Thursday, August 28, 2014

Progress

Doesn't it feel good to make some progress?
It does, and that much I'd tell you right now if only I could finish this cup of coffee and get back to writing.

As a Writer, I have long battled two questions:
  1. What's my voice?
  2. Am I an African Writer or not?

The search for self- actualization is within all human beings, but with writing- there's always the search for one's voice, style and the genre that simply breathes life into the stories one tells. Some writers are good at chick-lit, crime stories, mysteries, memoirs, romance, historical fiction- and the list goes on till sci-fi and fantasy.

I have always loved to write about romance. You know dating, falling in and out of love, and aspiring to some kind of awareness in a relationship, and it took me years to accept that.

It's also taken me years to get a publisher to look at my manuscript because Africa is plagued by "African Writers," and don't get me wrong here...but I grew up reading works by various writers, Shakespeare, Chinua Achebe, Grace Ogot and Ngugi wa Thiong'o- all in equal measures, and though Shakespeare is not African, I was long moved by his sonnets before I discovered Taban Lo Liyong. Africa has great story tellers- and the publishing industry is still in awe and searching for the greats! I have seen it every time I presented a publisher with my manuscript and having them leaf through it as though it was a fan, and they were burning up. I have seen the look in their faces, and known that they did not think my work good enough for publication by them, and I have always been grateful to them for the endless rejections.

Why?

It's made me understand the difference between writing and publishing- and it is simple; money! A publisher wants a book that would sell. A writer wants to see their story on a bookshelf.

I know you are wondering where I am going with this, but it's simple; I am writing. I always will write, and now I have taken mentorship classes on editing because I need to revise and revise and revise Currents.

The first book of the four part series is titled "Fire" and it's due this December, and my Mom was reading my first print book "A Father's Portrait" and she said she could not wait to hold a copy of my second book. (It's on people! It's definitely on!)

I did however take time to go through my books- and it turns out I've bought one hundred (100) books this year.


​​So, maybe you are battling something else in your life and it seems as though sometimes you are not making a move, don't lose hope. Never degrade yourself or worse off strike yourself off without giving it your all.

You may not see the little milestones you've made until you step out and look at the situation from every angle, at every point- and most of all with every thought.

Dora Achieng' Okeyo
Whatsoever you do, do it to perfection.