Gratitude is a Must (Part 1)
“Great things happen to those who don’t stop believing, trying, learning, and being grateful.”- Roy T. Bennett
“Guy, you’re so good. Why don’t you put yourself out there?” Tomisin would say to me, and I would laugh when I read her comments about some or one of the pieces I’ve sent her. It’s almost like an individual training as a chef, secretly had only one person to taste the dishes. So I would send the pieces to her and patiently await her comments. If I were, to be honest, I would be expecting some negative feedback because I was used to those already (bad habits), but every time she never disappointed in telling me how great my writing was. She became my number one trumpet blower (giving Nathaniel Bassey a run for his money). Well, from there on, I began putting myself out there. I wrote in secret, hiding in plain sight under different pseudonyms because I never wanted to be attributed as a writer. I could imagine people laughing at me with one of their many famous words, “Don’t you know most writers are broke?” But more honestly, I never went into writing for the money, fame or pomp. I discovered writing, or writing found me, at the most distressing time of my life. So it became the only escape for me to expel all that had exhausted me (Like a coal-powered- train pumping out extreme carbon monoxide). I had been super exhausted by life this time. And so I started scribbling, but in secret, many of these writings were hidden deep in my heart and wherever I wanted, more hidden than the Dead Sea scrolls (An exaggeration!) – you’ve got the idea.
At first, when I started putting my writing out there, I was met with mixed feelings, minor engagements and little support. I became utterly discouraged. I would go into fits of rage, asking myself, “why won’t they support me? Don’t they realise how great a writer I was?” But little did I know that the path of a writer is deserted, and only the consistent writers can draw people towards their paths. Let’s, create a rather rough analogy, imagine that you’re at the centre of the room, where everyone present is wearing some earphones listening to a wide range of stuff; music, podcasts, etc. and then you scream, aloud, suddenly, and only a few people decide to take a glance at your side, while others don’t even care. You give up, and there it goes. You lose even the attention of those who cared to listen initially.
But on the other hand, let’s look at it again, in an alternate reality, whereby you didn’t give up, and you kept on screaming. Eventually, everyone would pay attention to you. This weird analogy paints the law of consistency in writing – one of the hardest lessons I learned recently.
So, with this in mind and numerous nagging and pressure from Tomisin, I became consistent. Through it, I met some very marvellous individuals who followed my writing and gave me all the support I could ever ask for, Olaitan, Tolu, Ayomide, Ayo Adams and many other people. I apologise for missing out on their names at this time.
For support, Kitan (Olaitan), as I fondly call her, constantly helped me out, such an incredible soul. Tolu also was terrific. She carried my writing on her head, same with Ayomide, the chief cultist of my writing cult. Through this all, I met a friend, who later became a brother, Ayo Adams, who made writing a lonely endeavour anymore. These guys and many other people read everything I could bravely write, spread the word, and pushed me to write more. Their nagging and push led me to create more stories. I became confident in my skills and was ready to make myself further.
I went from being ashamed to be called a writer to be proud to be named one. However, I have the writer’s curse, “Impostor Syndrome”, the feeling of not being enough or doing enough. That’s my cross to carry. But then there’s the question that, “even after being consistent and doing everything right, what if you don’t get the required results?” Well, there’s nothing you can do, honestly speaking. You can’t possibly put a gun to people’s heads and tell them to read your stories or poems, it’s not the Bible, and even the Bible doesn’t have any compulsion to reading. So what I learnt to do instead was simple, write for a few people. If you wish to read, please read. If not, keep moving and wait till I hit the waves and the sound carries me around.
Rejections are a part of life, and it’s normal if people never believe in you; you can’t possibly compel them into believing in your dreams. But to those who believe and support you, it’s essential to acknowledge and extend a hand of gratitude to them. So I’m writing this essay to thank each of you who constantly have, read, shared and supported me as a writer. It might not seem like a big deal; many of you might wonder if I’ve fallen down and probably hit my head, but I’ve not. I want to be thankful and focus on the good things of life rather than rejections.
Thank you so much for the support – my sincere gratitude.