#WriterSpotlight – “My book is not the end but the beginning of my journey.” Jolaade Philips

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Hey Sparkle Writers! Can we just say that this possibly is one of the best interviewees we’ve had in a while. Jolaade is deep, real and has so much wisdom to share with other writers in a little less than one year. 

His advice to other writers and the reason why he loves The Sparkle Writers Hub is just beautiful. You should read it! 

Hello Jolaade please introduce yourself

I’m Taiwo Jolaade Philips; Pharmacist by day, writer by night.

When did you start writing and how has your writing evolved over the years?

Well, I started before I started writing. What do I mean by that?

I had a diary when I was younger and I remember I used to write letters to God, it was easy for me to write out my feelings, fears and insecurities. I didn’t know I was writing then.  I just thought I was being normal. Writing isn’t normal, it’s the craziest thing ever! Having to write out your emotions and crazy ideas in a way that the person reading it is drawn to your world and feels almost the way you feel is something that isn’t normal.

I started writing ‘officially ‘September 2016. Officially, because that was when I started making a conscious effort to write, after which I started sharing my works on Instagram.

How rewarding has writing been?

Very much rewarding. Primarily in terms of exposure and also financially. Lol

And writing has been my safe haven. It’s the way I communicate, heal and help.

Do you think you were born to be a writer?

Hmmmm, born to be a writer?  I don’t know.  I was born to reach out to people and writing just happens to be a good channel to do that. But I can’t do without writing.

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You just wrote a book that is on amazon and Okada books. Take us through that journey.

When I started I sincerely didn’t know what I was writing about.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to write a book because I was scared.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t scared of writing, I was scared of acceptance.  What if nobody likes my writing?  What if someone reads the book and calls it trash? What if I don’t get to help or reach out to anyone anyone with my writing?  I had so many what “ifs”. But I didn’t want uncertainty to be something that would stop me.  I kept saying to myself that “if anything is going to try and stop me from writing, it should be something I can see, something palpable and not what I’m not sure about.”

So I gave it a shot, I started writing out my thoughts. After I wrote the first draft. I was happy and I thought that was the book. Till I read through and found out that I’d only written a quarter of the book because I had so many things to blot out. I was working on two books simultaneously but I had to drop the other for “Eden”.

I thought EDEN was just about me pouring my pains and my thoughts until I started getting feedback from people who read the book and told me how it encouraged them. It taught me one thing: our scars are like sign posts to keep people from going through what we went through to obtain those scars. Even if the pain doesn’t go away, it can still be a miracle for someone else.

I edited the book a lot of times and gave it to a friend who was also a writer to help read through and edit.

Did you ever feel like quitting during the process of writing, if yes how did you handle it?

Oh yes, I sure did. And how did I handle it?  I just wrote about how I felt at that moment and what I was feeling… So I was writing about not wanting to write.  I didn’t stop writing, I still wrote even when I didn’t feel like. The first step to fighting the urge to quit writing is to answer the question of why you feel like quitting. And when you know why, you write about that feeling.

How has the reception for your book been?

It’s been good, especially with the feedback, they’ve been mind blowing. It’s not like I’m a best seller, but there’s a feeling of fulfillment that comes with knowing that what you wrote has impacted someone you might never get to meet. It’s not something that happens to everyone. That feeling is peculiar to writers and speakers.

How much did reading help shape your love for writing?

A whole lot. I read a lot of books and I can’t go through the day without reading something posted by a writer or blogs.

Reading kind of helps you to see how little your world is and how big the whole world is.  It widens your imagination and stretches your creativity. I believe that readers make better writers because they’ve existed in different worlds and have experienced a lot of emotions.

The more I read, the more I wanted and needed to write.

Reading was helping me grow and fix somethings, and I didn’t just want to be helped I also wanted to be the one helping someone and I could only do that by writing.

Tell us two things social media doesn’t know about Jolaade Philips?

  1. My favorite color is Black
  2. I find it hard to write without music.                                                                                   

Tell us three ways social media has helped your writing career?

  1. Exposure
  2. Consistency
  3. Social media gave meaning to my writing.                                                                          

What do you love most about being an author?

The fact that people are made better one way or the other by what I’m writing.

How easy was it for you to find a publisher and what was your experience like?

Amazon via Createspace has made self publishing very easy. It wasn’t something very difficult though.

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How has writing this book changed your life?

Writing EDEN made me realize that every pain I feel in life is not wasted. It taught me to pay attention to tiny details in life. Also, now I know that I can do anything I want to do, if I really want to do it. And this is why EDEN is not the end but the beginning of a journey.

Who are your favorite authors?

Wow! I have about 4

  1. Rupi Kaur
  2. Pierre Jeanty
  3. Tolu Akinyemi
  4. Alicia Cook

What did you love most about writing Eden?

Ermmm.  The sincerity and openness of the book. I don’t think I’ve ever been so sincere about my feelings and emotions the way I was when I was writing Eden. I still find myself reading the book over and over again .

What do you love about The Sparkle Writers Hub?

The way the team is so much interested in helping writers grow and also their Instagram posts (nuggets). They are so encouraging, I have their pictures all over my screenshot folder.

What’s your advice to somebody who loves to write but doesn’t know how to start?

Oh!  Great!

When people tell me they love writing but don’t know how to start, this is what I tell them :

To love writing is like having a crush on someone, but never confessing your feelings because you fear rejection.  The truth is, writing is the crush that never says no, all you have to do is just act.  If you love writing so much then you have to prove it by acting out your love and how do you do that? You write!

Writing (or words) embrace the author, that is why people say that the best way to grow in writing is to keep writing because overtime the words become you and you find it hard to break free.

A lot of us don’t write because we fear rejection, but people don’t know that the story you’re trying to tell the world is your story. No one tells it better than you do.  Even if you don’t get validation from your audience, it simply means that they aren’t the right audience, keep writing till you find your audience.

I don’t like Opera, but does that make people who sing Opera terrible? Of course not!  The people who love Opera appreciate Opera.. I’m a wrong audience for Opera.

This how you start writing :

  1. Clear the table
  2. Pick a blank sheet
  3. Get your pen
  4. Write.

 

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