Taking flight – Please not through the window

Quotation mark copyHere are the two states in which you may exist: person who writes, or person who does not. If you write: you are a writer. If you do not write: you are not. Aspiring is a meaningless null state that romanticizes Not Writing.

– Chuck Wending (Terrible Minds)

There I am, sitting in the back row of a cramped meeting room on the upper floor of the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi with a group of young Kenyans, their faces full of enthusiasm, their bodies literally pulsating with vibrant energy. The ideas are not in short supply. They range from the ambitious ‘change-the mainstream-thinking’ to the usual ‘I just want to tell people about what makes me tick’.  Some have discovered curious treasures,  archives just waiting to be burst open to take the public on mystical journeys to the past. No, there is no shortage of ideas. There I sit, in the back row, next to the window, hoping that I, and my jaded and uninspired soul, can take flight when the opportunity presents itself. Continue reading

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Aspiring writer? Keep telling yourself that if it helps you sleep at night

I’d known her all my life and I knew that she couldn’t write to save her own life. Not if someone held a gun to her head. Mind you, it wasn’t for lack of words. Nelly simply had too much nervous energy to let two words fuse into a phrase. She even talked with a stutter. Continue reading

Editorials, op-eds and getting suspended for writing them

Fancy starting your year by getting suspended by your boss! That’s what happened to Dennis Galava, the Managing Editor for special projects at the Daily Nation. The reason: an editorial published in the Saturday Nation on 2 January 2016: See it here (believe me it’s worth the read). Continue reading

How to keep the Muse happy in 2016 (or five strategies to start the year on a writing note)

“Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.”
—William S. Burroughs

I have a Muse called Adam, demanding as hell; mean as that mad tomcat that viciously attacked  me some years ago in Mombasa. He accepts nothing but the finest things. If I’m to keep this one, I’ll have to improve my skills and dish up a continuous flow of engaging writing in 2016. Here’s how I propose to up my game. Continue reading

Adam, I promise to make you want to stay

Today, I re-opened the door to Eve’s Reflections. I noticed how empty and dusty it was; a neglected, untended house that was almost caving in. It made me so profoundly sad, because it is a reflection on my bad writing habits. I found this quote:

“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.” ― Lili St. Crow

Continue reading