Must everybody write?
The plane truth is that anybody can become an author because everybody has a story to tell. In Africa most grandmothers in the villages are illiterates, so one may ask me, “What can such an old woman have to say?”
Let me remind us that such aged persons used to pass-on folk stories and stories of wars fought long ago. They also tell history of each village and what life was like before civilization came. May I add that their journey from childhood to old age will make a wonderful read. They can also share the challenges people in the villages face.
Having said thus far, we can now see that there are many things that people who claim that they have nothing to offer can write about.
The CEO of an organization can put down the history and goals of the organization down as a book to guide the staff and those that will take over from him
Teachers can put down their lesson notes as textbooks.
Pastors can put down their sermons and teachings as books and bible study outlines
Politicians can put down their vision and manifestos as books and their biographies will make interesting read if properly put together
Communities and unions can publish their progress report in a book form.
Students can write short stories and novels. I wrote my first poem while in the primary school
There are really so much that can be written, the challenge though is that most of these things that can be put down are left to go down the drain of time. The result is that it profits no one.
It is necessary to point out that all writers are not the same because their experiences and background are different. People will act from the background of who they are and the grace of God in their life. No one is inferior to the other, so no one should struggle to give what he does not have. It is not wrong to improve on your potentials or, as the bible puts it, desire more spiritual gifts. But it is important to first understand what we are, who we are and the potentials that we have.
I am an inspirational writer and many of my followers marvel at the fact that I can speak for hours without taking a glance at a note book. Yet, that does not make me better than some very great servants of God who must have their messages written down and mount the pulpit with a note.
Inspirational writer – this kind of writer relies on spiritual inspiration to write. We find this class among Christian ministers; once the inspiration comes he can write a whole volume in an hour that ordinarily cannot be done in a week. Like I said earlier, I fall into this category.
The challenge with this kind is that your mind can play on you and you won’t know when the inspiration comes, or the inspiration comes while in a place where you cannot start writing. A lot of materials are often lost because if you don’t discipline yourself by carrying paper and pen around you may never be able to write a book. In some cases, something upsets you while writing, the result is that you lose concentration (my disease).
To be candid one cannot achieve full potentials if he relies on inspiration. You have to learn to take charge of your mind and compel your body to obey you and write something down
This kind writes from his senses based on what he knows, studies he has had and what he believes. His writings may be a product of several books he has read or something he has heard or practiced severally and concluded on its success. Novelists, playwrights and poets fall into this category.
Anybody can fit into this class, that is if he is ready to read book, attend conferences and seminars and most important dare to write something down. Even a dullard call develop into this class if he remains in the company of authors while they discuss their works.
This kind resorts to researching already written materials; they may copy them and quote sources. Academic books and legal documents fall into this category, especially lecturers. With the advent of internet functioning in this class is very easy. The one challenge here is that laziness plays a lot of role because somebody who is too lazy to use his mind will just copy things and paste them as he got them. This is not research but intellectual robbery. There is nothing wrong with you reading other people’s materials, getting some information from them. But there is everything wrong with your not interpreting what you gathered in your own words, which is piracy.
Journalists, historians, archeologists among many others can function here. I once asked a university lecturer, “Have you written a book?”
I was shocked by his response, “What for? Everything is on the internet. I just ask the students to download materials online”.
Unfortunately, this is the attitude of most lecturers. They fail to understand that those things on the internet are other people’s labor. They don’t know that they are robbers of intellectual properties. In another case, I tried to encourage the Head of Department of a particular school to gather teaching notes of all the lecturers in his department so we can publish them as books. This is because there was no textbook for that subject in all of the country and they were buying a textbook from Nigeria. Years have come and gone but nothing has been done.
If not for money, why not write to leave a legacy?
Excerpt from my new book, "My Journey to becoming an Author