Have I had any writing pressures or writer's block as it is called? You can bet I have. I had such a difficulty writing "And The Pope Abdicated" I had had this thought questioning my ability to deliver a column every week. "How on earth would I have something to write about every week?" the thought had querried. It was a stressful period for me. But a training I had acquired on the wayside several years ago kicked in. It was a writing technique Professor Mrs. Clarke had taught us in 2005 at a writing class I attended in one of the establishments i had worked in. I sort of remember her statements somewhat vividly, which again is a surprise. In her words, she referred to our generation of writers as the "cut and paste" generation, and then she gave the golden advise for managing the writers' block which has stayed with me ever since. Her advice was simple -get on your computer and start typing, just keep typing whatever comes to your mind on the issue you are writing about and soon, you would get into the "motion". She called it the "Dumping Technique". Then she advised further, don't delete anything you have written down until have fully replaced it. I had always thought that one required inspiration to be a great writer but now, I have judged for myself that while inspiration is wonderful and needful, it contributes only about 30% or so of the writers' delivery, the rest is perspiration. Looking back, I am grateful for the "small" 2 days writing class that I attended under duress.
Then my second surprise, I actually started a newspaper magazine called Emerald. I had carried the thought of publishing the magazine for almost 7 to 8 months before it began. So on one fateful Saturday, I packed my laptop and my ATM card and faced Mushin. My thought was that I was going to find out whatever it would cost me to publish the newspaper magazine. Lo and behold, it was done. I recall that day, as I tramped the streets of Mushin carrying loads of printing paper and sweating profusely under the hot sun, trying to make my way to the printing press, through the mass of human and vehicular traffic that characterizes that area, I had this moment of self check- "What is wrong with me?, Who sent me? See me here sweating, carrying heavy bail of paper. The way I am going with this thing, it is either I am inspired or I am mad". Now working on the third edition and having distributed about 1500 copies of the newspaper magazine free in Festac, Amuwo Odofin, Okota areas and getting astonishing readership for my blog, I think I am inspired.
My third surprise, I designed my own website. Now, I do not have any programming background. The only programming I did was the one I did in my Data Programming Diploma days, after I left secondary school. I can't even remember what the programming language was called; this was in the days of MS-DOS. Anyway it happened that I had a website with beautiful articles I had written that I wanted to turn into a book and all of a sudden, I just could not make sort myself to pay for the renewal, I got under duress. I finally renewed, but something happened to me one of those days. It occured to me that I could learn to build my own website and manage it. I had advised the computer teacher at my Alma Mater that they should teach the children basic website development techniques, so I thought, "Why couldn't I learn that myself?". Fast forward 6 months and I have one of the most beautiful and functional websites I have seen, all built and managed by me from scratch.
The fourth surprise and I will stop. I blogged about football. The truth is that if someone had told me I would write about football, I would not have agreed. I consider myself not to be a football person. Apart from when Nigeria is playing, I really didn't use to watch any football. But recently, I started listening on radio and I have since been bitten by the bug. Come to think of it, who would not write about football after the last games between my favorite spanish teams (Barcelona and Real Madrid) and the German teams? It was such a disaster. how could you have imagined that a team that had the world best Messi of all time would lose 4-0 to Bayern Munich and that Real Madrid would lose 4-1 to Borisia Dortmund with Ronaldo on the pitch and Mourinho on the sidelines? Complete humiliation. I heard Mourinho's speech after the match, "If I lose a match and I don't deserve to lose, then there will be drama, but if I lose a match and I deserve to lose, then that is a situation I need to deal with. . . I knew when the match was 1-1 but how it became 4-1 I don't know." and the tale went on. Now when the best coach in the world concedes and agrees he deserves to lose, then you know already "water don pass garri".
We hoped for redemption of some sort in the second leg encounters, but to no avail. Barcelona 0, Bayern 7, and my favorite Real Madrid , they tried so hard but could not salvage the 3 goal lead. How sad!
In conclusion, I like to ask you, "Have you surprised you lately?". Selah!