Hello. Welcome to another episode of Chronicles of Writer. It’s been great sharing my writing journey with you. Thank you for your comments and feedback. If you haven’t been following the series, you’ve missed a lot but you can read previous episodes here.
As I coach writers, with sadness and sometimes tears, I get to listen to their stories of rejection. Having that passion to write but getting a rejection slammed in your face over and over again can be depressing. I know because I experienced it too.
When you are starting out as a writer, you must prepare for that possibility that your favourite blog or magazine will not feature your article. It does not mean that you are a bad writer. It just means you have some extra work to do.
After getting some rejections myself, I got an internship with YNaija and that one year I spent posting content on the YNaija site and managing the magazine helped me to create visibility for myself.
I remember when the first edition of the magazine I worked on came out. Seeing my name on that ‘Contributors’ page thrilled me. It was like I had finally been affirmed as a writer. Before then, I felt I was not a real writer.
When I left my position as the Assistant Editor of the magazine, I was able to leverage on the visibility I had already created for myself. One thing I did was to continue to contribute weekly articles to the magazine website. That kept my name in people’s faces while I served in Ibadan and I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do.
I didn’t have a particular niche at the time. I just wrote as the spirit led but most of the times, I wrote self-development articles. My work was also featured in publications like Butterscotch Magazine and Pride Magazine Nigeria. Aside from this I wrote for my church bulletin every week and I contributed articles to our quarterly magazine.
When the time came for me to take the plunge into the freelancing world, I created my blog. My blog was essentially my world. I wrote anything I felt like writing. It was my platform to express myself the way I wanted to and I also used it as a means to add value to people’s lives by sharing my faith and life experiences.
After I created my personal blog, people kept asking me how I was able to express myself in writing. They wanted to do the same but they did not know how.
At first, I tried to put posts on my personal blog about writing but it wasn’t working. The reason was because I didn’t want to box myself on my blog. I wanted to write as it came to me. So what did I do? I created The Sparkle Writers Hub blog!
Dear writer, you need to understand that sometimes platforms will not be open to you. You may not have your articles featured on a popular blog. You may not be able to intern with a big media company like I did. It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean you cannot succeed as a writer. What it means is that you need to create your own platforms.
Start your blog and post consistently on it. If you have a church that has a bulletin or magazine, make sure you are a regular contributor. Look for an NGO that needs someone to help them write content and volunteer. Find blogs that you like and send requests to send in guest posts. Not everyone will say yes, but someone somewhere will give you a yes.
The key is to be persistent and to think outside the box. Use social media creatively. Join writing communities on Facebook. I recommend Pen and Ink Masters created by Emeka Nobis or Speak, Write and Earn Community. You will be able to rub minds with other writers.
Don’t just sit down and lament about the fact that no one is giving you a platform. Create yours!