Archive | October, 2014

Writing battles: Six battles that every writer must fight

3 Oct

Writing is like a battle. I take writing as a war and strategize about it the same way lieutenants in a battle filed would do. Just like battlefront, writing industry has many casualties and has killed the passion of many great writers. Writing is not for everyone I can affirm, it mainly favours those who take it as a fight and battle diligently, courageously and consistently. The following are battles that every writer must fight.

  1. The battle for self-belief. It is the belief that you can do it whether you feel like it or not. Writing industry has no masters or experts. The first step is accepting that you can do it and then doing it. Believe that you are the best and you have what it takes.
  2. The battle of Reading. Great writers are also great readers. You cannot effectively write if you fail to read. The main aim of writing is to inform. You must be well versed with what you are informing others about. This is done by thorough reading. Reading widely and wildly is the true mark of a great writer. Great readers have a lot to inform others. They have more knowledge that would interest others to read.
  3. The battle of fear of criticism. Even with your self-belief, self-doubt and criticism from clients and readers usually tend to put writers down. Writing is tedious and not exciting especially when writing for clients. To be a great writer one must possess a thick skin and ability to overcome criticisms. Once the writer has acquired a can do it attitude, the writer can pen about any subject whether they are experts in it or not. However, it is much easier to write a topic which you are most conversant with.
  4. The battle of words. Sometimes one falls short of words and topics to write about. Every writer experiences writer’s block, when there are no forthcoming ideas or inspiration to write. It is the writers’ responsibility to be inspired and motivated. Sometimes I have to listen to music or just write blank words for me to overcome this challenge. I must admit that writer’s block is every writer’s nightmare. It comes with inability write and lack of inspiration to write. Write even when you do not feel like it. Feelings will come later.
  5. The battle of relevance. In the process of writing, sometimes a writer may write materials which are irrelevant and out of sync with the topic of discussion. The writer must always seek to remain relevant and fluent in writing so as to make the readers understand the subject matter with ease.
  6. The battle of grammar. Grammatical mistakes are not taken lightly by readers. They consider them as a mark of incompetence. I may not be an expert about grammar since English is not my first language, but proofreading and re reading the material at least two times helps in eliminating such mistakes.

The above battles are not one off battles; they must be fought consistently, simultaneously and confidently.

Debt is an enemy

1 Oct

One day I borrowed some small amount from a friend to start a business from a friend. From my estimation I was certain that I would make some good money if it happened to succeed. I labored and worked to profit but unfortunately the returns were very minimal than I had anticipated. I did not even accumulate enough money to pay myself. This is in consideration that the money I had used was borrowed. The friend I had borrowed money came to demand his share. I had to explain that I had no returns from the investment and that I was dead broke to repay his money on the agreed date. My good friend would hear none of it, the money I had borrowed was intended to pay his sister’s school fees and had diverted it to assist me. I had to repay the money, by nook or crook. Luckily, I didn’t have any tangible assets to be auctioned except a smart phone which I had bought earlier on. I had to auction it to pay a part of the debt and pacify my friend’s wrath. I could not imagine that a good friend could be so harsh to me. My friend still demanded me to pay the debt in full if I was ever to make peace with him. Having no assets and no sustainable form of employment I could not access any formal credit neither could I do anything to fully settle the debt. Never in my life have I felt so low and ashamed like at that time. My dignity and sense of self-worth was highly diminished by this incident. I had to labour and do anything within my ability to settle the debt. I used every resource and ability within my disposal to settle the debt without incurring any further debt. I painfully repaid the money with tears but the lesson I learnt will last a lifetime.
Since the occurrence of this incident, I learnt a major lesson that debt is an enemy. In twenty first century many people have indeed fallen in love with their enemy. Our countries, nations and government too have fallen in love with the enemy called debt. At first debt appears like a friend in need who comes on time to help. The pleasure of having access to free money and gratifying one’s desires instantly without sweat but based on your ability to repay makes many people feel good. They count on debt to fund their luxuries, lifestyle and necessities. There are even cases of people who have succeeded using loans and setting successful businesses. Almost all banks and financial institutions consider loans as their major source of income and fiercely advertise how they have the best repayment terms. Nations especially in third world countries count on debt to build their infrastructure and pay their workers. In other words the world is becoming driven by debt.

However, debt irrespective the name used to refer to it is never a friend. It is a foe who should be fought off with determination and dedication that one can expedite when fighting a cruel enemy. Debt is the modern day tool of enslavement and financial inequity. You cannot succeed on debt. Debt is a cunning enemy who allures the prey with fantasy and instant gratification but strikes when least expected without mercy. Sometimes I wonder what would happen in the world if the same effort put in repaying debt is put in accumulation of wealth, good relationships and integrity. Debts steal ones dignity, sense of self-worth and make the person with debts a modern day slave. There are many people whose only motivation to wake up is the mortgage or car loan. I have identified companies that thrive on debt instruments. To speak the truth there are slave institutions, companies, businesses and countries, whose management work hard to please and pay the master creditors. Treat all manner of debts like an enemy and with the suspicion it deserves. When you realize that debt is an enemy who seeks to disempower you and take away your purpose, sense of self-worth and dignity you will slowly but certainly pay all debts and keep them off. May you succeed in fighting this enemy. May Heaven grant you the wisdom to be content, patient and delay gratification.