If you are a writer, you definitely struggle with these emotions

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Every writer has his or her moments; times of joy when your article goes viral, your book becomes a best seller or you land that writing contract, times of depression when your writing doesn’t seem to be paying you so much and times of confusion when you just don’t know what to do with your writing career anymore.

As writers, we go through so many emotions and today’s post is dedicated to talking about all these emotions and how to deal with them;

Envy

You probably would not like to admit that you have at one point or the other been envious of another writer’s abilities, articles or success. You were envious not because you don’t wish them well, but because you wonder why your career isn’t going so well or why nobody loves your article as much as theirs.

It is not so wrong to feel this way but you need to be careful not to let that emotion remain for so long. You can admire another writer’s work but never allow envy to set in. Once you notice that you are getting envious, caution yourself. This is not a competition. Remember, there is something special about your writing too. If you love the other writer’s style so much then work on yours.

Rejection

Writers have a tendency to feel rejected. Your article will not always be loved by your readers. Your manuscripts will not always be accepted by publishers. Get used to it and don’t allow it get to you. Rejection is part of your journey; it is not the end of the journey.

Whenever your work is rejected, go over the comments you get (if you get any) and find out why it was rejected. Above all, don’t let rejection discourage you from writing.

Confusion

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Sometimes writers do not know what the next step in their career is. You may have questions like should I take this new job? Should I start freelance? Should I close my blog? Again this is not unusual. If you have too many unanswered  questions get help.  Ask other writers or join writing groups. Sometimes a problem shared just gets the right solutions.

Depression

There’s nothing worse than investing so much in your career and getting so little out of it in return. If you are not making money and writing is your primary source of income there is a tendency to get depressed and feel like giving up.

The first thing to remember is that you are not alone. So many other writers have gone through this same phase. Don’t allow your mind make you feel like this problem is peculiar to you.

If you feel writing is not paying you, you can consider talking to a writing coach, someone who can guide you and help you make the right decisions especially in the business of writing.

 

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#WriterSpotlight – Constantly hanging around his dad sparked Sopuruchukwu’s interest in writing

 

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It’s another edition of our #WriterSpotlight series and we love the feedback we’ve been getting. Today’s guest gives us the scoop on the three writers he’d love to meet and his most challenging moment as a writer. This interview is undoubtedly a must read. Enjoy!

Hello Sopuruchukwu, please introduce yourself.

My name is Egbodo, Sopuruchukwu Okechukwu. I am a psychologist, writer and a digital marketer.

Did you always know that you were going to be a writer?

Not really, but I unconsciously kept getting closer to things that would eventually serve as catalysts to what I am doing now. For instance, from when I was 8, I always hung around my dad to read his newspapers and stuff like that. So by the time I was in senior class in secondary school, I was sure that writing was going to be a part of my life.

What has been your most challenging moment as a writer?

Having to complete a 4000 words work for a client in few hours, and that day was already fully booked.

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You offer various writing services including ghost writing and language translation? How rewarding has this been?

I wouldn’t say very rewarding for now, because I just started making money from witting. I believe by the time more people know about my skills, then the rewards would flow in.

What’s the worst writing mistake you have ever made?

Accepting a writing job that I didn’t meet the deadline.

If you had the opportunity to meet three Nigerian authors who would they be and why?

CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE, she makes writing seem very easy. GIMBA KAKANDA, he brings his real feelings to his writing just like me. Then SOLACE CHUKWU of Goal.com Nigeria. That guy is Nigeria’s version of Shakespeare with the way he uses words. I follow and learn from their works.

What’s your pick;

Fiction or poetry? I don’t do both, but I’ll prefer fiction

Hip hop, R&B or Reggae music? I listen to any genre of music as long as the lyrics are clean, but I do more of “Clean” rap.

Continental food or African delicacy? African delicacy

What’s your ultimate dream as a writer?

To affect people’s lives positively through my writing, and make enough money from the art.

What do you think of writing as a side hustle?

It all depends on what the person involved wants. With the state of the economy many writers will opt for writing as a side hustle, but I believe that writing alone can equally make one enough money, depending on how serious it is being taken.

What’s the biggest lesson social media has taught you?

Social media has taught me that when well utilized, one can actually achieve a lot with it – fame, recognition, and money making. Majority of the good things I have received started off as interactions on the social media.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Whatever you wish to be or do, start early.

 

#WriterSpotlight – Kayode Ajomole was inspired to write after reading his uncle’s articles on the wall

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Our guest on #WriterSpotlight did not expect to make money from writing. Today, he is a Lead Creative at Drow Media and award winning essayist. You will love his interview with us.

Hello please introduce yourself.

Kayode Ajomole is my name. I’m the Lead Creative at Drow Media, an outfit committed to providing individuals and organizations with result driven digital services. I’m also a national award winning essayist.

Did you always know that you were going to be a writer?

I never thought I’d take up writing as a source of income. I only taught it was good enough as my hobby.

You are a Content Creator, Blogger, Poet and Song Writer. How have you been able to harness all these talents?

Yes. There is a common thread that runs across them, and that is communication. They all involve cohesively stringing words together to convey a message. Hence, it’s been rather easy combining them.

By paying attention to myself,  watching  the vapour of my passion rise above the dark, I discovered I could create content and write songs, so I developed it.

Why do you write?

Initially, I wrote because my instincts, as a young boy,  prodded me to write. This instinct was sparked by my uncle who always wrote and pasted his articles on the wall in his room. I started by imitating his style, and sooner than later, I discovered I could write in my own words. Writing for me then became an outlet to pour out my thoughts and views. Writing is art.

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What has been your most challenging moment as a writer?

I barely wrote in the university, so getting back to writing, and finding the confidence to call my self a writer, and share my works with a feeling of affirmation was challenging.

What’s the worst writing mistake you have ever made?

The one that comes to mind was when I had unknowingly submitted a poorly edited article for a major writing competition.

If you had the opportunity to meet three Nigerian authors who would they be and why?

Wole Soyinka – For his grasp and seamless blend of culture and grammar.

Ben Okri – For his lush poetic nuances.

Obafemi Awolowo – For his cohesiveness.

I’d ask them how they wrote what the world reveres.

What’s your pick;

Fiction or poetry? Poetry

Hip hop, R&B or Reggae music? R&B

Continental food or African delicacy? African delicacy

What’s your ultimate dream as a writer?

To have my works occupy a space among the best in the world, as one who wrote from his heart and influenced people positively.

What do you think of writing as a side job?

I believe one may choose to write full time. Careful planning and dexterity in honing your skills must be the foundation of this decision. And as a side job, it can be done. 

What’s the biggest lesson social media has taught you?

Social media has taught me that it is capable of granting me the most appropriate visibility, but the onus rests on me to consistently create good content that can resonate panoramically with all forms of people

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Read more literary works

Pay attention to thy self

Start early and be disciplined

I love these words by Professor William James, the famous Harvard Psychologist:

“Let no youth have any anxiety about the upshot of his education, whatever the line it may be. If he keeps faithfully busy each hour of the working day, he may safely leave the final result to itself. He can, with perfect certainty, count on waking up some fine morning to find himself one of the competent ones of his generation, in whatever pursuit he may have singled out.”

 

A finance blog is hiring! Apply now for this vacancy

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Would you like to work as a content manager for a finance website? Can you write fresh and engaging articles, interviews and weekly newsletters?

Do you have steady access to the internet and awesome interpersonal skills?

Are you up to date with economic trends across Africa in the private and public sectors that are relevant to small businesses?

This is probably the opportunity you have been waiting for.

If you think you qualify please send two copies of your work, links to published articles and a copy of your CV to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com

To get access to more writing opportunities, join The Sparkle Writer’s Network. Click here to register. 

It is never too late to become a writer

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Want to know the beautiful thing about about writing? It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you come from; you can become a writer whenever you decide to become one.

There are no prejudices in writing. Don’t let your age stop you from writing. Don’t let society dictate to you whether or not you can be a writer. If you want to be a writer, you can be a writer! As today’s quote by Elizabeth Gilbert says, your writing will only get better as you get older and wiser. That is the truth.

Start writing now and don’t look back. And don’t forget – we are here to guide you in this beautiful journey to becoming a writer.

#WriterSpotlight – Blogging has helped Chibuzor improve her character

 

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Welcome to another #WriterSpotlight series. There is nothing better than celebrating writers who write to inspire and make a difference in the world.  Today’s guest is one of them.

We hope you enjoy her interview.

Hello, please introduce yourself

My Name is Chibuzor Bajeh. I am a wife and mother. I love to write and talk about God. I love to write pieces that will bless lives. Another passion I have is to see women look good and trim especially after childbirth through healthy diet and exercise.

You are a blogger and contributor for Mum to Mum Africa, how has the experience been?

Being a blogger and contributor for mum2mumafrica has been a different but very interesting experience. My writing started properly from a Facebook group (Praying moms Nigeria) where I am one of the admins. I have to write to encourage people once a week (all the admins had days assigned to them to encourage people). After that I became a contributor for mum2mumafrica founded by Grace Essen and then I started my blog. My blog is basically about preaching Christ in all areas of life and in all we do.

What would you say is the biggest challenge facing the writing industry?

The biggest challenge facing the writing industry in Nigeria is that Nigerians have a very poor reading culture. It’s so difficult for a lot of Nigerians to settle down to reading and sourcing for information themselves. They prefer the shortcut of being told.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I have always had a gift in writing. Even as far back as my secondary school days my classmates always admired my essays. Even in my university days people always enjoyed to read what I wrote. My passion for writing was rekindled again when I started writing often in Praying Moms Nigeria.

What lessons have you learnt from blogging?

I have really learnt a lot from blogging. Blogging has taught me to be more real, to be more truthful and most importantly, to work more on my character and attitude because you have to write what is the truth and what you are practicing and living. Blogging has taught to be a better witness for Christ because you really do not know who is reading your article and when you will run into any of your readers, you sure do not want to ruin your witness. Blogging has taught me that people are willing to be opened to you for as long as you are real and sincere with what you preach.

How rewarding has writing been for you?

Writing has been quite rewarding though not financial.  The reward has been more of fulfillment when people read my work and they are blessed and get answers to their secret questions. For the Facebook group (Praying Moms Nigeria), I usually put up a reminder to lead mothers in a prayer direction every Monday. Recently I got a call from a mother telling me how those prayer write ups have been a blessing to her and how she just looks forward to it every Monday. I was glad to know I was touching lives. That is the greatest reward of writing.

What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your article?

Surprising no one has told me anything negative yet as regards my writing.

Has there been any time you wanted to quit writing?

Not really, I have not really considered quitting

What do you do in your leisure time?

I do a lot in my leisure time. I watch television, I read, I spend time with my son, I write. In my leisure time as well I look for ways to add value to myself.

What advice would you give your younger self?

The advice I will give to my younger self is to be more patient, to work more on my weakness and to learn to slow down and take things easy.

What would you say is your ultimate dream as a writer?

My ultimate dream as a writer is for my articles and work to bless and improve lives all over the world; for my articles and work to be read by the younger generation and the generation yet unborn and for my article to continue to bless people for as long as the earth is still in existence.

Do you consider writing work or pleasure and why?

Writing to me is both work and pleasure. Writing is work because you have to put in the effort to develop, sharpen and continuously improve yourself. Furthermore, writing is work because it takes effort to continuously stay on top of your game and write pieces that people will always and ultimately enjoy reading. I consider writing pleasure because, for anyone who writes, it is something we enjoy to do which comes naturally and gives ultimate satisfaction.

Any last words for other writers?

I am learning that to be a good writer it takes effort and consistency. Some people will read your work and appreciate it; others will read your work and not be interested. One thing that is important is that you have to consistently make an effort to improve yourself. Personally, I write everywhere and anytime an idea comes to me. The rule is to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, WRITE and keep on writing till you get your desired result. Another important thing is work closer with people who will encourage you in your desired part. Patience, consistency, and dedication are the keys.

#WriterSpotlight – “I got discouraged after losing my first story.” -Obi Mmesoma

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Who else thinks a world filled with only writers and readers will be so much fun? Well, our guest on today’s edition of #WriterSpotlight does!

Mimi is a student,  young writer and poet who is enjoying her writing journey. Enjoy her interview with us.

Hello, please introduce yourself

I’m Obi Mmesoma . Some people call Mimi or Mimi Obi. I’m a poet, writer, lover of music and a book addict. I’m a student of the University of Port Harcourt, a lover of God but not a religious fanatic.

When did you start writing professionally?

I started telling stories in my primary school days using illustrations and telling my story as I drew. I started writing and keeping my works in 2012 and my writing career officially started last year.

What is the biggest lesson writing has taught you?

Writing has taught me I can always do better, and I should never get discouraged. When I wrote my first story it was awesome and I was attached to it but when it got lost and I never saw it again, I was discouraged. I really felt sad because it drained me but that experience made me a better person with better stories to tell.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I always knew I wanted to tell stories but at the initial stage it was not really something I wanted to do professionally. Maybe to pass time, I thought, but now I know better.

You are a freelance writer, how rewarding has that been?

Freelance writing for me has not been very rewarding because most of the time people don’t regard writing as something serious and when there are job offers, they don’t expect that you should get paid, after all it’s ‘just writing.’ But it’s still my journey and I believe it’s going to get better.

What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your article?

When I wrote a poem and someone told me since they didn’t understand my write up and it did not have any meaning.

Has there been any time you wanted to quit writing?

No, although I get lazy to write, I’ve never had it in mind to quit.

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Do you have a writer crush?

YES, I do. I love Sidney Sheldon, although he is late. I love the way he creates strong female characters, and I also love Dan Brown. I want to take a tour in his world of thoughts.

What’s your pick;

African delicacy or continental dishes? African delicacy.

Fashion or music? Music. I love music.

Watching the TV or reading a book? I would read a book any day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t be lazy to write and nothing you have written is insignificant

What would you say is your ultimate dream as a writer?

That’s a big question; to create a world of readers and writers and etch my name in the sands of time with other great writers.

Do you consider writing work or pleasure and why?

I consider writing as pleasure because most times the inspiration comes when I’m just having fun and I write better when I’m relaxed, listening to good music or after reading a book. It’s exciting to me.

Any last words for other writers?

Your writing does not necessarily have to make sense to everyone. When it makes sense to a particular set of people, it is satisfying. Write because you have a story to tell, a new kind of knowledge to pass and don’t stop writing no matter how hard it seems.

#GrammarSeries – Who knew ‘the’ had two pronunciations?

 

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Hello Sparkle Writers. Welcome to another edition of the #GrammarSeries. If you have missed previous editions just go here to catch up on what you missed. We guarantee that you’d learn something new!

Today we are going to discuss the different ways you can pronounce the word ‘the’.

Did you know there are two ways to pronounce this word? Well, we are going to tell you all about this so keep reading.

‘The’ can be pronounced as ‘thee’ or ‘thuh’

When the word following starts with a consonant it is pronounced as ‘thuh’ but when the word following starts with a vowel it is pronounced as ‘thee’

For example

My bag is on ‘thuh’ table.

She will get to ‘thuh’ class in five minutes.

Seyi caught a fish from ‘thee’ ocean.

I took ‘thee’ apples on ‘thuh’ table.

However, there is an exception to this rule

If you want to indicate that something is important or show emphasis you can use ‘thee’, even when the word following it starts with a consonant.

For example

Prom is the social event of ‘thee’ year for high school students.

 When next you want to say the word ‘the’, remember the difference.

3 reasons why a good title makes all the difference in the world

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It doesn’t matter how good or bad your actual article is, if it has a weak headline, it won’t be read. Your headline is the first thing that makes your reader decide whether to read your work or not.

If you spend all the time in the world writing a fantastic article and just throw in a drab headline you have killed our work.

Here are three reasons why a good title makes a whole lot of difference;

First impression really does matter.

Your title is one of the first ways your reader interacts with you or your work. Don’t let him down by throwing in a sloppy headline.

The quality of your headline goes a long way to determine whether or not your work will be read. Avoid writing too many words – the shorter the better.

Improve your Search engine optimization (SEO).

If you write for online platforms one thing you should take note of is your SEO. The kind of headlines you use can determine how search engines like Google will rate your content.

Use keywords that would help your content get more traction. If this is done well you can attract more traffic to your blog.

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Get loyal readers.

Who doesn’t want loyal readers? Everyone does. Once your readers have discovered that you have consistently written good content you will begin to get followership. If you continue this way your readers will grow steadily.

Bonus Tip: Ensure that your article delivers on whatever promise your title gives. Don’t promise to give five points and write down just four.

 

#WriterSpotlight – The excitment he gets after finishing an article fuels Emmanuel

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We love Emmanuel because he is so sincere about his journey as a writer. We also really like the answer he gave when we asked what writing has taught him, but you will have to read the interview to find out his reply. Enjoy!

Hello, please introduce yourself

My name is Emmanuel Ibezimakor (Zimackos). I would like to think of myself as being multi-talented, unique, good looking, and a lover of Jesus and of people. While on earth, I live to impact my generation positively through my speech, lifestyle, writing, music and experience

 What do you do?

I do quite a lot of things ranging from music to writing to speaking, just like I said earlier. But right now, I am focusing on my blog . I am also an undergraduate of a Nigerian university.

You are a Writer & Blogger, Christian Minister/Leader and Student. How have you been able to combine all these?

It has not been easy but with focus, determination and consistency, I am able to set priorities and focus on what is important at any point in time. I must confess, I always don’t get it right. I lag behind sometimes.

 Why did you choose to write or what led you to writing?

I love writing. Ok, sometimes I don’t like the processes but every time I am done writing something that lurked in my mind, I feel so excited and happy. And you know one thing about excitement; you just keep coming back for more. Hence, I keep writing. Plus, quite a lot of people think I’m a good writer.

Where is the weirdest place you have ever gotten inspiration?

The toilet. I think that’s the weirdest place I have gotten inspiration.

How rewarding has writing been for you?

Writing is such a pleasure to me. When someone reads my post and tells me how much he/she likes it, or how much he/she connects with it, I feel like I am doing what God created me for. Though writing hasn’t started paying the bills, it’s only a matter of time.

What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your article?

I don’t keep records of those.

Will you ever retire from writing?

Will I ever retire from writing? I don’t think so. I mean, I could shift from one form of writing to another – maybe writing books, blogging, writing songs, poems, stories, writing on my journal/diary, biographies, and reviews – but to stop writing completely? No way!

What has writing taught you?

Writing has taught me that life is beautiful; only few can see it. Your job as a writer is to make others see.

What are your thoughts about the reading culture in West Africa?

It’s poor/ I think everyone knows that. Good thing is, a new breed of West Africans are coming up who are terrific readers.

What do you do in your leisure time?

I listen to music, read, meet and connect with friends.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Wherever you find yourself, you are there for a reason. Participate, connect with others around you and make the most of every opportunity.

Do you consider writing as work or pleasure and why?

A blend of both work and pleasure. Like I earlier mentioned, the process may be not so exciting, but the end is always lovely.

Any last words for upcoming writers?

Well, I am upcoming too. Lol. Last word to us – Don’t be afraid of being different.

What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

My dream is to cut across social, religious and educational boundaries – to be the singular brand that everyone in the society will read and absolutely enjoy reading.