New Year, New Direction, Same Blog

Road-and-Arrow

We’re some weeks into 2014 and everybody has already recorded some victories (and some defeats).

After thinking about it long and hard, I’ve decided to re-purpose the blog.  Thing is, my brand name was fragmented – I had several different communication messages on social media and they barely resonated with my ‘About Me’ page. If my Brand Strategy professor found out, I’d be in trouble. I had to take the time to create one unifying theme and message.

So I present the new and improved Ibukun Taiwo Blog. Here’s what you can expect from me in 2014.

  • Writing Tips and Tutorials
  • News about the Nigerian Publishing Industry
  • Short Stories
  • Books and Movie Reviews
  • Random rants based on my mood whatever is going on in my life
  • Inspiration.

Let me say something about that last part. I realized in 2013, that I had a lot of downtime due to depression or a general lack of enthusiasm. Sometimes, just thinking of the blank page waiting for me at my desk was enough to discourage me from working. But, I’m ready for that particular monster in 2014.

I’ve made it a habit to consciously look for materials to motivate and inspire me to get up everyday and pursue my dreams. By materials I mean books, movies, articles, lots of research papers and when worst comes to worst, inspirational quotes.

A friend sent me one of those quotes recently that set me off, firing on all cylinders for three days. Here’s the quote:

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant – Robert Louis Stevenson

I hope you find that as inspiring as I did.

If you come across a nugget of wisdom that would help an editor slash ghostwriter slash science fiction and fantasy writer with procrastination and depression tendencies, feel free to drop me a comment or send me a tweet.

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THE WRITER’S BURDEN

writer's burden

Have you ever tried to tell somebody how much you love them but it didn’t come out quite like the way you wanted it to? When the words were in your head, it felt perfect, but then you spoke… and the magic was gone. If you’re lucky, the recipient smiled and said something nice in return. If you’re having a bad day, he/she laughed in your face. Really loud.

But the reaction is beside the point. What really bothers you is the feeling of not having said what you really had in your head a minute before.

Writing is a lot like that.

When you start out to pour your thoughts on a blank page, the words are all jumbled up. Writing can be a painful experience because we try to capture and express things inside our hearts that are nigh impossible to describe. Words reduce them. Limit them. Make them seem almost ordinary.

I believe that’s one of the burdens of being a writer. We have the sacred task of conveying the ethereal into the tangible realm. We are like knights in pursuit of the Holy Grail. We’re always looking out for the best way to tell the story, to say what we mean.

Every time we sit to construct worlds, record events or tell stories, it’s like our personal call to war.  Our enemy is that blank page and our task is to fill it with words. The right words.

Every writer who is serious about his/her craft obsesses over every word, every paragraph, every published piece, be it in a book, on a blog or even an SMS. It comes with the calling. As a writer, your calling is not just to say something, but to say it in the best possible way.

If you’ve ever written a piece and wondered, “maybe I should have approached it this way instead of that”, you are on this journey.

If you’ve ever read the writings of the maestros – Dickens, Austen, Twain, Ngugi, King, Lehane – and wondered, “when will my writing ever get this good?”, you are in the right company.

We all start the journey unsure of ourselves. The first step is always the shakiest. I remember reading some of my first articles I wrote when I was 20. It was soooooo terrible. But as I read, I saw the seeds of a pilgrim looking for the right words to convey messages from his soul back then. I did a little rewrite and the article became something I could show to the world.

The journey is long. All your favorite authors started this same journey right where you are now, feeling what you’re feeling. Today, they may be a little more confident, a little more competent, but they are still on this journey. They still search for the right words to say what they want.

Just like you.

So keep searching. And keep writing.  You’re not alone.

 

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THE NORTH STAR

Here is a piece I wrote a long time ago. Finally got the guts to post it where everyone could see.

north star

The North Star
Long time ago before the compass was invented, travelling by sea inspired terror in the hearts of men. This was the definitive ego battle between man and nature – both sides brought their best to the fray. Braving the winds and the straits, with death looming with every howl of the wind, every rage of the sea. Silently yet earnestly men looked to the heavens for help …and found it in the North Star.
Standing as the brightest star in the night sky as well as the only star which doesn’t move, the North Star became the sailor’s compass. Always pointing north, it led all men travelling by sea and by land and pointed the way home.
But most importantly, it was a reminder that God is well informed concerning the affairs of men…and He cares.

………………………………………………………………………….

Sometimes in life, we get lost. With a tenacious adversary like the Devil, intimate obstacles like our flesh, inevitable weaknesses like our emotions and a big responsibility as lights of the world, it’s easy to miss our way.
God is well informed concerning the affairs of men…and He cares. So He sends us little north stars to shine their own lights in our darkness. They act as pointers, leading the lost back to the true North Star Himself.

Thank you for being my little north star.