” You should always say what you want to say, not what you mean to say or what they expect you to say.”
Welcome to another #WriterSpotlight feature. Wilfred is one honest and down to earth writer, you will love his interview with us.
Hello, please introduce yourself.
My name is Wilfred Okiche. I am a medical doctor by day and a writer by night. Scratch that, I also write during the days and practice medicine at nights too I’ll have to look for a sexier way of expressing myself.
Why did you choose to write or what led you to writing?
I have always been a reader and writing naturally came after but if you mean professionally then the answer would be failure. I was in 5th year medical school and was repeating this course. I had some months to prepare for this exam again and I suddenly realized I had a lot of time on my hands. I spoke to a friend who spoke to a friend and hence my internship at a media house (RED media) began. Everything else followed. Before that it was the usual (unbearably cheesy) Facebook notes and stuff.
What is your most challenging moment as a writer?
Sitting down to do the damn writing. Sometimes I can see the finished product in my head but getting it out is almost always torture.
Can you share any lesson you have learnt from writing?
You should always say what you want to say, not what you mean to say or what they expect you to say. I also learnt that writing pays crap, especially at entry level.
Can you tell us your most rewarding moment as a writer?
I don’t know that I have any particular moment but getting feedback by people who get it is always pleasing. Getting paid well too helps.
If you didn’t become a writer what else would you have done?
I’ll be in some teaching hospital toiling away at a residency programme.
Have you ever been rejected as a writer and how did you handle it?
Yes. I dismiss them as idiots and convince myself how awesome I am. Then I come down to earth, take the comments seriously and start to correct what I need to correct.
Will you ever retire from writing?
I suppose. Maybe not. Who truly knows these things?
What do you do in your leisure time?
I barely have any but I try to catch up on movies and TV series. There is so much to see and I fear that I will die before seeing all the films/TV I want to see. I also read books and magazines. Not as much as before but I try.
What would you pick;
Continental Food or African Delicacy? African
R&B or Hip/hop? R&B
Fiction or poetry? Fiction of course. Eewww! at poetry
Fashion or music? Music
Do you have a writing mentor?If yes why?
I guess it would have to be my boss, Mr Chude Jideonwo. He directed me towards the kind of writing I currently put out and pointed me towards the material I should be reading. I still read everything he publishes and I don’t think I have met a finer editor of my work. I will also read anything A.O Scott of the New York Times writes and every page of Vanity Fair
Your best article or story so far?
This is where I say I love all my stories and cannot choose but I recall a long read I did about a year ago on the Half of a Yellow Sun movie and I always come back to it for some reason.
Any last words for upcoming writers?
Keep reading, keep writing. One day it will all make sense.