I once asked a friend, and an 'uncle' in this business of writing, how he copes with being a journalist, owner of a Public Relations company, editor, and reviewer (and some other things I might have missed) while chunking out numerous poems and even short stories. He smiled slyly like he has the key to a stolen chest. It took a while, but now I have interpreted that smile into; boredom of routine gives credence to your emotion and you come home writing furiously like it is the only hope to staying alive.
There’s also the place of reading—while others watch the sorry sight of the city and its journey into renewal, the inhibited writer is engrossed in a book on a city bus, even where she’s fastened between two ample-sized commuters who can’t understand why anyone is bent on reading, in that state; hot weather, stuffy bus and smelly roadside. Nah!
But, faced with the music of either dance or drown and strangled daily with ideas on the road to subsistence. I keep my sanity with reading on a bus anyhow.
Time is short these days and it is not about dying or growing old. It is about not knowing where the next Other project will take me and how long, bearing in mind that only a living soul can write, so here I am fighting between proposals and poetry and the new ideas that boggle my mind for narration.
At times, I fear that I must come across as a bit weird to my clients, but one thing I have always reminded myself is; dedication to what you do is very important. I seem to have fared well, as I get a pat on my back and a pay cheque (that keeps me hoping for the big one). I am of faith that there’s some sunshine there.
I am certainly not the only writer who has each time pondered over why such a big burden of seeing what others don’t see, yet be denied as much pay check to even cater for humble needs, except you follow the rule of being ‘unnecessarily lazy and find a decent job.’ After all, it's just a romantic notion of reality written in stanzas or into a story.
Writing is a decent job! There are no smudges. (Except when the job is done and the reviews are unfriendly of course). And seriously, don't the many sleepless nights count. In those times of needful solitude; how does one explain that the absentmindedness and daydreams are as important to my work as endless dinners to meeting new clients are essential.
I am going to make a New Year resolution to remain a full-time writer next year in Nigeria. I am also going to learn the sax and build myself a gramophone and rewrite the Theory of Relativity and write poetry on the walls of Lagos and anyway, from then on, I don’t think it is going to be hard introducing what I do to people henceforth—I am a poet and I just finished writing a novel, which is in itself, still a work-in-progress until published. I do a bit of this and that and, I write.