Rediscovering the Why of Writing

It is said knowing why is equally as important as the what. I love to write. Recently, I had to consider why.

Before now, I believed I write because I have something to say – a valuable message burns deep within which I must bring out; something worthwhile and beneficial to me, and everyone.

So I couldn’t not write.

There was this time many years ago when it never occurred to me to write. My favorite preoccupation was to read. I read everything I could lay my eyes on as long it’s got words on it: signboards, billboards, vehicles, banners, posters etc; on my way to and from school, church or errands.

In fact I stole novels from classmates to read, and covertly returned them later.

The  day came when I had a strong impression on my mind to write. All of a sudden I had things on that must be put down on paper. So I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote.

The words flowed, non-stop it seemed. My muse was never absent. I wrote without effort. I have a couple of notebooks to show for it, filled with prose mostly, with a sprinkle of poetry. You can get a collection of some of the poems here.

I had another strong impression. This time to share my writings. With a growing sense of urgency I shared with friends, acquaintances and strangers, via notice board posts and bulk emails. I kept writing and sharing.

I was not sure most people who saw or received my work read them. If they did I couldn’t tell they found my work beneficial. So, sadly, I wrote infrequently, and stopped sharing. Except for occasional spurts of inspiration I almost stopped writing.

Then I discovered blogging. That fateful day in December of 2006, during a digital strategies conference, my love for writing got a new lease of life.

Unfortunately, blogging seemed to be tasking – images for posts, widgets, internet data etc as well as the not so user-friendly Blogger platform, were too much hassle for me. Once again motivation for writing ebbed away as the excitement of blogging waned.

That is in the past now. Today, I do very well with blogging, except for churning out regular content.

Actually, this retrospection is a bid to rediscover my writing mojo. Writing this post is to affirm the reason I write. Hopefully, now I will write daily, whether my motivation ebbs or flows.

So there you have it. I wrote because I had a message worth sharing. I write because I have a message worth sharing. Also, like Jeff Goins, I daresay I write because I am a WRITER.

One way I make the most of my day, I write for 30 minutes.

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The Difference Maker

There is always a reason we do the things we do. There is always a motivation for our decisions, and actions/ inaction. They are as varied as we are. But what makes one reason right and the other wrong?

The task may be menial,
and seem unimportant.
The gesture may be trivial
and insignificant.
Provided it is done in love,
It’s the wisest investment;
Based on the greatest commandment –
Birth in us from above.

Love will cause you to make unpopular choices. Yes, difficult choices. Nevertheless, let love distinguish you.

Love unlike that which focuses on one or a few, and excludes others; love unlike that characterised by only torrid pleasurable and fleeting emotions; love unlike today’s highly sexualized and commercialised venture.

But love, all-inclusive, unconditional and other-centred. One that we can live out only because we are enabled.

Today, whoever you are, or aspire to be, let love form your character; Everyday, whatever you do, let love be your motive; wherever you are or plan to go, let love chart your course. Always.

Love is the difference maker.

What motivates you?

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Eager, Tired Or In Between

‘There is a great deal of difference between an eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read.’

These are the words of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (popularly called G.K.Chesterton), the Englishman who never went to college but became one of the most prolific writers of all time. Among other things. He was no mere wordsmith – he had a way with words. An example is the play of words in the statement above.

What I understand this genius to say is, the motivation to read can stem either from:

  • the desire to learn, or
  • the want for leisure.

You can read to engage your thoughts, and develop your mind and intellect. Also you can read to just pass time or to take your mind away from an activity which made you tired.

The world of difference between the two is in the benefits derived. Just as it is beneficial to read for the purpose of learning, it is also beneficial to read as a pastime. On one hand the mind is developed, on the other the body is rested and the mind entertained.

So one is not better than the other.

Actually, the two motives for reading in Chesterton’s statement come to play at different times in an individual’s life. I can relate. Many times, I have been an eager reader seeking to learn. At other times, a tired reader who just wants to unwind with a good book.

But there is an in-between. Those times when I experience the ambivalence of the two – eager to devour a book but too tired to crack it open. So I coined the word, ‘eagired’. A hybrid between the words eager and tired.

But then there is no one activity that is so good that every moment of our time should be spent on it. Inasmuch as I love to read I resolve my quandary by choosing rest, almost always. Variety is still the spice of life, and everything still has a time and season.

There is no activity so good and beneficial that every moment of our time should be spent on it. – JeNom Makama

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