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I remember some things

I really was not expecting that I would fall mentally lethargic for months. I remember things, so many things. Somehow, I lost my nerve, my cool and the Muse seemed to have abandoned me. I remember I could write at the drop of a sneeze. The writing was my escape route, not from problems. But writing was my best friend, my confidante. I could lose myself in words. I could write for hours and just talk to you without restraint. The writing was for me a bolt hole. It never mattered if nobody read them, I read them to myself, talked to myself and to you. I remember some things about my writing

Like when I started I NEED TO KNOW, I was not thinking of anybody, in particular, I was thinking of my teenage years, and if I had a chance, the kind of childhood I could dream about. It was my way of handling my issues then. I wrote the series almost at the drop of a sneeze. It was fun, felt I was talking to you. That you were listening to me. You know these literary binges I tended to have was always like that. Remember when I was writing Candid theatre for radio. I used to have this rather naïve way about human beings. Each one I met was some kind of experience .it felt odd later when people described me for the success of those stories. Was I the stories?. No, I was not really but I always felt emotional about the stories like they were real. I many things.

Some memories don’t go well with your self-confidence and have a habit of tearing you to pieces when you do not want it. You have two choices, sink it deeper into your psyche and make a determined effort to rationalize it. It is easier to tell yourself that you are an adult now and should be able to forget all that. It becomes an issue though when you discover that the scars that you never noticed are bad enough to discolor aspects of your life. It has dammed up to a level that demands you should have an answer. At the very least, maybe I really should express myself and give myself some sort of release. I need a release from the rages. I need to come to terms with the agony of self-rejection that has made looking into the mirror an embarrassment.
I started writing to cover boredom. No strike that out. I should be honest to say I started writing because I loved it. It was a world that gave me certain privileges. I could just be me and I could try to rationalize, say secret things, look at my confusion or howl my pain.
I remember, writing “A SHARE OF THE SUN” a story on disabilities and those who live with it. I was able to seriously ask myself if I had any hangover about people with disabilities. If I could sincerely and truly work with them and understand them. Were they different? Yes, they were, in the courage to face a life that is different from me.. For the blind a life that is simply nothing. Sounds, sensations, that you could not put a colour to. How do you describe red to a blind person? Yet the pulsating rhythm of love and courage can be woven into anger to describe love in all its shades and you are shocked when a blind person tells you about these, feels it and has therefore seen it
I remember the squalor, neglect and utter deprivation when I visited the riverine area of my adopted state. When I interviewed the local chairman and saw his anger, felt his helplessness and pain.
I wrote BLOOD CONTRACT and I am still angry and upset each time I see the book and I long to reach out to every angry delta boy not to reach for the gun but to touch a star and claim it as his.
By the way, have you read the book?

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When writing is both fun and frustrating

OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

Will you please close your eyes for a few seconds, imagine yourself in a jungle somewhere in Africa. Don’t start sweating now, but .. okay, I don’t want to run away or amok with the picture. I am not crazy you know and this is not from some crank.
My name is Biola Olatunde, you have to know that first off because you might be too interested to remember it after you have finished reading. It is okay to laugh now but do go on reading. I write like this on my blog, you guessed right, I am a blogger, an author, a poet and producer. Before you get bored altogether with my crazy introductions let me get to the story.
What does it feel like being an author in my country?

Good question, authors in Nigeria get the shortest end of the stick. You cannot make it a calling, or a profession and definitely cannot live by your earnings from books you publish. One big drawback is the populace. Simply put, we don’t read. Hold it, we are educated, because we read a whole lot so we can pass exams, get a certificate, get a job or start a business. Read for pleasure? You get a blank stare and a change of subject. ..if you are under 40, people within my age bracket remember with nostalgia books they had read, the comics, novels and the poetry.
But those books were written by western authors and gave some of us dreams that we might be able to write. They were not specified literature, but we devoured them, romantic novels, detectives, thrillers, mysteries, even biographies
In the sixties and seventies, being an author might have fetched you the odd change enough to buy you new socks or a few shirts. You learn that even then remuneration from publishers was practically zilch, you wrote then because there was a chance, that some fellow from the education ministry might read your book, and show it to the curriculum fellows at the ministry and if you have been a very good boy, they recommend your book to secondary school or even primary school. You are made then, as your publisher will give you a smile and promptly offer you 10% of the sales. The author never gets the cream off his hard work. Your creativity is something most Nigerians hardly ever think you deserve good recompense. Publishers are generally not keen on your manuscript unless you can assure him that the book will get a government nod. Authors, therefore take the route of self-publishing these days.

Self- publishing for Nigerians who do not have the English language as their first language is fraught with a lot of confusion, more so when in these days, you are wondering if you should opt for American English or British. We can’t tell the difference most times.

What genre of writing should you write that will hold the interest of the public? These days of sci-fi films, noir, erotica and so forth, we do not know one genre from the other. I like to think, the best way forward in that particular territory is to write about what you know best, Those days of my youth when I read a lot of Somerset Maugham, I learned that he would research his story, get a feel of the kind of characters he wanted to portray so he got to know his protagonist pretty well. I used that method always in my writings either as radio plays, or novels. I visited the Niger Delta, stayed in one of the towns, and interviewed a lot of the average Niger Deltan to get a feel of the place before I wrote my first published novel, BLOOD CONTRACT. I was very gratified to receive comments from people in that area thinking I was a native of the place. You need to be able to put such feelings and empathy in your writing. For us, concentrate on writing well.
You should be believable and honest I remember my cousin one day read my television plays and raised puzzled eyes as she asked me if these things I have written were actual events. I replied that they were based on real events. She shook her head and wondered why I want to live by imagining things. She asked me why I did not want to start a trade and earn really good money. For an author in Nigeria like I mentioned earlier, it will take awhile before authors can earn real good money. They are constrained now to do other things and even our Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka had to earn his living through being a lecturer.

Young people are now writing, trends are evolving, and some publishers are also emerging but the essence of writing still remains the same. If you enjoyed writing it, the reader would probably agree with you and pay for that pleasure.
In the next couple of weeks, I hope to make available to anyone interested, the fine points about writing and we will share together.
Once in while I get a writing binge and I like to think might be experiencing a binge for the moment. Let’s share together while the itch is one shall we