If you remember, when we migrated from Crafted Notes to this new home, I did mention that our #museday posts on the last Wednesday of every month would be especially dedicated to Writers and Bloggers like me. Just in case you are not a writer or blogger, neither do you want to be one, you are still welcome. The lessons in this post can actually be applied to any sphere of life.
This monthly muse post shall be popularly called what I’ve captioned, “Straight Talk 001” or “ST001” in short form. So if you want to hit me up on my social media pages or ask me questions about writing, you can use this: #ST001. This hash tag is subject to change every month. It would be #ST002 in February, #ST003 in March and so on. I’m sure you get it.
Now to the drill…!
Sometime last year, I saw a post on Instagram by @africanwriters that asked this question,
“What was your biggest lesson as a writer in 2016?”
If you’re a writer and you are reading this right now, I’m pretty sure one or two things have run up the sleeves of your brain, just like it happened to me when I saw it. I searched within myself and wondered what that biggest lesson was, and then it popped up right in my head; I told myself, “Rejection is part of it.”
And this is what I’m writing to you on today. You gotta understand and believe by every means that as a writer, “Rejection is part of it.” In 2016, for most of the writing contests I participated in, their judges took a while before responding; I mean, I felt like something good was going to happen. Then, just when I was quite certain that I was also on their top 3 or top 5 list, I got a mail. You can guess what the content looked like.
Initially, it made me feel dejected and you know, not good enough. But I thank God for cancelling such thoughts and helping me get over all of that quickly. Slowly, I began to realize that writing is not a Ponzi scheme; it’s a talent that requires patience and a lot of hard work while you wait for what you want. It’s about sharpening your skill (like the pencil below) and learning as much as you can to the point that you become an “irresistible writer.” I mean, you can tell the difference between someone who started blogging last year and someone who has been blogging for six years. They are on different levels. The 6-year old blogger has been through her “rejection” moments, where she checks the number of visitors and sees just ‘3’, (of which she can tell who they are just by closing her eyes) because her boyfriend, her best friend and her mother told her they checked it.
So you have written your first book or first story and entered for a competition, I mean, you feel like you put in a LOT of work, but someone else got the prize. Don’t you try to feel bad. No, No, Never! Just keep writing and when you know more than you know now, review the old stuff you have written and make it better.
Another thing, identify someone ahead of you and learn from that person. I have a little story to share here. In December 2016, I stumbled on a friend’s post on Instagram (yes I like Instagram a lot) that was about a giveaway of two Cassie Daves’ blog planners. I was like, “What? There’s something like that?” Quickly, I entered for the giveaway and hoped for the best. But did I get it? No.
By this time, I already knew who CassieDaves was for the first time. I read her blog and explored her site. I was overwhelmed and happy. I’m like, “This girl’s good!” I read some reviews of the blog planner and I knew I needed one. (Identify the tools you need to make you better and go for them!) I was on the verge of ordering for one, but I just didn’t. My birthday happened on the 21st of this month and BAM; I got a Cassie Daves blog planner as a gift! You can imagine how happy I was…and how happy I still am.
I have started using my planner and trust me, it is about the best thing that has happened to my blogging experience so far this year in just 4 days of using it.
So dear Royal Writer and Blogger, as much as writing is a talent, it’s a skill to be developed. Don’t hide or run into your shell. Prop up and stay working!
May you become that “irresistible writer”.
With Overflowing Love,