Amigos, today I write to share my dream with you. Because friends share dreams, right? But also, if I’ve not said this enough, I am totally grateful to you for sparing time to read the stories I put up here on a weekly for the last six months. It means a lot. It says, in a rather sexy way that I’m not in this alone, someone else appreciates the work as much as I do.
Most of us know Bikozulu. You’ve probably picked up his name in my writings a few times. I look up to him as a writer. Sometimes you need to see someone who’s made it in the same path you are taking, and that will encourage you to press on and take the baton further than your role model.
He wrote a beautiful piece about his writing journey. And all the challenges he’s faced thus far. (You can read it here). The post spurred something in me. It made me question, just how far am I willing to go with this writing gift of mine. How long am I willing to groom it and persevere through the wait and the rough tides? What if it takes longer than I expect it to bloom, will I stay the course?
The thing most people don’t understand about writers is this. At times, we doubt ourselves and our writing more often than you blink in a day. The game is called, insecurity. It’s only through courage, faith and passion that a writer finds a way to still believe. Because really, unless anyone believes so much in what they do, to the point of undivided loyalty to it, they can never succeed enough.
And so, I believe.
I remember few instances in my primary and secondary school when I wrote my compositions and my English teachers – Mr. Muthama and Mr. Masunga – commended my writing. Long before I ever thought of pursuing writing as a career. Would you believe it that I still vividly remember those experiences, especially when I’m on doubt’s sinking sand? I do. These memories charge me on.
There’s one in particular I wrote about an investigative thriller story that had a scene where the door was left ajar and when the character swung it open, he saw a pool of blood from a corpse. I still have that picture of the door in the clefts of my mind.
Beautiful things writing does to you.
I’m at a point where this writing is ‘it’ for me. It needs to and has to work out somehow. I’m not ready to try out anything else because as they say, a rolling stone gathers no moss. Also, giving it my full attention bears its own benefits. Plus, I love to create. It affirms my likeness to God Almighty. That I’m made in His image and in me is a creator just like The Creator.
On a guest post I did on Mike Muthaka’s blog, one of my editors asked me, ‘did he really have to die?’
‘Yes,’ I said, ‘do you know how happy I felt to finally get to kill a character in my writing?’
Such are the joys of writing. Unfortunately, some might not get it and it’s okay.
On my way home, there’s a slight slope that ambles to the compound where my crib is. I like standing there for some minutes after alighting a matatu and look at the flashing city lights in the dark. That elevation always makes me feel like the guy overlooking the city, from a distance. Standing there makes everything feel important, myself especially.
We all want to be important people in our lifetimes. Revered. Highly respected and influential to the core. Some admire recognition on stage and others would rather be the people behind the scene, but still we crave for the power to move things. To gain wealth and make a name for ourselves.
Speaking of names, did you know there is a street named after me? Muindi Mbingu Street – well, I need to give Kenya a reason to change the Mbingu to Kimanzi or give me a whole new street by myself. But hey, I digress.
With this hunger for greatness and profound majesty, I ask myself, how can my writing get me all that?
I write because I love it. I’m passionate about it. It would be ridiculous if I didn’t because then, all this would make little to no sense. How do you explain putting in all the hard work if I didn’t at least fancy what I do? A lady friend asked me the dynamic that goes into writing and running a blog and after I explained it all to her she said,
‘I think writing is for passionate people.’
‘Writers know creativity.’
I completely agree with that. You don’t get to write and keep at it if you’re not passionate about it. Passion is a prerequisite.
That said, it’d be good for me to share a little bit of my vision here with you, for the blog and my writing in general.
One of my dreams is to write beautiful creative books in my lifetime (mostly about love). Books that will move people to the core. Solid plot stories and captivating characters. Books that will carry with them a legacy. My own. Books that my great, great, great grand children’s children will read long after I’m gone. Books that will tell my story and that of others.
I’ve started on my first book and though I haven’t moved too far with it, I’m confident it’s put me on a good footing.
Another one of my dreams will be to watch this blog grow and to see more avid readers come here every week and get their fix. For the story posts on Thursdays and the review posts – The Muindis At – on Tuesdays. Speaking of which, I’d really love that column to grow to great heights. Wouldn’t it be nice to have Reina and I review food and travel destinations around the world? Cape Town, Malaysia, Thailand, Rwanda, Egypt, UAE, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Seychelles, Ethiopia, my personal favourite, Jamaica and so much more.
But you never quite know what the future holds. I’ve come to realize as a personal truth that the more you do something, the better you become at it. And as Paddy Mwangi (Fresh Freddy, the Colgate ad guy, for those who remember) likes to put it, ‘consistency, is the mark of excellence.’
Sure enough, I choose to remain consistent. You may never know where the boat may perch ashore. We keep rolling. Consistently.
You hear stories of passionate writers of note, who eke a living from their writing, the likes of Oyunga Pala, @_craftit (Fc Bett) and Magunga, and it never seizes to impress me. By all means, it makes me want to work harder, join and surpass these ranks. It gives me hope. That words can be the greatest wealth one can possess and through them, you can unlock deep treasures of this world and experience it in a whole new way.
But only if, I choose to never cast my pen away. And so, I write on.