Hey guysssss!!! It’s Ib!!!!
*I join in*
Honestly, I’m so grateful to you guys! For the likes, the comments, the repostings, the compliments…ahhhh y’all are too much!
Last week was good, I guess. I’m Bastille in his latest song, “Survivin’”
But yeah, basically that’s me and 80% of the world right now. Don’t worry, we’ll all be fine😌.
So I was going back and forth with my friend on her sibling’s maths assignment last week and it reminded me of this really cute story that I thought I’d share with you guys cause as you know, I love telling stories.
So I attended a Catholic secondary school for just girls and in my junior school, I was terrible at Mathematics.
Terrible is an understatement, I SUCKED at Maths.
I became very good in senior school but in junior school, for some reason, I was just always failing it! Like I would pass the rest of my subjects and Maths would just ruin it. Worse part is, my school had this thing called “School Meeting” where the teachers would call out our scores in front of the entire school and if you pass all subjects, they would clap for you, if not, well cricket noises are all you’ll get.
So every time I would stand up and they would call my scores out…
Civic Education- 10
Basic Science- 8.5
Basic Technology- 9
On and on till you hear,
It was so bad that entering JSS3, the school told my parents that if I didn’t pass Maths that year, that I would have to repeat which means I wouldn’t go into senior year. I was so upset! I had already made up my mind that there are something’s I just can’t do (like working out, licking honey) and Mathematics was part of them.
But then, my best friend at that time, who was one of the smartest people in our set, decided to read with me for our upcoming CATest. I remember it was third term, JSS3 and we were dealing with topics concerning angles. She revised the topics with me for like a week or two, even with my low attention span and undying habit of being annoying, she would get pissed but she would still teach me.
Guess what?! I scored 9.5/10 in that test and I stood with pride during the school meeting as everyone clapped for me.
Anyways, main point of this story is to appreciate my best friend then and still friend now. I don’t even know if she remembers but she’s going to read this and probably remember. Ironically, she is one of the blog guests that I’m featuring (very coincidental) I tell you. I planned to feature her before the whole maths argument.
Anyways, thank you so much Esosa! Very grateful to you🥺. Love you forever and a day!
TODAYYYYYY, we are going to be entering the writer’s world (as you can clearly tell from the topic). I’ve been anticipating this post for a long time, not because I would be answering the questions as well (1/2🧢) but because I feel like writers don’t get appreciated enough. Like I’ve had people tell me, “Anyone can write” and that is semi true because most people can pick up a pen and paper and write but not everyone can pick up a pen and create a masterpiece. I’m telling you, I get blown away by the pieces written by our guests today.
I am more familiar with most of Esosa’s works but I’ve also seen works by the others as well and they are thoughtful, beautiful and mind blowing, no cap!
Without further whatever they say after this
INTRODUCING THE BLOG GUESTS!
Holluppp do I have to introduce myself as well cause I am a guest but like I am the host. You know what? Just because I am a believer of due process, I would introduce myself for the umpteenth time on this blog!
Now for real,
INTRODUCING THE BLOG GUESTS!
And now, to the Q/A segment!
1. What inspired you to start writing?
Esosa: Honestly, it’s because I read a lot when I was younger. Like I was obsessed with reading. Till now, whenever I enter a place for the first time, the first thing I notice are the books or magazine. My dad used to buy newspapers and leave them out for me because I would read everything😂
Chidera: I was inspired by my experiences and my desire to tell African Stories in an entirely different way; hit on the taboo topics and normalise certain things in African Literature. As I grew up, I had many questions and I knew many other children like me did too. I wanted to project these things in the stories I’d be telling. I started as a cringy creative. At a very young age, I loved reading and I had many storylines in my head but i really wasn’t articulate enough to put pen on paper. Later, I started keeping a diary, I wanted to nurture the habit of writing everyday. My classmates found it awkward for a boy to keep a diary; I was questioned everyday, I was ashamed, but I cared less. I took writing more seriously in my third year in highschool. I was struggling with depression and anxiety. I still find it funny how my depression fueled my creativity. I discovered that my creativity is usually stimulated when I am going through strong emotions. I explored with poetry then started prose after I got over my self-doubt. I fell in love with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie after reading Purple Hibiscus in 2012. She has been one of my greatest inspirations.
I won’t really say I have a particular inspiration; instead, I drew inspiration from different people, things and experiences.
Zia: Well I’ve always been writing tbh. I have a pretty good imagination, join that with being an overthinker and restrictions, boom, you have me.
Ib: I’ve had the knack for writing for as long as I can remember plus I love reading stories and short poems or articles so that’s what probably inspired me to start writing as well.
2. How long have you been writing?
Esosa: Since I was in primary school I guess.
Chidera: I can’t really say, I’ve been writing since and exploring with different genres. But like I said earlier, I took writing more seriously in my third year in highschool (JSS3). Probably sometime around 2015 & 16.
Zia: Professionally, 3 years.
Ib: I started this blog on December 31st, last year but I have been writing stories, poems and short pieces since primary school.
3. How do you handle writer’s block?
Esosa: For me, I find that it’s always good to take a walk, talk to a friend or go out. I like to leave the material and just do other things so I can come back with a fresh perspective. I ask the Holy Spirit for inspiration too and that always helps.
Chidera: A writers block is like a huge problem writers face. Sometimes, you just want to disconnect yourself from the world; no writing, no reading, no ideas, creativity stops. I feel its absolutely normal to feel that way. I handle mine by taking a break and simply channeling my energy to things I love doing asides writing. When I have a writers block, I tend to eat a lot, cook, crave the attention of my friends, listen to music and dance under the shower. After a while, I start feeling better and who knows? These other things might even give me the inspiration I need and stimulate my creativity too.
Zia: I ignore it till it goes away lol. I read, i watch movies then i settle down force the words out of me. It also helps when i switch mediums, like say i’m writing on my laptop, i’ll switch to pen and paper.
Ib: I don’t force myself to write. I just leave it and proceed to doing other stuff while still unconsciously thinking about what I’m trying to write. Eventually, it goes away.
4. What in your opinion, are the most important element of good writing?
Esosa: Punctuation. I think that’s the most important for me. Reading something that’s poorly spaced or punctuated is stressful. Also, organization and creativity. People should be able to follow your line of thought clearly
Chidera: Grammatical correctness is the first, for me. Grammatical mistakes or typos convey that you don’t know how to write correctly. Secondly, your style. A style is like a writers signature in the writers work; his/her choice of words, expression, vocabulary, syntax, voice, etc. If I read a work by Chimamanda Adichie, I might figure out even if I wasn’t told it was written by her. That is simply because she has her own unique style, just the way other writers do. Some writers argue that they can decide to change their style but I don’t believe so. Maybe essayists or freelancers can be able to do that when their assignments demand that they should, but creative writers can’t. As a creative writer, your style is who you are and I believe your style is something that keeps readers glued to your work; your style is something that’d make them anticipate your next book, or short story, or poem.
Zia: The most important? You have to take your reader along with you. The purpose of writing something is so another person would read, it doesn’t make sense to confuse your reader.
Ib: I think being able to reach out to your readers and keeping them engaged is an important element because you could be using big words and nice grammar but if your readers don’t feel connected or engaged then what’s the point?
5. What advice would you give to a new writer?
Esosa: My advice would be, just keep writing. Play around with ideas. Don’t edit while you’re writing your first draft. And read a lotttttt. Make sure you expose yourself to as many books as possible, it helps to improve your technique. But mainly, just keep writing. Also, write what you know.
Chidera: As a writer, you need to have your own voice. You don’t need to sound like any other writer. Just be yourself and your readers will love you. Nurture the habit of writing daily. If you can afford writing classes, take them. Join a writing group; this would help you network with like minded writers. And learn to deal with constructive criticisms. Lastly, never give up.
Zia: Read. A lot. And remember, in the world of fiction, there are very few rules, do you.
Ib: I would say, stay true to yourself. Don’t write because you want to show off or you’re forcing yourself to. Write because you enjoy it, because at the end of the day, the vibe you give is what your readers get and if they don’t enjoy it, they won’t come back for more.
6. What type of writing are you focused on?
Esosa: I write more of fiction. Sometimes I have to write articles and all but my strength is in fiction.
Chidera: I focus mainly on prose writing but I also explore with other forms of creative writing. I write poems sometimes, I’ve written a script once and a few articles too.
Zia: I write YA fiction. By that i mean i write a lot of books about people especially girls finding themselves.
Ib: I do a little of poems, storytelling and article writing but I don’t know, I guess I’m more into storytelling right now although I’ve never published any of my stories. I will though, in the future.
7. Describe your writing space?
Esosa: I write anywhere tbh. But recently, I like to use my laptop, on any desk tbh. Somewhere that I can concentrate.
Chidera: Sadly, I don’t even have a writing space at home. I write anywhere. My environment gives me more inspiration. If I am writing an emotional scene, you might find me writing outside; somewhere I can be free to converse with nature. And at school, I just have a table and a chair in my small room to write. A few people say it’s wrong but I think I love writing on my bed, sometimes. And uhm, I’d have a good writing space soon, I am already saving up to get my dream writing space. I’d just be needing a small white table and chair, a small shelf at the top with my favourite books on it. I’d also have a flower vase on the shelf, then a reading lamp and a jar of writing materials on my table.
Zia: My writing space consists of me, my laptop, books, snack(s), and my phone blaring music.
Ib: I write anywhere, honestly. On the dining table, living room, car etc. Wherever and whenever the inspiration comes, so I don’t lose it but if I can’t write, I have a book that I write any idea that pops in so I can develop it later on. But if I’m writing something more serious and demanding, that would be on my bed when it’s really quiet and everywhere’s calm like in the middle of the night.
8. Describe a typical writing day?
Esosa: Honestly, I’m guilty of procrastinating a lot😂. So most times, it can take up to a few weeks for me to fully develop a writing idea. But my writing day usually consists of me writing the first draft of the story, usually I wouldn’t have figured out the ending by then. I do other things, use my phone, rant to a friend about how I want the story to be. Then I come back to it and try to complete it. Then I edit it, take another break, and finally edit and look at it objectively. If I’m trying to perfect it, I give one of my friends to read it so I can get an outsiders view.
Chidera: Hm! When most people hear “a typical writing day” they’d think its just a day you wake up in the morning, sit on a desk and start penning down things for hours. Hahaha! There really are other things. Writers have their own personal lives and they’d have to juggle it with writing.. I am still a student and I have other school work for me. A typical writing day for me, I’d need to have a target. I also still live with my parents so I’d need to get a lot of chores done too. If I plan to write for 5hrs, a part of that 5hrs might be for eating snacks, checking my Instagram, taking walks around the house just to get more inspiration and struggle to get ideas, cooking and eating if I get bored. I might even start listening to different songs just to get into a particular mood; it might make me write a scene or chapter better.
Zia: I don’t have set aside days for writing. I usually just have a notebook with me so when inspiration strikes, i doodle till i can get to my laptop.
Ib: I don’t think it takes me just a day to write unless it’s something for fun but if I’m writing something serious, it takes about 2 days- a week. For my blog, the idea comes and I let it reminisce in my mind so at the end of day 1, I have a vision of what I want the post to be like. Then Day 2, I’m figuring out questions (if it’s a Q/A) or any meme or something I might use. Then reaching out to the people who want to be featured or people I want. Then editing and proofreading, trying to view it from a reader’s perspective before finally publishing.
9. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Esosa: Consistency. I have so many ideas for stories throughout the week but it’s really hard for me to actually work hard at them and complete it. Also, procrastination.
Chidera: Sitting and staring at the blank paper; more like the blank paper is the canvas and you are the artist. Getting started is quite difficult. I may have a lot of cool ideas in my head but it might be really hard to picture it and pen it down. Characterization can be quite difficult for me; creating characters with different traits and voices. For example, in a story, Nneka is an illiterate who didn’t even attend primary school, readers are not expecting her to use big words like “seldom” or “rendezvous” compared to a Professor in the story. It might sound very easy but as a writer, you are the god; you should be able to create different personalities effortlessly, this is a goal for me and I am open to learning more about it.
Time is an important factor. As a writer, student, content creator, libertarian & activist that still lives with his parents or is probably in school dealing with 8-6 classes. It’s really hard to juggle all of these and still have enough time to write, but I believe I’d be able to sort this out once I am fully independent.
Zia: Accurately translating the scenes in my head to words.
Ib: What I find difficult is trying not to overthink. I always overthink like “Does this make sense? Can I make it better?” “Is this funny?” “Will it make them smile?” “Will they feel engaged?”. It comes from a good place but sometimes it’s unnecessary.
10. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Esosa: I think my quirk is that I have to write in a fairly noisy environment. If it’s too quiet, or if it’s way too noisy, I won’t be able to concentrate. I work better when there’s some background sound😂
Chidera: The writing quirk I find interesting is that we are extremely observant and always take mental notes. When we see a stranger that walks in an unusual way, or has a funny English accent, crazy personality. When we eavesdrop, overhear fascinating conversations, experience joy, sadness, hatred, get drenched by the rain, we always want to add every little information we get into our story. We always want to give the readers a real experience.
Ib: I personally think this is funny, I don’t know if anyone else does this but I like to read out what I write in various accents (at least the ones I can try) to hear how it sounds to a reader. Most times, I use animated voices to read out my work while I’m proofreading. It’s fun and I identify errors quicker.
11. Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
Esosa: Omg the response from my readers inspire me! They complement my work so much and it really encourages me to keep working hard.
Chidera: I don’t really hear from them often. I don’t think I’ve gotten to the point where I should be hearing from them often, but that’s a big goal for me. The only time I get to hear from my small community of readers is when I post a few writing contents or excerpts on my Instagram page. They love it! Infact, I get scared because I barely get criticisms. Regardless, I still strive to be better everyday. My best friends read my unpublished literary works and give me a few criticisms. I have a lot in store for my readers and I can’t wait to publish them and start getting feedbacks often. In as much as I can’t wait to get published, I am not really in a hurry. I’d take each step at a time.
Zia: Well, they say I’m good? lmao.
Ib: Yes I do! And they’re all really sweet. I love hearing from them because they’re the people that keep me going.
12. When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy or sad) piece, how do you get in the mood?
Esosa: I put myself in that scene, and I try to explore that scene from all the angles. Like if it was happening to me. How would I feel? Would my heart be racing? Would my palms be sweaty. Music helps too😂
Chidera: Hm! Okay. I think I said this before; my environment plays a huge role in getting me in the mood. I’d rather write about nature in a park or garden so I can feel and observe everything. In most cases, I listen to any song I know will put me in the mood; sad/heartbreak songs, love songs, etcetera. Then if it’s a sex scene, I’d rather watch a movie with a sex scene then write down my observations.
Zia: Sad songs. Or music relating to the emotion i want to pass along. I have playlists for almost every book, usually before i even start writing.
Ib: Music helps a lot. Also, putting myself in my character’s place and figuring out what I would do in that situation because I’m an emotional person, at least I think I am.
13. Writing can be emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Esosa: The best thing I’d say is to write what you know. When I used to read wattpad books, I wrote stories about American girls in high school. Stories that neither I nor my readers could relate to. You need to write stories that resonate with you. Stories that you know, so read books like that too. Another thing is, you should be honest in your writing, and there’s always room for improvement. Criticism can be hard to take because as writers, we usually develop this attachment to our work, like it’s an extension of who we are. But try to understand that when someone’s criticizing your work, they’re not criticizing you. Lastly, write for you. You. Regardless of whether a lot of people are reading it, or whether you’re winning, write because you love it.
Chidera: Start small! I don’t think as a beginner, you should start aiming to write novels. Writing short stories will help you sharpen your skills. Never give up! To be honest, writing is really tiring and can get boring at some point but if you are passionate enough, you are good to go. Be open to learning. Write everyday even if it’s a page or paragraph. Just keep write. One day, your voice will be heard.
Zia: Have friends. Have a support system. When you come out of your head, people need to be there to welcome you back
Ib: I would say, write because you enjoy it not for views or praises because if you base the worth of your writings on the views it get and you don’t get a lot, you’ll start to feel discouraged or you might start trying to push yourself to write stuff that other people like but don’t interest you and that nullifies the point of writing so do it cause you love and enjoy it.
14. How do you handle literary criticism?
Esosa: I just spoke about this😂. It’s not easy o. I’ll admit that I still struggle with accepting criticism. But understanding that my work isn’t me has helped me with that. And then there’s no way I can improve if I’m not corrected. It’s hard because I’m always really attached to what I write. Like that’s my heart and soul there😂, but yeah, if I want to be better, I need to be a big girl about it
Chidera: With the few criticisms I’ve gotten, I just heed to their advice and try to get better. I feel its just best to move on and figure out how you can make your next work beautiful and better. I also try as much as possible to not let critics break me. Sometimes, you might think a critic doesn’t understand how much time you’ve spent on a work, and how you’ve racked your brain, but the truth is; they don’t care! You need to give your readers the good literary works they deserve. I try so hard not to get offended.
Zia: Omo, if it’s important and valid, i use it and try to get better. If it’s not or it looks like something borne out of malice, i ignore it.
Ib: I like to be criticized by the right people. People that understand writing and what it entails, not people that the only poem or work they’ve ever written was for their school essay.
15. How do you deal with poor reviews?
Esosa: Sometimes, I obsess over it. If it’s someone I can talk to, I ask them why and all. But mostly, when I can’t reach them, I just try to move on from it.
Zia: I get better.
Ib: I can’t remember a poor review I’ve gotten and sometimes I wish I did so I can know what I’m doing wrong because I know that I can’t be doing everything right. Anyways, I can assume how I would act if I got one but I haven’t, so I can’t really say.
We’re done with the Q/A! I hope you guys were truly inspired by us all and I hope you enjoyed it as well! So one of my, I wouldn’t say fans cause then my head will swell up, but one of the people that read my posts dmed me and suggested that I start a new fun segment after every Q/A to kinda lighten up the mood so I ask the guests a few questions just for fun and I really hope you guys would like it! I’m calling it “THE TAG”, because well according to Google, Tag is a small piece attached to a main thing and this is like a fun segment attached to the main segment.
Anyways, you can dm me with better suggestions cause I know it’s lame. I’M TRYING HERE!!!
It would get better as we move on, trust me!
Also, if you have ideas on new segments that you think I should start, you can dm me as well. My social media handles will be at the end of this post.
THE TAG with IB
1. Would you rather be in a room full of snakes or a room full of spiders and why?
Esosa: Spiders. I can actually cope with spiders. The snakes may have venom 😭
Chidera: I’d rather be in a room full of spiders. Non venomous spiders are completely harmless but non venomous snakes can still harm me. Non venomous snakes still bite and I also do not want to have any experience with a boa constrictor. I just feel I can deal with spiders, anyhow.
Zia: Spiders. I’m not scared of spiders and will probably kill them. Snakes are creepy.
Ib: I would say snakes so I can die quicker. If I stay in a room with spiders, I would probably die from the fear or from high blood pressure. Creepy crawlers? I just can’t!
2. Movies or books?
Esosa: Book definitely 😂
Chidera: Okay, this a good but complex question. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I’d like to watch the movie since I am a more visual person. But books usually give more insights into the characters and the depth of the plot. I’d rather watch the movie sha..
Zia: Book except in some rare cases. Books are magical.
Ib: I mean I enjoy both but I would say book, a really really nice thriller book but yet again, I love a really really nice thriller movie.
3. Favorite songs?
Esosa: This week, it’s “Your love” by Limoblaze.
Chidera: Heyyyy!!! Everyone needs to know that I am a big fan of Billie Eilish, Sam Smith & Tems. My current favourite song is “Essence” by Tems & Wizkid.
Zia: I don’t have. I love a lot of songs but at the moment, Joeboy’s Lonely, Ms Banks Snack, Nirvana’s Smells like teen spirit and Mae Muller’s Dependent.
Ib: Right now, “Holy” by Justin Beiber, “Be happy” by Dixie D’Amelio and “On My Way” by Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter and Farruko.
4. Tell us your favorite joke?
Esosa: Anything that’s funny on twitter 😭
Chidera: I don’t think I can remember my favourite jokes but I LOVEEEE puns! Why is 6 scared of 7? Because 7, 8, 9!
Zia: i suck at jokes, please don’t make me do this 😭
Ib: What did the elephant say to the rhino? Hell if I know! 😂😂😂 (Pronounce it if you don’t get it)
5. Social media or novel?
Esosa: It depends o😂. I’ve developed an unhealthy love for tik tok recently
Chidera: Omggg!!! This is another annoying and complex question. Well, I’d pick social media, sadly. I’d still need to reach out to my friends and family, and also have fun. A novel is another world entirely.
Zia: Hard choice but novel. Social media gets draining at times
Ib: Novel, please! Social media is tiringggg. Except it’s YouTube, I can spend a day on YouTube with the number of podcasts, shows and vlogs that I watch.
Alrighty then, hope you enjoyed that!
Sadly, we have come to the end of this week’s post. If you liked it, don’t forget to like it, share the link and if you want to drop some comments on how you feel about the new segment, your thoughts on the guests, then feel free to do so down below. If you’d like to dm any of the guests, their social media handles would be just right below this.
Esosa: Ig and Twitter: @esosa_osunde
Chidera: Instagram handle: @chidera__eze
Twitter handle: @ChideraEzeokoli
Zia: @zia_tiffah on IG and twitter
Ib: Ig: @ibu_kunnnn, @_itsib Twitter: @ibu_kunnn Sc: @adepoju_ib
Till next week, drops ink