Merry Christmas! It’s hard for me to believe that the last time I posted on my blog was almost a year ago; to be precise, it was on February 23rd 2017. This year has been eventful, with moments of tears and joy, lots of hard work and achievement and full of God’s grace and mercies. Throughout the year, I had many people asking me why I had stopped writing or had not posted on my blog or Bella naija and I felt a bit sad that I was not sharing my stories that may have been a form of entertainment to others. In addition, it made me slightly feel like I was not using my talent to the fullest extent. To be fair, it was a very busy year for me and there were many times that I wanted to post something including on Easter Sunday, on my birthday, graduation etc.; I always had stories on my mind and never for once did I forget about my blog. However, there were a few reasons why I did not get to share any stories and I will share a few of them with you now:
- · Firstly, I never stopped writing. This is true as I still have lots of backlog of stories which I hope to share eventually and also, because I started doing more of a different kind of writing – academic writing. So while I may not have shared things on my blog, I got to published a few research papers and my dissertation which was over 200 pages, phew! While this obviously had an effect on my blog sharing, I have to say that this was still positive for me because I still shared meaningful work that could potentially contribute to saving lives. So this was a huge achievement for me.
- · Secondly, I felt guilty even without being blamed. So as a student who had lots of school work and research deadlines and with some of school heads following me on social media where I used to post my blog stories, I felt like it might look as if I had way too much time on my hand if I wrote and shared my stories. Like I said, nobody ever accused me of being incompetent but that did not stop the subconscious feeling from growing and so with time, my posting and also writing plummeted because every time I wanted to write I thought about some work I could be using the time to do. However, looking back, I do not think this was the best way to handle things because truth be told, research work can never finish. Since writing is a form of escape for me, I actually think that I may have gotten more work done if I had written more as this would have helped me release stress and tension, lots of which I was under at the time. The most important thing I should have done was appropriate time management, which would involve allocating time for different things so as to have a balance between work and personal life and once it was time for personal business, then I should not have felt guilty. Oh well, I have learnt this now and I hope I can apply it to my life in the future.
- · Thirdly, I started to care too much about what other people thought, if I would be judged for perhaps writing about controversial issues. So there were times, I wanted to write about relationships for example, and then I would stop after wondering whether my story would be professional enough to share since I now had more professional connections. This defeated my purpose of writing because as I explained earlier, writing for me was a way of expression. I neither write to be liked nor to please anyone; I just do it as a hobby and I barely even get paid for writing. I also do not wish to pretend to be someone else while writing because then, it would serve no purpose to me. So now, I have told myself to just write –whatever comes to my mind, my fingertips, I would write as long as I am able to by God’s grace.
- · Finally, I started to care too much about criticisms from people who assumed that they were parts of my stories - my writing casts. There were many times I would share a story and someone would call me to question why I wrote about them. Often times, they were correct and sometimes they were not which they never believed when I would tell them, It is funny and great to see how relatable stories are and how people are happy to read about others but get really defensive when they think they were written about. One of the last times it happened, it was a guy who I used to think I liked and after then, I started to lose my zeal to write or share my stories because I did not personally want to hurt anyone. It took me some months to wake up and realise that as a writer, there was only so much I could control because many stories stem from our environment, including our imagination, the names used in the stories and our experiences. Therefore, if you are in a writer’s life, you might get written about whether you like it or not. So I would say, if you happen to become a “cast”, be honoured as not everyone was important enough to make it into a story and if you don’t, consider yourself lucky at least for that time being as you might make it at some other point.
To conclude, I have come to a decision that I will not apologise for my writing for any of the reasons above and based on this, I will be writing and sharing more stories in 2018 by God’s grace. Like I said, it’s a God-give talent, why waste it? After all, my blog says: “My thoughts, my dreams, my stories, my life...!”
Very big thanks to everyone who has supported my writing and blogging throughout the years and encouraged me to write. I wish you all a very merry Christmas, filled with love and joy. Enjoy the season and spread the love. X
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