young writer, there are days I’ve felt like quitting countless number of times but the future excites me so I keep going plus the grace of God has been sufficient for me. I take a long break once in a while to keep myself in check but I never stop writing and that’s the secret just write even when it does not sense just write, nobody became an expert in one night we all kept practicing till we became better. Just write even when you don’t feel like it write about how you feel and before you know it you are an expert in this field.
Finally, writing is a way of escape, it is your passport to a world you created so keep building. You have a message write it, let the world hear your story and you can be sure you are blessing lives while doing it.
Each time I write and I get feedbacks it gives me a big smile and if it is for that one person I’m helping with my words then I won’t stop writing.
Don’t be scared to learn too, join classes for writers, it might not be free but you will get value for your money. Spend so that you can earn in the future.
Dear writer, keep writing. Don’t hang your pen! The world needs you, people are counting on your message and your message is the hope somebody needs to move forward.