Ella Chikezie started writing professionally just over a year ago. Today, she has stories and articles that delights her followers on social media. What is she doing right? We think you should go straight to the interview and find out all you need to learn from Ella.
Hello Ella, please introduce yourself.
I am Ella Chikezie, a final year biochemistry student at the University of Port Harcourt. I am the 2nd of 5 children. I’m a writer/ blogger. My writing theme explores poetry, articles, fiction, and prose. I love traveling a lot, asides from the fact that I’m a chronic bibliophile. I was born into a family where reading is a lifestyle for us, my parents are book collectors and they made us read a lot of books while growing up. In fact I could read the bible properly before I turned 8.
How long have you been writing for and what have you learnt in these years?
Professionally I’ve been writing for over a year, but from as little as 10 I had started writing. In my sojourn as a writer, I have learnt that consistency is a major key. The phenomenon that practice makes perfect is applicable to effective writing. If you want to write better, you just have to keep writing. Also in writing effectively, you have to do a lot of research, because when you write, you are enlightening people, so yes, take out time to research and do your homework.
Lastly as writers, we all have the tendency to fall into the dark phase of writing called the “writer’s block” where it becomes difficult to conjure up words and pen down our thoughts. At this point, take time out from your work and allow your mind to breathe! What I mean is, you can take your mind away from what you are writing by simply relaxing, maybe take a stroll, a nap, gist with family and friends, or whatever thing you do when you relax. While you are at that, try to read things that are similar to what you are writing and you’d see that you’d get your muse back eventually. Often times that’s how I deal with writers block.
How do you merge your writing career and responsibilities as a student together?
Honestly it’s not been grand! Especially in the past when I didn’t keep a checklist for how I utilized my time, severally I found myself with a clogged schedule. I procrastinated a lot and eventually ended up achieving little. But right now I manage my time effectively by keeping an online notepad/checklist for organizing my activities. That’s how I’m able to joggle both. When it’s time for study, I put aside my writing materials and concentrate on studies, and vice versa. But I make sure I write a sentence everyday.
You write articles, poems, and fiction. In your own opinion, what makes each type of writing special?
In article writing, you deal with real issues, and a lot of work goes into that. You have to read broadly on the topic of discussion, research, brainstorm, there are a lot of technicalities that has to do with facts, logic e.t.c because you’re trying to let people buy your opinion about an issue or something. Whereas in poetry and fiction, it is the fusion of your imaginations and emotions. Also there’s the use of the elements stanzas, rhymes in poetry unlike the former.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from everything and anything. From a piece of artwork, to nature’s handwork, a word of encouragement from someone, or personal experience. But my highest inspiration is from God, knowing that He gave me this gift to share with the world is enough for me.
You seem to love sharing your work on Instagram, what inspired this?
I share my work on every social media platform I am signed up to, but I share more on Instagram because it gets more audience than other platforms for now.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies?
I play volleyball, dance, swim, take photos, and travel when I’m chanced.
Have you ever been rejected as a writer, if yes please tell us about it.
No, thankfully I haven’t and I’m not scared if such happens, because it’s part of the growth process.
What is your ultimate dream as a writer?
My ultimate dream as a writer is to know that I gave the voiceless a voice by writing my truth, that my works would someday grace posterity’s bookshelf and would still relate with people, even long after I’m gone.
Some write for fortune, others write for fame, why do you write?
I write because I love writing, and it’s my happy escape. It’s the only way I can bare my soul to the world, I can spin a universe from my web of imaginations while leaving a part of me with people. Writing is part of my essence here on earth.
How has your writing evolved over the years, did you do anything specific to make improvements? If yes, please share with us.
It’s been a gradual but steady evolution, from being someone who was struggling to write a line in days, to being someone who writes pages in hours, its been a huge improvement for me. I was able to achieve this because I kept writing, plus I have the right support system and people cheering me on. Especially my mentor in person of Michelle Dede.
Several years ago when I had doubt’s about my talents, she encouraged me to keep writing, and she still does. Also my sister Kelly Chikezie who is also a writer has been a huge supporter and motivator. Finally I read voraciously, I also did an online course to learn the basics of effective writing.
What’s the biggest lesson writing has taught you
I learnt that though it may look financially unrewarding and out rightly discouraging especially when your works don’t gain a large audience and is not appreciated, but as long as you don’t stop writing and keep putting your work out there, someday soon, the right people would connect with your work and appreciate it. So keep writing. Write because you are giving people the rare privilege to see things from your own unique perspective.