I must admit that I quite enjoy the experience of reading, editing and publishing the pieces that are sent in to the Storymoja Writer’s Blog every weekend. Not only do I get lost in some extraordinary works of art, but I also get a chance to watch some of you grow in your writing skills. I am deeply honored to be in this seat. Thank you.
Someone asked me a few days ago; ‘What do you do when you have all the ideas in your head, but just cannot find a way to begin putting them down on paper?’ I was rather tempted to tell the young lady, ‘I think the problem, one which I face quite often, is when you have no ideas at all.’
Instead, I told the young writer, with a rather conceited scribal expression, brows knitted to give an illusion of wisdom, upper lip stiff to show superiority, ‘Dear, if you have the ideas, write them down. Write what you have and soon enough the form will reveal itself to you.’
Oh, well, the young lady ran off as if I had just granted her the best advice in the world, then I breathed a sigh of relief. Whew! If you have any idea the number of times a professional writer will be completely stumped, you would put in all the effort to get all the education you can get.
I will take the liberties to loosely quote Agatha Verdadero who told me a few weeks back, ‘Writing is a professional career. People need to realise that, and stop taking it as if it is a hobby. If you understand that writing is a career, and give it the respect it deserves, you will invest the time and effort to learn the skills that will make you the best professional writer in your field.’
Kenya is a nation of storytellers, we have a vast resource in people who can be extraordinary writers, who can tell the Kenyan story, who can reveal and expose what needs to be revealed and exposed, who can help this great nation heal, grow and shine. But this vast resource of writers, you, and I, need to recognize the very important function of our profession.
So, look for material on how to improve both your language and writing skills; there’s a whole lot of that on the internet free of charge. Find books that not only discuss writing, but also discuss previously published literature. If you hear of a workshop on writing, find a way to attend it. If there are classes available in creative writing, invest in them. But on a general level, find a way to stay informed, to improve your knowledge, to be professional.
And with that, I usher you into this week’s professional art exhibit.
We begin with Memoirs of a The Middle Child by Patricia Waliaula.
After which, Eddie Karisa tells us the tale of the Olympics in Campus.
Then, Chrispus Kimaru sends us into a bit of political satire woven into a story about rural life in the Ghost List of Death.
Joshua in the UK is a piece about a young man’s first impressions of ‘abroad’ by Ogutu Muraya.
Lastly, we get to read Khei Khei’s Fateful day in Paradise.
Before we close this week’s reading I would like to share something that might help you rethink your business practices. Are You So Busy Serving Customers or Leading Staff, That you forget the person? By Kelly Watkins.
I do look forward to your stories for next week! Please remember, all stories published on the Storymoja Blog will be eligible for the Crown of Story of the Week. The stories will be posted every Monday. Readers are encouraged to both critique and vote for the story they believe should wear the crown. At the end of the week, the votes will be tallied and the story with the most votes will posted on the Storymoja Website as the Story of the Week on the Friday of the same week. To have your story in this weekly process please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org