I have been writing for years now. It started out when I was in primary school and we had to write compositions. I had such an active imagination and so used to perform very well. Other students always used to ask to read my compositions.
I enjoyed writing so much that it went beyond class work. I started writing as a hobby. I even wrote my first “novel” which was on an exercise book, handwritten. I gave it to friends to read it and soon lost it as it exchanged hands.
In high school, it was pretty much the same. I enjoyed writing and did very well in language classes. I also wrote for fun. At some point, I even used to write poetry for my classmates. They would then send the poems to their “boyfriends”. I don’t know how I used to come up with the poetry and don’t think I can do that now.
At the University, I ended up taking a degree course in Language and Literary Studies. This was my fourth option and I never understood why JAB selected me to do that course. My first option was Law, although I don’t know why I wanted to be a lawyer at that point.
I joined the University and once again excelled in my studies. I wrote a lot and even got to join a special class for creative writing. Unfortunately, I wrote one short story, got criticized because it was too long and so I dropped the class. I regret making that decision and hope that I didn’t miss a window because of it.
After University, I got a job as a Human Resource Officer but I still kept on writing. I did so much SEO writing earning only Kshs.80 per 500words but I was so excited about it. At last, I was writing again. My editor kept encouraging me to write giving me his most important clients and I gave it all I had. At some point though, I lost interest in SEO writing. I was done being a ghost writer. I was done selling my articles to people who then claimed to be the writers yet they paid me peanuts for my creativity. I was just done.
Friends then encouraged me to start blogging and so I set up my blog. At first, I got this very weird title “Deedee Excogitates” which was simply supposed to mean that the blog was made up of my thoughts but that word excogitates was quite a mouthful and so I later changed the title of the blog to “Voices in my head”.
I am always daydreaming. I think about the most random scenarios and then create a story line for ages. I love daydreaming and I still remember how when I was young, I used to pretend that I was sleeping and then I would immediately start daydreaming. Up to this day, my whole family believes that I love sleeping too much.
My daydreams were always better than my present life. They were like movies that I couldn’t wait to get back to. Weird thing happened, when I started putting my down daydreams on paper, they would then stop. I stopped thinking about them as daydreams or fantasies and started thinking of them as “stories”. This is why I renamed the blog “The Voices in my head”.
My blog was very well received from the first day that I published it. All my friends gave me words of encouragement. People I hadn’t spoken to right from my high school days said that they knew I would someday become a writer. The feedback was actually overwhelming. It was not just coming from friends and family; even strangers wrote to me and gave me feedback that was actually really good. It was interesting bumping into people on the streets, in buses, you know those long lost friends that you haven’t spoken to, and they would say something about the blog. The general view seemed to be, “keep writing Diana…”
However, even with all that feedback, I still critiqued my own work. I don’t know why but I still thought that I wasn’t good enough. Every time people would be talking about how good an article was but all I would be focusing are the typos and other errors perceived or real. I was obsessed with critiquing myself and I thought that for some reason, people were just being good to me.
However, yesterday something happened. I had written article months before for a submission to an online magazine. The article wasn’t picked. I decided to post the article on my blog and share it with my circle of readers. The article was so well received. I got phone calls, texts, messages, blog and facebook comments telling me that it was good. People said that my writing had grown and I was actually in my element.
Wow! I was humbled by each comment and almost cried just listening to my friends, family and even total strangers telling me that I should write for a living.
The amazing thing about this time is that, I actually believed them. The article was not perfect; it had a few errors, grammatical and typos. However, for once I decided not to tear it apart trying to make it perfect. Instead, I fell in love with my own writing. I went through my work a couple of times and I told myself, “you did alright Diana; maybe you do have something when it comes to writing”. At that point, I actually believed that I can write. I don’t think I have given the best that I can as far as my writing goes but I think I am doing just alright.
Another great thing also happened. I think I have found my genre. I love telling stories, I love creative writing and it actually seems that I am good at it. Maybe that is my line, fictional writing.
Interestingly, my friend Angie called me and shared the same view. She told me that I need to start writing short stories. She encouraged me to give it a go and see how it works out. Secondly, my workmate Oliver who is also a writer referred had this to say, “You are one sleeping literary giant, somebody needs to “samba you makofi” uamke!”
Wow, what is more awesome that finding yourself and getting confirmation that you are right on the mark?
This far that I have come, I thank God. I also thank every person who has encouraged me to keep writing and share my work. I thank every single reader who has paid my blog a visit. There are some of you who always post comments and give feedback. There are others who just visit, lurk around and just leave. They just leave their footsteps behind in form of number of views.
Right now my blog views are 2, 347. The countries are represented as follows:
I may never get to visit most of these countries physically but at the same time, I am glad that my writing has gone to places that I will never reach. I have also discovered places that I didn’t know about such as Estonia.