Justmanoe.com, nataka kuingia hii bizz ya kuandika. Inakuanga aje? This is a handpicked part of very many conversations I have had with dozens of people. Young, old, beautiful, rich kid, or hustler, they have, at one point, asked the same question. Not in the same manner though. Some are seriously considering joining the art of writing, some are asking for the fun of it while others, apparently, use the set of words to revive, and rejuvenate a dying conversation. In case you are waiting for a translation, this is not your lucky day. This question simply means, what should I do to be a writer? The translation wasn’t to be accurate. Well, I do not claim to be a guru or a know-it-all in this arena. In fact, small fishes would call me their kith and kin should there be a percolating process going separate the Men from the Boys. However, I feel like I can share the little I know and have experienced. Apparently, as Mzee Varaq would say, My life seems to be more interesting than yours! And I beg you. Please ask me again: what do I need to be a writer. Do not deny me the chance of being among the members of the KOT community who respond to questions by providing a link on the web. Of course that is if they are kind enough not to tell you that Google is your friend! So, back to the main issue. Do you want to be a writer? There are myriads of questions with which I am willing to bombard you at this juncture. But the good person in me reminds me to deal with your concerns first.
I want to be a writer is a very broad and goalless statement. In fact, I don’t even understand what it means. What I do know, however, is that it is not justmanoe. It is unjustmanoe to express your desire to be a writer without specifics. But being the good person I am (Oops, I said that twice!), I will indulge. To be a writer you only need a stick. No, you don’t need a stick. Actually you need nothing. You have all you can use. You have your fingers. Nature has also provided soft soils on which you can write and leave a mark. As a general response to a deserving general question, this fits as an answer. But you cannot be a writer like this in the modern set up. With each rising sunny day, resources and material to help you in leaving mark in the world increase in number. Before, we used to have pencils for writing. Then we were allowed to use ink pens. Lucky ones managed to understand the modus operandi of the fountain pens. Nowadays tablets, iPad, PCs, smartphones, and others, of which am not aware, exist for the same reason. To help you be a writer. All I am trying to say is that writing is not about what is concrete. Everything exists to foster and support the spirit of anyone with the will to be a writer. Did I say will?
To be a writer the desire and willingness to produce a written material has to be there. Obvious, right? Many have tried and have failed dangerously. Others have mutilated their books and littered their rooms with papers out of frustrations of not being able to do it right. If you have done this, you should not doubt your ability to be a writer. You are already. You just have to be courageous enough to avoid the temptation to tear up or discard the last piece you created into the recycle bin. The reason for this is that to be a writer, a lot has to go through your mind. You think of the road map towards your destination. Think of the actual destination. Actually, think about the last letter you are going to write before your last full stop. To be a writer you need to be creative and critical. The critical nature of writers is what makes them their own dream killers. Even before the first sentence is completed, to be a writer, you have to delete it several times. Just to end up writing the same thing as the final product. Writers are visionaries. They see what cannot be seen by the ordinary eyes. They tap deep into the imagination of their audience and craft their stories. What if they don’t like it? What if am wrong? What if it is not perfect? What if many things? To be a writer doesn’t mean you have to be confident. To be a writer means you express your doubts on paper and let your words to do the work for you. Imagine a scenario where you are very satisfied with your work to the extent that you feel it’s the best of them all. Contrary to your belief, everyone you meet thinks it is just okay. I mean…Just okay. That’s all. You know us Kenyans. We don’t like to be mean. But trust me, when your hear something in the neighborhood of okay, fine, iko tu sawa, to be a writer you have to replace each of the phrases with whack. I like your obedience. You just obeyed me and thought it’s just whack! Now, do you make enemies with everyone? To be a writer you need to be ready, accept, and implement insights from positive and negative feedbacks and critiques. Now it’s time for me to bombard you with questions. So, you want to be a writer? What kind of writer? What can you write? Is writing your passion? To help with these questions I’d like to say that writers don’t write because they want to. They write because, if they don’t, the ideas in their minds will explode and make them mad. They have to deflate. To be a writer you need to know when to deflate. Do you like academic writing?