When I was a little kid in primary school I always thought that for one to be a writer, one has to be a person who has been blessed already with the gift of writing. Sometimes I even thought that those people who are writers are only old people; people who have undergone different writing experiences in their lives. People who are able to tell what happened in their lives.
As I was growing up, that mind-set didn’t run out of my head like Jonah who was trying to run away from God. It still stagnated in my head like Robben Island on the Indian Ocean. This is because when I opened up an English book all the writers were grown-up people. I didn’t know that not all of them did not become writers when they were older but others began writing at a very tender age.
When I asked my English teacher he just told me that writing needs skills and knowledge and sometimes it is a talent that one is born with. By that time I only knew how to draw pictures since my grandpa used to buy me colouring books with some crayons. I knew nothing about writing poems and articles. When it comes to writing I would watch fairy-tale movies such as Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, Snow White, The Three Musketeers, Thumbelina, Peter Pan, Shrek and others, and then try to write a summary of them.
When I enrolled in my secondary school level, that’s when my eyes started to open up when it comes to the issue of writing. I found out that there was a writing club. I didn’t know that writing could also have its own club. I joined the club.
At first I thought that I was only going to find old people in the club, not knowing that there was going to be my fellow students. I was very happy to be in that club since my heart had been dying to know how to write poems, short stories, novels, fables and other types of writings.
When I joined the club, I was treated like the son of a king since they were expecting a lot from me. I was also expecting a lot from them for I had nothing to bring on their table. They didn’t know that I was like a goat that only waits to be fed with grass when the sun wakes up from its bed in the morning.
I was very amazed when they divided us into groups of four and called me to be a team leader of my group. On the other hand, I was also very afraid because I had nothing to say about the writings. I remembered what my grandpa told me that I must try to face my fears. I challenged myself on it. Then we agreed that each one of us must create one poem and a short story of any length.
Here is what I did to conquer my fears in writing.
For the poem, I first thought about a theme, a good title that would attract people’s attention, the ideas to include inside the poem, the tone, and figurative figures or poetic devices such as similes, metaphors, personifications and others. Then I wrote down a sketch of the poem. Afterwards I took it to my friend who likes reading books and she admired it a lot. She couldn’t believe that I was the one who wrote it.
For the short story, I thought about a theme, a great title for the short story, then a setting, characters: main characters and sub characters, and how the story would begin and end. Then I wrote it in four days to avoid running out of ideas when writing. After writing it I also gave it to the same friend. She complemented me again but only corrected me on some few grammatical errors.
When we met again to present our writings to the club, my heart was pounding hard as if I was being chased by a leopard. Then each one of us presented his or her writings. When my turn came, I was very nervous even though my friend had admired my writing. When I finished presenting my writings, everyone was so amazed as if they had seen Jesus Christ face to face.
That’s when I saw that I had a skill of becoming one of the writers and that also motivated me a lot to be writing a piece of writing each and every day of my life. Later on, I became more conversant with writing and some of my friends started calling me a writer. They started respecting me and I now write for different online organisations.
Here is the thing, if I started writing like that, why don’t you also start writing today?
I know you have been reading different stories and even have watched different movies. By now you can write a short story by just depicting a certain episode or movie. You can even try to write a story of a certain cartoon after watching it. You can as well train yourself to write down what you did in a day, just to tell what you did after waking up. That’s how writing starts.
You must also watch a lot of movies, read a lot of stories and have a role model in writing. This is how writing develops in you. It doesn’t come from heaven like manna. You must also try to add some new words in your vocabulary and try to play around with some words. Lastly, know and understand poetic and literary devices for you to use to spice up your writing. Writing begins with you. Writing begins from scratch.
Tell us: What do you do to spice up your writing?