It was not a viable consideration; you had to become a lawyer or architect or engineer or something like that. My father adored me and he knew I was smart enough to become a neuro surgeon, if I wanted to. But I’m so lazy; the only way I could be a doctor is to be on Greys’ Anatomy.
I remember writing notes to my Dad to say I loved him and asking for a new toy or for money:) He never said no, so my writing must have been good even then or I was just being spoiled…probably the latter. I also started seriously journaling when I was a teenager.
I started giving a little more serious thought to pursuing a writing career when I moved to Dubai in 2008.
While living there, I had a little article printed in a popular magazine ‘Time Out Dubai’. It was my pride and joy. But I had a HR job and was busy with that, along with spending all my money shopping and getting my nails done. You have to be super fabulous in that city….I loved it. In 2010, I lost my job in Dubai and found myself in Kenya.
When I was in Kenya I started wondering what I’d do and a writing career was one of them…..among my myriad of usually doomed ideas. But I do not know the first thing about writing a book or writing a proposal or writing a manuscript. And how to get a literary agent. So I wrote to Ngugi Wa Thiongo in California, who actually replied and told me to to just start writing.
I thought to start a writing career, I needed to attend a writing school first. So I did not get him at all.
I even wrote to a publisher in the US called Dystel and I was like “Ah, I think I can write and have stories coming out of every pore of my body.” And they actually wrote back and told me to submit something. Of course my laziness knows no bounds and I did not submit whatever they said I should.
After that, I found out who Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s publisher in Kenya was and sent them something like a proposal about a book I wanted to write for summer bunnies. They said no. It was probably a crap proposal.
A few months down the line, I opened a life coaching business. I met several people in Kenya that were in the media.
One was a guy working in ‘The Nation’ newspaper who knew my cousin. So he agreed to meet me. I was so excited. Finally.
I even showed up with my one article from ‘Time Out Dubai’. This guy was a smooth talker. He told me, “Could you write an article for me about this?” I did and hit send. Then he told me he was going to be in charge of a Diaspora magazine to bridge the gap between summer bunnies and non summer bunnies. And he’d want articles for that. And one day he called and wanted yet another article and I wrote it and hit send again. But nothing happened ‘The Nation’ did not come calling and I sent this guy a message asking for my one original article that I had held on to dear life and had only given to him coz I thought he was going to give me a break. Instead he sent me some rude message about something I could not understand.
I wrote an article for a Kenyan magazine called ‘True Love’, no one paid me for it. It was like 300 words. Do you know how hard it is for me to write 300 words?
Forward to 2012. One day I met some guy at the ‘Story Moja Festival’ (a book festival) who was a head honcho at Kwani Trust (a literary network in Kenya). And he told me they were working on Diaspora stories. So I emailed him and of course as the case always is in Kenya…I did not hear back from him.
I am not bashing Kenya. I love being Kenyan but my blog is not a tourist blog promoting Kenya. I can’t wait to go home and take my Swedish friends on safari and see my family. But I’m not going to sugarcoat anything about my experiences there. So please go ahead and book a trip to Maasai Mara….it’s totally life changing!
The other legitimate reasons why I could not be a writer.
When I look at writers, they all have so much work they have done before. And the general rule is to have won like a million writing prizes before your book becomes a bestseller.
But look at me with my one article that some boy in Kenya tore up. I don’t even have that evidence. So no there’s no way I am a writer.
The final reason I could not be a writer is I actually want to be friends with celebs like Lupita Nyong’o coz she’ll introduce me to Oprah:) And ask Naomi Campbell who does her hair. And go watch Sade and Adele in concert and have the best seats. And it is wrong to write for these reasons.
No one looks like me in the writing world. A crazy celeb wanna be, who loves too much TV. This writing career is already doomed before we begin. I’m just curious about it coz when I write, I don’t remember to eat.
I even cut down my TV watching to one show a day usually “Real Housewives of Atlanta” or “Biggest Loser” or “Extreme Makeover Weight-loss Edition”…the American version coz the UK one is beyond boring. Just coz you have a six pack doesn’t warrant you a whole show. Do you know how Chris Powell makes me cry one minute and laugh hilariously the next? I think they should hire him to do the UK one also.
I also don’t have writers block. I have writers overflowing unblock. He he he…… In my dreams, I’d write a bestseller that would get me an interview with Oprah and Jennifer Hudson would play me in my “Eat Pray Love” movie. And if I had the chance to be on the best creative writing programs what would I not do? Ahh, my crazy dreams.
But according to Jeff Goins, having a blog is a good start on the road to getting published.
Shout out to Khaled Housseini …..A Thousand Million Suns had me screaming at the book “NO, NO, NO” and I was bawling so hard. How do you do that? I need to study you.
Shout out also to Paulo Coehlo, I almost had real seizure after reading “The Alchemist”.