My Writing Journey

My journey as a writer has not been without its challenges, that had to be overcome. I think for many writers, that would be the case.

I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. My parents wanted us to have a good education so, from very early we were introduced to books. Studying and reading were a non-negotiable part of our lives.   

My father enjoyed reading, and our home had loads of books that we had our mini library that we were proud of. My siblings and I aspired to be like him.

Most of the gifts we got as kids were classic books adapted for kids, and that remains my favorite read for relaxation down to this day!

Writing did not come natural to me since I never thought I could convey my thoughts in a way that others would want to read. I, however, realized it was something I could learn and practice and become better at, over time.

I had always loved storytelling,  pretty much a talkative when I was growing up; however, more of an introvert as well.

I was also very observant of things that happened and what people said that, in my head, I created stories out of various events and situations but never wrote them down. Why? Because I thought writing was for exceptional people, and I was certainly not one of them!

 I regret not writing my little stories down; many of these are now blurry after years of not using them. My advice to my younger self would always be to write down anything you hear; jokes; recipes learned; new ideas you come across, or you figured out even if they seem stupid at the time. Ten years down the line, they may become useful. You never know when it would be needed or appreciated by someone else.

When I started becoming interested in writing, juggling full-time work and motherhood was not easy and I could not find the time.

Eventually, I decided to be a stay at home mum, and I soon discovered that it was not a walk in the park either Now, I became even busier and lacked the motivation to carry on with my dreams of writing.

I got started by writing recipes since I enjoy cooking. I, however, did not have the nerve to share what I was doing. The more I write, the more confident I became, but it took a while. I was willing to learn.

My main obstacle to writing to the point of becoming a published author was the fear of failing.

I got a life coach who encouraged me to write down my fears and analyzed how it would affect either my family or me? If there is one thing, I learned by doing this, is: Even if I fail, failure at anything is not always a bad thing.

Failing provides you an opportunity to learn and become better in that very thing.

If you have a book idea, start writing either for your family and friends and when you build enough confidence, for the outside world. Never worry if people would love it (this does not mean not researching into the area you are writing to see if there is a market for potential readers). However, never underestimate your potential for achieving greatness when you put in the work.

I am still on this journey, and I learn every day.

The following four rules I have set for myself to grow, and you might benefit from them as well:

  1.       Write new ideas immediately, or you lose them. I always have a pen and paper ready to write new thoughts as they come. It is now my way of gathering information and stories. When I do not have a notebook or pen, I make notes on my phone. 
  2. Convey your message using simple everyday terms. Respectful and straightforward words are elegant. There is no reason to talk over your readers. They should be able to listen to you in a very relax non-threatening language.
  3.  Interact with experienced writers. The saying “if you want to soar like an eagle, you do not hang out with turkeys” is so right here. Hanging out with more experienced writers may be tricky as many of us would want to hang out with people who would give us mainly commendations. Hang out with people who would hand out constructive criticism instead and hone your writing skills.
  4.  Read, read, and read. How can you be a writer without reading? Impossible. Make it your goal to read each day.  

The above is not exhaustive, but they are the main rules I have set for myself, and I love them.

Connect with me and get more tips on writing. My genre of particular interest is:

Children picture books

And nonfiction books like those on recipes and lifestyle changes. 

I have written two books: Bringing Africa Home A Cookbook Of 52 Easy African Recipes and a picture book for 3-5year old’s: Mama’s Daycare.

I choose to go the self-publishing route, but that is a discussion for another day.

I am currently working on the sequel to Mama’s Daycare and a fiction book based on one of the most amazing places I have visited, Pompeii.

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