Writing and I

I have the privilege of being a part of an amazing group of poets called Friends in Poetry. Now, I am not much of a poet but every once in a while I try my hands at some form of poetry, so I joined that group to be better at it. Writers usually talk of the muse and their inspiration and stuff like that so our group is not exempted. What usually strikes me though is how good some are at just coming up with these poems at the drop of a hat whereas I will take years to even write a complete stanza.

Growing up, I was usually lonely so I tried talking to myself and when that did not work I found solace in books. With a book, I could travel far and near, I could make amazing new friends, experience new adventures and live a thousand lives in one. When I discovered writing, it became my escape. I could express my opinions without anyone raising their eyebrows, I could become whoever whenever; it was an enlightening world. I was sensitive and reflective about all that I was seeing and experiencing around me and I poured down my heart in the gentle waves of lines on paper. When I felt that people(in this case my parents) would read and ask questions, I decided to make up stories instead of just communicating directly; I did this through characters and themes. Writing became my other world just as powerful as reading.

This style of writing though means that I do not perhaps have to chase inspiration, I simply walk into it. Just like an individual never gets tired of talking to their best friend, I never quite got tired of showing up on paper. The only time I felt this was when I realized that I wrote more out of pain than anything else and when the pain became unbearable, I simply stopped showing up. When I was ready to heal again, I found my solace right on those pages again.

The power that comes with this style of writing is that you own your voice, you become you. You do not worry about being inspired in the ordinary or traditional way or chasing after a muse; you are your own inspiration and your exertions and experiences and observations become the stuff of your story and writing; all you have to do is show up everyday and tell your story. Writing here is about finding your voice and being unapologetic about it. Recently, I had the pleasure of learning at the feet of the master himself, Chinua Achebe. What I took from that book was that I had to tell my own story, yes, it has been said before but it has not been said by me. It is exactly because of this that my style works for me because I am not afraid to tell my opinion and my own story.

It is this writing style that has brought me here, it is what propels and what keeps me going. Showing up, owning your style and most of all, telling your own story and realising that every story deserves being told because some people really need to hear those stories to identify with them and learn from them or simply derive pleasure from them.



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