Olumide Popoola’s book launch takes Lagos by storm!

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 On Thursday, 16 November 2017, When We Speak of Nothing, the debut novel by Olumide Popoola, was launched in Lagos, Nigeria, to a crowd of book and art lovers at Colours in Africa, 13a Musa YarAdua, Victoria Island.

The event saw Popoola read from her novel, which was published by Cassava Republic Press. She also gave an intimate explanation of the inspiration behind the book – which has so far been critically acclaimed for its beautiful use of language and exploration of friendship between two young black boys. Popoola explained that Esu Elegba, a Yoruba trickster god, was the inspiration behind the book and that the novel is voice driven and marked by its use of stream of conscious.

Afro-soul singer, OloriAfrica, thrilled the crowd far into the night while fiery spoken word and rap artiste, Ms Eva Johnson, performed series of poetry that intimately explored gender, feminity and love. The book launch was anchored by Classic FM #BookOnReview host, Benjamin Okoh.

See pictures from the launch.

 

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Writers are listeners. Are you listening?

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How much of a listener are you? This is your question for today.  So, we hear that you want to be a good writer which is awesome, but we are asking you just how much of a listener you are. Have you noticed that there are too many talkers in the world but few listeners? Yes, people are more interested in being heard than lending a listening ear.

Good writers are actually good listeners too. It really does not matter if your niche is fiction or non-fiction or just plain journalistic writing. The point is if you do not listen to people or the world around you, you will not have any material to work with. If you want to do “how-to” posts, for instance, you have to understand the specific problem that people would like to get solved. You would have to listen to their needs and their wants so that your writing would align with their needs. If you are a fiction writer on the other hand, listening to the people and the happenings around you would help you create real characters that your readers can actually relate with.

Ever read a book that made you laugh or cry and then you went, “Oh my God, that is the exact same thing I would have said if I was in that character’s shoes?” Well, that is the point exactly. Do not wade through the solitary waters of life simply because you are a writer. Listen to other people, like really really listen too. You would be amazed at the depth of information you would glean from just listening. Interesting characters abound in real life. All you have to do is keep your ears and eyes open to hear and see them. 

We know life is happening fast but you have to pause and listening to the world around you.

Why you should stop publishing one post every month

 

You are busy and we understand that but if you continue posting barely once every month you will kill your blog. According to Neil Patel on Moz.com, the less you post, the less chance your newest post has at gaining traction. Sad right? 

That one blog post every two months is about as good as not blogging at all. The more frequently you post, the more traffic you are going to get. That traffic eventually slows and then dies when you stop posting.

Besides, if Google comes back to your site to check for more content and doesn’t find any, it will back off and it may be a long time before the it comes back to check. 

What qualifies you to be a blogger is if you are blogging actively. Except you really don’t care if anyone reads your post, you really should do something about your blogging consistency and the earlier you do so, the better for you and the next post you are about to publish. 

#WriterSpotlight – “With a few words carefully strung together, a broken spirit is uplifted.” Olamide Oti

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She’s a lady of few but powerful words! Olamide Oti speaks from a place of wisdom and this interveiw is a must read. This is #WriterSpotlight. Enjoy!

Hello Olamide. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

Passionate

When did you discover that you had a passion for writing and why did you decide to follow this passion?

I discovered my passion for writing in 2013, few months after I made a decision to follow Jesus. I would say I was compelled to follow this passion because for the longest time I had always wondered what I was good at doing and once I found it I could not let go.

Can you tell us what you love most about writing?

Words are beautiful and powerful. With a few words carefully strung together, a broken spirit is uplifted.

In what ways have you grown as a writer and poet since you started writing?

I have grown in the way that I express myself, discovering my style and not trying to be like anyone else.

Shine 100% Which author/ poet (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance and why?

Jackie Hill Perry. I love her heart and the fact that she’s a complete woman.

When you are struggling to find inspiration, can you share some of the things that you do find that inspiration to write?

I get quiet before God, I remind myself that the words come from my Father’s heart, I watch spoken word videos and I read as well.

What will you say has been your biggest achievement as a writer so far?

I would say it’s keeping my eyes on purpose.

Where would you like writing to take you in the future?

To the place where I write about the future of nations. To the gathering of Kings and Queens.

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

Dive into the perfect love of your Father where fear loses its hold on you.

 

#WritingQuote – “It is perfectly okay to write garbage, as long as you edit brilliantly.” C. J. Cherryh

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It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
– C. J. Cherryh

How many great books have you read? Probably a number of them. How many great books have been written? A lot more than we can ever count but do you know that a number of these books were once terrible first drafts that if we ever read, we would wonder how our favorite authors thought it fit to write such bad pieces?

Can you imagine how many errors, mistakes and cancellations each draft would contain? What makes the difference? Great editing.

What you see in a book is not all there is about the book, it is all the writer has chosen to show you. If only you could get the manusript and see how many times it was edited.

Use your one page blog post as an example. How many times do you go over and over, changing something new each time? How much more a book, a movie script, or an anthology.

Good writing doesn’t mean the absence of mistakes, good writing is in fact great editing and re-wriitng. Editing of words and sometimes refining of ideas until it makes perfect sense in the most beautiful way.

Don’t throw away your ‘garbage’ because it can be edited. It is perfetly okay to write garbage as long as you can edit briliantly.

#WordOfTheDay – This is what insular means

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If you know what insulate means then insular should not be a difficult word to learn. You just may not have heard it before which is okay. That’s why the #WordOfTheDay segment is here.

Insular is an adjective that can be used to describe a person that is ignorant or uninterested in cultures, ideas, or people outside a person’s own experience. We hope you are one.

Here’s the word in a few examples;

An insular taste in music.

Lacking contact with other people, she seemed too insular to leave her house.

#PickOfTheWeek – Challeging the status quo, a letter to love

Medieval (1).jpgWriters are challenging the status quo with each post and we love it. Today we have a writer who wrote a letter to love and giving us tips about style. 

We hope you love this #PickOfTheWeek  

Our first pick is from Jumoke Ipinlaye. She speaks the truth in this peice and we all should take note. No matter how much it hirts we must learn not to hide our wounds. It is better to deal with them. 

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   Our next pick is a peice by China Tori and she’s asking a question. One a number of us would have asked a number of times. We are still asking though. brunch (2)  Another peice we love is the one from Muhamed Gbolahan. In a world there is so much rejection and segreaation its great to hear the truth in simple but clear words. We have to learn to accomodate every one’s indiviaulity 

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The last and definetly not the least of the posts we loved from our writers on instagram is by Richard Dappa and it’s a letter to love. Do you think anyone deserves this kind of treatment? Let us know your thoughts. brunch

#GrammarSeries – How to space with a punctuation

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We are back with another grammar rule. Don’t worry if you’ve been making this mistake before, it’s time to learn and do better next time. This time we are learning about how to space properly with punctuation marks. 

Rule 1

With a computer, use only one space following periods, commas, semicolons, colons, exclamation points, question marks, and quotation marks. The space needed after these punctuation marks is proportioned automatically

Rule 2

Use no spaces on either side of a hyphen. A lot of people make this mistake, hopefully you won’t after reading this. Look at this example to undertsand better. 

Example:
We borrowed twenty-three sheets of paper.

We hope you put what you’ve learnt today into practice. Until next week, keep your grammar in check! 

Your guide to finding clients that pay

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We know you are getting tired of writing for free. You keep hearing that there are people who are making money from their skill and you are wondering how and when it will be your turn to bill clients.

If most of the people who know you write do not see it as a serious profession or are not willing to pay for your services, today we are revealing our secrets and showing you where and how to find the clients that pay.

Thank us later!

Turn to your colleagues (including former colleagues) 

If our guess is right, you still have your day job, which is okay. Mention that you are writer to your colleagues so that they can inform you of any freelance opportunities. Talk to your previous colleagues. These people know you and trust you. Once there is an opportunity they will most likely remember you.

Connect with fellow freelancers

Don’t live in a world of your own and complain that writing doesn’t pay! It does. Talk to other writers. You never can tell, once they know you are available for work, they’d send you referrals from them.

Blog about your industry

Write useful, high-value articles geared towards your target client and submit them to websites they visit often. For instance, if you’re targeting realtors, you could write an article about home staging best practices and publish it on a popular real estate website.

How will this help you to gain clients? In addition to showing off your writing skills, publishing on industry websites increases your credibility. Potential clients will come across your excellent post, they’ll see you as an expert, and they just might get in touch.

Get referrals from existing clients

Email your existing clients to see if they can refer you to other businesses. If you have a great working relationship with them, they’ll be more than happy to send others your way.

Head to a co-working space

Co-working spaces give you tons of opportunities to meet other freelancers and business owners — some of whom might benefit from your services.

Blogging myths we can’t stand

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Blogging is defintely a thing, not only in Nigeria but all over the world. However, despite its popularity there are some things we hear about blogging that make us cringe. 

If you decide to believe these things hook, line and sinker, you’d be living in a world of your own. 

Here are three myths we just can’t stand. 

Blogging is Cheap

We don’t know why people actually believe this. Data alone is so expensive and that’s the primary tool of a blogger, so why would anyone say blogging is cheap? If you intend to be a professional blogger, you would need a domain name which is not free, maybe a professional camera and a few other things. Blogging is definitely not cheap. 

Blogging is Easy 

What exactly is easy? Even eating requires some form of work. Blogging entails thinking, planning, scheduling, writing, editing, proper creativity and a lot more. Most times bloggers have to work overnight to edit videos or upload posts just to make sure their readers are satisfied. Do you really think that is easy?

Everyone’s in it for the Money

This is obviously not true and we wonder why some people can’t see it. There are many people who blog to solve a problem, to express their passion and many others., just like the Sparkle Writer’s Hub 🙂 

 The money may come but that’s not everyone’s priority.