It is with pleasure that we feature one of our participants at the recently concluded Sparkle Writer’s Course on today’s edition of the #WriterSpotlight series. She is Abimbola and we are proud of her and everything she has achieved. Her story will inspire you. Enjoy!
Hello Abimbola, please introduce yourself.
My name is Abimbola Adebayo. I’m a writer, poet and fashion entrepreneur. I’m the second of three children and currently, I live in Lagos, Nigeria where I’m working on a novel. When I’m not writing; I am doing business, reading or having good fun.
When did you start writing and why?
I started writing when I was eight-years-old. I write because it’s my gifting. I also love to read and as a result of that, I am inspired to write.
You seem to prefer writing fiction, why is this so?
I prefer to write fiction because I have stories to tell; as a novelist, to write fiction is to free oneself and one’s characters. It is too much of a burden to keep your stories in your head; it’s like unfinished business. And who likes that?
You just wrote a short story, tell us more about it.
My short story was recently published in mtls, you can read it here. It is a story about a homosexual. I must confess that I have an inclination for minorities and I don’t like to see people sidelined as a result of their circumstances because human beings are valuable resources. Also, I reckon that it is not okay to be comfortable in your own state of existence and not be bothered about the discomfited because they will eventually ruin your comfort somehow; as hate crimes are becoming rampant due to prejudice, which is the resultant of fear. Subsequently, I was thoughtful about him while writing this piece, therefore propagating anti-gay hate.
What has been your most challenging moment as a writer?
My most challenging moment as a writer is when I experience writer’s block and when I’m too busy to write. Sometimes I have time, but I lack inspiration and sometimes I have inspiration, but something else takes my time. These times are usually frustrating, but I have learnt to scribble pending the time that I can write, or to just stare at my laptop until something happens. And usually something does happen.
What has been the worst writing mistake you have ever made?
The worst writing mistake I have ever made is not backing-up my work. One time my system crashed and I did not have back-up; I was so discouraged. But I managed to calm myself and I began rewriting. It was an onerous routine and a big lesson. Everyday since then I send a copy of my work to my inbox.
Do you have a writing mentor?
Yes I do. He is Dr. Amatoritsero Ede; he is a peripatetic, international award-winning, writer, poet and scholar. Everyone needs a trusted guide and instructor in any chosen field of endeavor. Dr. Ama has walked the path I wish to walk and he has acquired a good mastery of it overtime. In addition to that, mentoring makes you more intentional about your writing in that you are accountable to an authoritative figure.
If you had the opportunity to meet three Nigerian authors who would they be and why?
They would be Chuma Nwokolo, he authored two of my favorite books: Diaries of a dead African and The ghost of Sani Abacha; E.C Osondu, author of Debriefing, one of my favorite short stories; and Uwem Akpan, a Jesuit priest and author of Say you’re one of them. They are top-notch writers and they inspire me.
What’s your pick;
Fiction or poetry? Fiction.
Hip hop, R&B or Reggae music? R&B
Continental food or African delicacy? Continental food.
What’s your ultimate dream as a writer?
My ultimate dream as a writer is to be able to generate income from my writing. Writing is a lot of work and being able to make money from it is one of the most rewarding benefits, as money is a medium of exchange for value. As long as people are willing to part with their money in exchange for your skills, you are doing fine.
What do you think of writing as a side hustle?
Whether it’s a side hustle or a full time job, as long as it’s done properly and as long as it’s rewarding on the long run; then it’s worth your time whichever way.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep writing, don’t stop. Be deliberate and responsible about your God-given talents. Leverage on networking. Embrace your uniqueness.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learnt in your writing journey?
The biggest lesson I have learnt in my writing journey is to stay true to myself and to act in accordance with who I am and what I believe because in so doing I will not lose myself.