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.

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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?

 

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Poetry

Your first love

your first love’s

tattooed on your heart

and it burns, still burns

like it was just yesterday

they decided to be fire

instead of water.

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Poetry

Painting Survival

While you’re painting survival

with your blood and tears,

do not forget that this war you fight

began with your permission

and will end only when you decide

that you have seen enough

of your own blood being collected.

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Poetry

#WorldPoetryDay: A MAN AT SEA

Have you not been gone so long

that your footprints died

with the waves that hit shore

I wonder if you’ve caught any winds yet;

the squalls you so blindly sailed after

I wonder if life, at large,

has taught you anything

other than self and narcissism

Someday you will remember

who you left behind

Someday when you find that

you’ve been sailing alone

and the pearls you’ve collected

are not enough to kill your loneliness

Maybe then,

you will look for home

and set your sails back to her

hoping she still waits

But before then

continue believing that home

has shackles that tie you down

Continue dreaming of the vast sea

Continue exploring the depths of her waters

Continue collecting trophies of the deep

without anyone with whom to share

Image Courtesy: movingonupaway.com

Image Courtesy: movingonupaway.com

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Poetry

A morning without dreams

Look at the fireflies

They steal the night

like an august memory

not wanting to die

And you,

draw me

into a morning

without dreams?

Image Courtesy: befreeandsurf.tumblr.com

Image Courtesy: befreeandsurf.tumblr.com

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Poetry

A circus of all sorts

I write about you

Did I ever tell you

I write about

the things you never say

but, I wish you did

I write about you

because there are questions

I need to find answers to

Many sentences

left unpunctuated

The gaps in your words

The longness of your breath

I write about

our once happy moments

From the times

that were good

Those times

your laughter had life

and your words had soul

I write about

when we could talk freely

without hurting each other

Without the screams

Without the unkind words

I write about us

before we

rapidly spiraled

into this circus of all sorts

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Poetry

The lonely

It is cold outside

but inside

is even colder

the air is lonely

and the winds quieter

The earth doesn’t sing

and the shadows

stopped moving

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Poetry

What doesn’t belong

There is the sea

and there is the land

Both know too well

their boundaries

But once in time’s while

They love each other

and then they part again

Never forgetting

but remembering

where they must not

go on…

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