Just back from a blog break!
Actually, i went in search of answers. And i was busy rounding off my November projects. While i was away, John Attah, sent me an essay on his experience with writing. I hope you enjoy reading.
WHY I AM STILL WRITING by JOHN ATTAH
An attempt at really exposing the reason or reasons why I am still writing may seem easy to say but most difficult when one moves beyond mere words. I have a feeling that writing requires skill and technique; like in soccer, a player requires a handful of skill, technique, psychological balance, and experience to be at the top of his game likewise a writer who requires a whole lot of things – reading ability, writing skill, technique, experience, and all the other necessary ingredients to spice up his literary soup.
One important thing that I feel I grew up with and which is still nascent but extremely budding is my reading and writing. I wouldn’t say I grew up in a completely Academic environment where I read books from day one like Chimamanda Adichie, but I was privileged to have siblings who taught me the hard way as I sat beside my eldest brother, receiving the doleful number of knocks on my head each time I failed to pronounce a word correctly or misspelt while writing.
My writing began mysteriously and I never knew I could craft words out of the blue or try to make language more beautiful than the everyday expressions that beget clichés and all those which sometimes make English less attractive and boring. Writing to me is definitely a craft, an art that requires some of the things I have earlier mentioned and many more depending on varied treatments and somewhat different opinions by individuals.
Writing to me has become something like a positive curse in that if i leave it for long, i could fall ill. I may not be a household name (at the moment), but i think from the few stupidly creative things i have written especially poetry and short story lately, i can say that writing anytime at all motivates me to do awesome things. The motivation that accrues from writing either on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis is amazing. Each day, i try my hand at writing something no matter how stupid or inconsequential it may seem when someone else reads them. Take for instance the English Premier League match reviews which I write almost every other weekend. There are few persons who would take interest in something of that sort, and still there are a handful of others who would never tell you anything positive but it gives me motivation and crowns it with joy. I cannot imagine a life without writing. Sometimes i dream that my writing could change the world someday.
Writing has to be my lifeblood, this means a lot to me. It gives me that freedom to express myself more than when i speak. The weirdest of thoughts, crazy enough to make people hate me come via my writing and the most creative to make them love me or appreciate my style of writing comes still via my writing. This, seems to me, enough proof beyond doubt that i love writing and will continue at this craft till death stops me.
In summary, i write for people, about people, for myself, about myself or situations. At other times, I create something that seems real – fiction, they call it, where things that don’t happen in actual life situations happen.
All in all, writing has been my biggest blessing!
JOHN ATTAH is a poet and a short story writer whose writings have appeared online and in print. He studied English and Literary Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His short story ‘The Tea Shop’ won the 3rd prize at a Literary Festival.