Random Thoughts, Writing Tips

I’m learning to be lit at this writing distin

Sometime last August, I was contacted by a colleague writer to share my art process and the importance of the narrative with a group of students, as part of the Nkabom Literary Festival 2017. Knowing myself and how lowkey I am/try to be, the first word that came to mind was FLEE. The second word that came to mind was WHY. Then HOW. And then WHAT. The questions kept rushing into my head and I started to think up all excuses so the cup could pass me over. I thought, “how can I share something I haven’t mastered?” No, I haven’t mastered the art of writing, I’m not sure I ever will. I continue to learn and practice every day. But then I also thought, maybe I don’t have to master the art before I can share with others. We can learn together. We can all learn to be lit at this writing distin.

I woke up that Saturday thinking of what I was going to say and how I was going to say it. I said to a friend, “I want you to go with me, but I don’t want you to be there”. It sounded pretty stupid, I know.

When I was asked what materials I needed for my session, I simply said, “Well, it’s just going to be a discussion, nothing formal”.

That was exactly what it was – a very constructive 2 hours (?) of my Saturday morning with art lovers talking various forms of creative art and the industry in Ghana.

In the end, I was grateful I made it.


Now, here’s why I feel it is imperative that we tell our stories.

  • Storytelling is identity. Just as what you say can reflect who you are inside, what you write reflects who you are on the page. It is self. One’s own distinctiveness.
  • Storytelling is continuity. Anything that has an identity needs to be etched into history. Without you, your story won’t be told. Your voice matters, and by telling your stories, you are giving them longevity.
  • Storytelling is activism. It is involvement. When we write poetry, or whatever, we are taking an action, a stand. We are telling people about something they didn’t know about, or reiterating something they didn’t quite understand or grasp before, or something that has been there all this while but they’ve been failing to notice, we may even be telling people about the little things happening all around them – the joy, the anger, the injustice, the love, the cultures and traditions.
  • Storytelling is your truth. Tell your truth how you want it to be told. How it actually is.
  • Storytelling is the memory and the mirror. It is history and the future, present in whatever art form you take on. Be it poetry, fiction, painting, photography or music.

Do you agree?


Random Thoughts

What Are You Telling Yourself?

“Our minds love sound. Our minds remember sound. Our minds recreate sound.”

Nothing you want will ever come easy. Why don’t you go back into time, think, was there anything you really wanted, truly wanted, badly wanted, that was just handed over to you – that was just uprooted from its pre-designed space in this world and planted in your hands like a gift, just like that? No.

You ought to know, by now, that things do not work this way. Things do not arrange themselves or shift themselves or package themselves in this manner. Something has to move them. Something has to touch them. Something has to brush against them that will cause an alteration, a change in position, belonging, and ownership.

Things don’t just happen, you have to make them happen, and if you think you cannot make them happen because you lack the expertise, or that you are undeserving of the re-positioning of things, then you have to create an atmosphere for you to deserve it. You have to create an existence of the want and tell your mind about it. You have to tell your mind that you deserve it. That you want it. That you’ve been waiting for it. You have to make your mind hear you speak.

There’s something about sound. Our minds love sound. Our minds remember sound. Our minds recreate sound. Take the sounding of a bell for instance. It rings and rings and rings so that even when it’s no longer ringing you can hear it. You think you can hear it. Or even the buzzing of a mosquito or a large green disgusting housefly. It whizzes past your ear; makes that irritating sound that makes you bend your head sideways. Still, seconds and minutes after it’s gone, you can hear the buzz, even feel it such that you want to fan your ear.

The mind is an interesting thing. Perhaps we should encourage people to speak more to themselves instead of leaving that aspect to be explored only by those roaming naked on our streets. But of course, it actually depends on what you’re telling yourself.

Random Thoughts

Coping Mechanisms: All the good fizz

Soda. Mine is soda.

Today I read a post from Tholakele Antamu about how many of us are ‘depending’ on all sorts of things to keep us together. I don’t know what yours is; what you’re doing to be above all this internal and external chaos. I do know mine isn’t wine, although I have been harboring a lot of wine thoughts lately. It isn’t coffee either; I am not that crazy about the black substance that keeps human beings awake. I am only now realizing how much I have depended on soda to get by these few months.

This is my truth. I am not drinking soda casually anymore. I am drinking to survive. I am drinking to somehow be above the stress. All this tiredness. This wooziness. This monotony. I am drinking it with so much need.

I am addicted to it. I crave it. And the craving is even worse after I have had an afternoon nap. I hate afternoon naps, especially if it goes past 4pm because I wake up feeling sick and cranky like I feel right now.

Growing up, my mom always woke us up before 4pm when we napped in the afternoons. She would say, “Napping after 4pm will make you sick.” I don’t know how true this is. But I know for sure my body doesn’t feel good if I nap past that time.

“Many, actually most, of us are taking something or another to cope, be it wine, sleeping pills, coffee, or any other substance.”

All I could think of while reading Tholakele’s post was the ‘life’ sitting next to me (yes, right next to me), and how I was going to indulge in its fizzy goodness.

 “We are all suffering in some way or another.”

Yes. But soda makes my suffering BEARABLE. I feel okay after I have had soda. I feel good to go.

“Why are we doing it to ourselves?”

Why am I doing this to myself? I don’t know. All I know is I am trying to survive. I need to get things done, and I cannot do them when all this sloppiness is getting in my way.

“Are we not the people who shape a society?”

I obviously cannot shape any kind of society if I’m not in good shape myself now can I?!

Deep down I feel guilty for how sweet it tastes. For how it soothes my throat and calms my stomach. I feel guilty for the relief it brings. For the new strength. I feel guilty because maybe I am not taking good care of my body. I mean with the calories and sugar bill attached?!

But how else do good things happen if not with some form of addiction, a craving, habit, compulsion? How else can we get all these…‘things’…inside to come out?!

Random Thoughts

Live This Darn Thing!!!

My routine this week has been quite gloomy. To give a visual illustration of it,


Yup! That’s me right there; blue AF even the clouds got me, and moving from my room to pick up books which end up sliding right between my wall and the bed, to tripping over shoes (Big Deal!!! I never trip over shoes!), to re-doing my bed (I’m obsessed with clean linens and well-laid beds), to ruminating what to do to snap out of it (This, never works!). I even had dreams, about people I never knew, never met or had any kind of personal relationship with, but they were chasing me with their placards.  Like pressure.

I have never had any kind of rest. It’s like my mind is working around the clock and this little machine, operating me, is threatening to break down. And I don’t even care. HUH?!

Continue reading

Random Thoughts

I Should Stop Writing!

Where do writers go when they no longer want to write, because I’d be the first to head there right now. I am not used to venting out my frustrations on social media. I am trying hard to keep my personal life out of people’s faces (as if they don’t have problems of their own), but when I took to twitter last night to vent, I realized how deeply I had been cut. I have reached the point where my mouth has become sore from keeping mute over issues that are highly upsetting.

Why am I pissed? I’ll tell you why. I have just endured 48 hours (my most recent one) of people telling me which direction my ‘crooked little life’ should be headed. As usual, I’ve had a few more people giving me ‘the look’; that look of ‘is there something wrong with you?’

Trust me, I have tried, many times, and I am still trying to veer off the ‘Poets vs. Spoken Word Artists War’; who is more superior, who is nonpareil, who is larger, and for very good reasons.

Continue reading

Random Thoughts

There’s a great life ahead if we’d allow ourselves to pursue it

The past couple of months have been challenging. I have been fluctuating between tons of emotions, and struggling to find a sane balance. But with all the chaos that went on around me, I didn’t need someone to tell me I was doing it all wrong.

I realized that I no longer had a spirit of my own. Amid fist-clenching the past, I had tied the entirety of my being to others. I was spending time responding to the needs of others—so much that I had forgotten about my own needs.

My happiness revolved around the approval of others; what was okay for me to do, say, wear, by their own standards. When I could be happy was when they said so. I was slowly becoming a shadow of myself, and I knew it.

But why did I keep holding on to all the bull crap, enduring the melt downs, picking myself up, only to fall to ground again? Was it the love that I had for these people, or the lack of love I had for myself? What exactly was I afraid of?

Each day is like a scuffle against myself. To live or not to live. To hold on, or to let go. To cut ties, or build new ones. And this is me, my early steps to re-structuring my thoughts, and a conscious effort to be back in charge; full of optimism, and mental strength to face my fears head on.

I believe there’s a great life ahead for everyone, and you too can take charge of your life. But first, you must be willing to give yourself a chance to pursue it.

Happiness could mean letting go, cutting ties, and starting again from scratch. But if it will be worth it, why not give it a shot?

“There’s a great adventure ahead, but first we must release the ash to sail with cold winds over the open sea. Then we must burrow the sands for hidden treasures we had stridden on.”