13 Feb 2023
I still haven’t been able to figure out what had gotten into my mind when I started writing the story I have been sharing for weeks now (well! Months with the hiatus)
The cover on display isn’t the original one, it’s hazy to begin with. The first one was cool, and I got some compliments for it, but I don’t know why I decided not to use it. The haziness of the current one, with a back outline of a dark image of a man reflected what I had in mind (Spaced-out).
One day a friend texted me asking if she could give some advice, I had just published the second chapter (One-time Savor) at the time, a flashback about the previous chapter (Spirit to His Mind).
I am open minded, so I unhesitantly allowed her, then I thought she wouldn’t be quick so I called her.
“How about you design another cover?” she asked soon as I pointed her to the right direction, she was nowhere close to the advice. “This one is hazy, I can’t see the image clearly.” That was that. She sounded as if the book was intended just for her.
“Have you read the chapters?” I asked.
Her response made me tense, and yes it made some sense, maybe that’s why I didn’t explode, I still wouldn’t if it was utter nonsense, so instead, after I cleared my throat in disdain, I said, “how about you read the chapters then see if your advice fits.
“I will do.” She said. “I promise.”
She never got back to me about it and the work is on the ninth chapter (Exquisite Joy). Any lesson?
The story is about addiction, but it’s not obvious. Imagine dealing with people who in actual sense were just a bunch of alcoholic drinks, that used to control my life. I found it strange by the way, how I developed characters who were real people, in reflection of the booze that literally taught me lessons worth sharing.
And what about the chapters?
Well, I had to ensure that I search all the taglines and slogans for the drinks I used to take, some were readily available, some weren’t. So basically, every chapter's title is relevant to liquors and beers, but they’re twisted a bit to fit the main “theme" (romance), and addiction. So far, chapter 4 (The First Southpaw) seems to diverge that, but the content is still the same. Titles, however, relate to their slogans/taglines, for instance, chapter one is titled “Spirit to His Mind" but untwisted, it is “Spirit of the Nation" which is an advertising slogan for Konyagi, and the character who represents that is known as Konso, my ex (yes my ex because I quit it).
Chapter two is “One-time Savor.” The character's name is Sabina, and the tagline (Savor) is for Savannah.
The story comprises more than fifteen chapters, and I made it a habit of sharing one chapter fortnightly (it was a weekly issue at first).
The main theme is everywhere in the book, except for the tag that shows “addiction" the only thing that entails what I have been trying to communicate. Ironically by the way.
I was lucky to be one of the Genemers in the first cohort, guess I will someday share a thing or two about the benefits, and being a part of it I remember the presentations, (well I missed the one about concept notes, but I learned its lesson later) especially the one I did about one of my hobbies (writing).
The fact that for the first time I did PowerPoint presentations during the program, got me thinking about stuffs like, why do we take like forever to master some skills? Especially the ones within our capabilities. Or what as a person should you do to master your callings? (this begins with realizing them).
Every Genemer had an assignment to present, mine was titled The Love for Writing. I shared my reasons why I fell in love with writing, the benefits, the commitment which basically entailed hard work, and so on.
The feedback was positive, (it depends on your perception). By the way, any opinion regarding your work is worth it because;
Firstly, it shows that they gave you their time.
Secondly, it leads to reflective habits that in the long run are very helpful. Most of us aren’t that reflective, I think for some reason we hardly do what others do “effortlessly" because of that. Yes effortlessly.
From the moment I decided to have a habit of daily reflections, I realized I could do much better on all my undertakings, from my hobbies (reading, writing and music) to anything that I have to deal with under any circumstance. The beginning, like most beginnings, wasn’t a road of roses, and trust me, the imperfections are everlasting.
The ability to generate ideas for my literary works or the songs I have been recording, is one of the benefits I gained from being reflective.
“The greatest skill in life is to be able to tune in and listen to what it is you need and want.” Wrote Holly Willoughby. “No book can tell you how to do that.”
There is no better way I can describe that, all I can tell you is that, I just got started and here I am, though it’s not where I want to be.
However, it’s never been less challenging regardless, but challenges, like obstacles are the only way. “Every obstacle is unique to each of us.” Writes Ryan Holiday. “But the responses they elicit are the same: Fear. Frustration. Confusion. Helplessness. Depression. Anger.”
I could relate it to myself when I came across that part in The Obstacle is the Way, and it’s true for most of us, but I had to face them. I did one track about Generation Empower, and the last line of the first verse is “fear is intimidating, let’s face it.” I literally had to face fear, frustration, confusion, helplessness, depression, anger (you name it).
Sometimes later in the process, an idea occurred to me, but it needed a couple of topics, at least ten to begin with, but I couldn’t figure out how to come up with them, but I wouldn’t have a laid out plan without sitting back and reflect. I had to come up with the question and sent a broadcast message to my contacts, surprisingly every single response was unique, the technic gave me more than 20 different topics relevant to what I wanted to write about.
I also applied that to the music I have been making. The bunch of ideas I haven’t worked on yet, and the ones that are incomplete, plus the completed ones, were generated by first sharing untitled tracks, that are literally titled IPE JINA.
How it happened, was to first engage my inner circle by sharing the track intending to have them tell me what they think should be the title of that track considering the lyrics. Every respondent shared a different idea, some were very intriguing I had to start working on them immediately, some were less captivating, so I saved them, waiting for the right moment. See?
Routine on the other hand pushed me forward. I remember thinking about my accomplishments, sometimes in 2021, then I realized that, despite of being committed to fulfilling my goals I had no proper routine that could guide me all along. I am sure you know there are some people who literally deal with a number of ventures, and they keep succeeding in each, there are reasons for that, routine is one of them.
“The truth is that a good routine is not only a source of great comfort and stability,” Ryan wrote this. “it’s the platform from which stimulating and fulfilling work is possible.” I started to have a routine long before I read that, by the time I came across it, all I did was to relate to it. From the comfort and stability, to fulfilling my short term plans, which are the foundation to the long term ones, nothing else could make more sense.
I am just an amateur reader, writer and a recording artist.
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