So, sometime last week, when I was too busy and could not find even a minute to bang a few words for my virgin blog, I got a call from a friend who told me there was a job in which we would be paid to write articles on several topics. I chose to write on blogging. The Art of Blogging was my title. Funny thing is I couldn’t find time to write my own articles. It is pathetic how much influence money has on some people. I wrote the article anyway. Four articles, actually. I went to bed minutes past 2a.m, with eyes sore and resembling those of the guy in the house on the hill. It was worth it anyway. Or not
The following day, still with hangovers, I am told that my work had plagiarism and it was trashed. So, no payment. ‘Hata ya kulipa stima, man?’ I almost asked him in a tone that goes on to emphasise my humility and down to earth personality. And I thought, now that my article has been trashed, I will post it on my blog. (that word blog though). If people don’t like it they can’t delete it. They’ll just ignore it. It is not for marking. I won’t charge either. But in case you get to hear the spirit of the loving Father up there telling you to donate something for the stima, don’t hesitate my sister, my brother.
Here’s the piece that could not be paid for. Not even stima.
The Art of Blogging, from an amateur’s point of view:
Blogging is one of the most fulfilling and paradoxically frustrating thing to anyone who feels the pen and paper are their way of expressing themselves. This is so because while blogging or general recording of your inner thoughts in a crystal-clear manner may bring you joy, sense of fulfilment and trigger some dopamine into your system, it can also be your nightmare. Writers’ nightmares happen when you experience what they call in the literature corridors with lowered glasses ‘Writer’s Block?’ I don’t know why bloggers and writers use it like some scientific name for an extinct that once roamed the great Congo Forest. I personally find the word self-explanatory. But it’s their lingo. Like ‘Hey, Kev. Tell the editor I won’t make it for that article’s deadline. I am having a Periplaneta americana.’ ‘Okay, Peter. Will do that. I am sure your juices will flow again.’ ‘Thanks, Kev’ hehe
But the writer’s block is real. It can express itself in form of lack of any idea on what to write about or in lack of apt words to voice what is inside you-both painfully frustrating experiences. There are many ‘budding’ writers who are pushed into the brink of believing they were created to be bloggers by an external stimulus that cannot sustain the long periods of lack of creativity. Those dry spells that hit every writer- amateurs and seasoned writers alike. A very emotional heartbreak is one of these stimuli. After listening to a few (read as all) of Adele’s albums, the wounded heart turns poetic. And philosophical on love. Mind you this is mostly a twenty-something young man or girl who doesn’t know shit about even a simple concept like taxes. But they know about love. Who needs to know about taxes anyway? Who even knows?
Starting a blog nowadays is easy. Everyone and their grandmother can do that. Posting two articles per week is a walk in the park. Then the blogger develops the incipient laziness and one article a month becomes a herculean task. Finally, they discover other passions. Like sleeping, watching movies and if you are like yours truly over here, you take into eating. And you eat everything and everyone that comes your way…okay, not everyone hehe. But I eat. Especially when that inner man (or woman) is fed up with your nonchalance, complacency and utter laziness, and makes you feel guilty for your inconsistency. And you drown her naggings, with three hours of your favourite series. You cannot force creativity, can you? And just like that, creativity dies. With it, it carries the little vocabulary you possessed and leaves you to the mercy of memes and Vines and GIFS and Emojis. Life can be really unfair.
So, how can we be consistent, creative and timeless recorders of our thoughts? I don’t know. Period. However, someone I respect told me to start here:
- The best way to write is to read and vice versa. The more your knowledge tank has, the less likely you are to experience Periplaneta americana. (that’s a cockroach, by the way), even if nobody pays you a dime. Not even for stima.
- Write more. One good blog post does not qualify you for a wordsmith award or for sainthood in literature, and equally a bad one does not render you a dilettante. Keep writing and be ready to be criticised by both well-meaning individuals and once-upon-a-time bloggers turned-loafers who await your downfall as the next Donald Trump Meme.
- Be patient with yourself but don’t be complacent. Accept you at times have nothing to write and go ahead to write it.
- Travel and as you do so, open your eyes and absorb all you can. Then reflect on it. Write whatever comes to your mind. I think about food all the time. I attend a funeral, a wedding ceremony, I will still reflect, meditate then write about it. The food, that is. But I will write.
Have a great weekend ahead people. It is end month. Don’t do anything productive at work on Friday. Pay your pledges and debts. And stima.
Ps: File your KRA returns or just give me the job. How else do I pay Stima