On Writing

Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration to come, the rest of us just go to work. – Stephen King, On writing

A new inductee of alpha club and equally medical student, Mr Tolulope Popoola once asked me to put him through on writing & inquired how I get the inspiration to write. We were to be in Lagos state the following morning to induct Patron Femi Adesina and he was trying to write a letter to his H.O.D so he could be allowed to miss classes next day. Seeing that we were both busy, I just gave a little pep talk told him we would talk about it later. Now, my good friend, if you’re reading this it is the final answer to your question.

Every writer has a style(s) and as for me, I simply put down my thoughts which makes it very easy for me. Everything I write is a result of deep thoughts which I could have had previously, even before picking up the pen or typing. Being a thinking being and pondering on almost everything, you can see the plethora of knowledge in front of me to write from. Be it politics, life, science, arts, music, sports, literature, fantasy, realist and idealist philosophy, technology among other fields of knowledge are the things that ‘bother’ me all the time and mostly constitute my thinking. Hence, I’m always writing under those categories.

For me, writing is lifestyle. A writer has to keep it real even while being creative. Also, the level of creativity has to do with the type of write-up. For instance, I don’t expect a writer of articles dilly-dally or to use abstract words other than be straightforward when reporting an incident that occurred. For a poet, he has the automatic license to dance around the subject matters and be as creative as possible. It is allowed. For extremely blessed writers too, one can be highly creative with the diction just as I’ve seen some great writers do before. The writings of Martin Luther King Jnr. are about the most creative use of words I’ve ever seen! My mentor in journalism, Femi Adesina follows closely. Bola Ige, Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikwe’s write-ups will always provoke thoughts and are extremely creative too.

To wait until inspiration hits you is to wait forever. Nothing good comes easily, not even good write-ups! You must be in control of your own mind, thoughts and your pen. The way I feel when ideas pop up in my head & I need to write can only be likened to when a woman has to give birth to a child. Its an uncontrollable thing when you’re led to write on something, especially issues that affect people such as politics. You start some write-ups not even knowing how they would end up but you just have your topic in mind & you know you want to prove a point with the whole writing. That happens to writers all the time and it simply doesn’t mean to stop. That’s why a strong urge must exist before grabbing a pen, that’s what keeps you going, even when the brain has blocked.

Writers don’t stop writing because just like every other artistic work, it’s our way of expression. When I’m sad I write, same as when happy. It is a way of life. Inspiration abounds everywhere and we only have to tap into it. For instance, the last poem I wrote, I was in church about 2 weeks ago when the pastor started talking about God’s blessings, money and wealth. I didn’t really have to think much. The result of that was ‘Rich Is Bond’, the poem. If I wasn’t in church that day, I could never have written about that. Would not even give it a thought. So, writers sometimes need something to stimulate their artist nature at times. It could be heartbreak, death of a loved one, sermon, great tragedy, euphoria or just about anything. It’s that ‘crazy’ for blessed writers.

The incidents in the life of Oscar Wilde reflected in his books. Mary Ann Evans (also known as George Elliott) too and thousand others. Ben Carson is always writing autobiographies, he can’t help it. Even when he tries to just motivate & divert, he drifts back into his early life. Writers are the realest people in the world. I could deduce so many things from reading a single paragraph from Buchi Emecheta’s autobiography, Head Above Water. Even where she didn’t explicitly say she had a boyfriend after leaving her husband, she left several loopholes pointing to that fact (and I’m sure it was intentional, she’s smarter than that). She just wanted the truth known in an ‘unclear’ way.

Some of the greatest world changers are and were equally great writers. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton e.t.c. The most notable being Obafemi Awolowo, a man who wrote down all his ideologies so even the unborn could still be inspired to achieve greatness through examples that are so evident. He just simply poured out his soul into his writings so they could achieve eternal significance.

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