PickOfTheWeek – Hope when it seems impossible

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How do you feel when you have literally given up on something happening and in the midst of that dark cloud, a silver lining shows up?

How do you feel? Probably pure joy. 

That’s one of the feelings a writer described on today’s PickOfTheWeek . We hope you love this week’s articles. 

The first is by rockcalvary and we love this post because it captures the realities of our heart when people we term as important don’t see us the same way. Has this ever happened to you? 

farmto tableLove makes people say stuff though. When we saw this post we didn’t know what to make of it but then we understand that the promise of forever means a lot to people. What have you said or done in the name of love? 

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The next post is for those who usually wait for inspiration to do work that has to be done. It is easy to wait to feel like doing work but it is not ideal. We honestly have nothing else to add. Thank you Oluwadara for this. farmto table (2) The last piece for today struck a chord and if you read our introductory post, you’d understand what we mean. Sometimes all we need is a little light at the end of the tunnel. farmto table (1)

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#WriterSpotlight – Samson Egbums uses his books to solve problems

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Hello Sparkle Writers. We have another young writer on today’s #WriterSpotlight series. He is also an author and a speaker. We absolutely love his fighting spirit and you will see that clearly when he tells us his reply to a critique about his stories.

We love the fact that young people are taking charge of the life and career so fearlessly. Enjoy our interview with Samson.

Please tell us about yourself briefly

Speaker Samson Egbums is a writer and a certified young mentor from the Institute of Mentoring and Career Coaching Nigeria (IMCCN) and the International Association of Professions Career College. I also runs the Speak, Write and Earn Community on Facebookwith 3,300 writers and speakers.

How did you discover writing?

In the early days as a science student, I was often selected to represent my department in essay competitions, because my writing style attracted good marks. From there, I started writing my own story book which ended in the waste bin, because no one was ready to finance the publishing.

As soon as I registered on the social media sites, I saw it as an opportunity to start baring my thoughts daily. I started with short stories.

You have written 5 books and you are only 20 years old. Can you take us through this incredible journey?

I am a very different writer, one who doesn’t just wake up and start writing a book. My books are focused on solving a challenge. As soon as I discover a leakage; I utilize my writing skills to get it plastered. The journey of five books isn’t easy. I had tough times when I had to postpone due to power supply and some other unforeseen occurrences, but I feel fulfilled with what I have achieved today.

Here are the titles of my books; Keep it Simple, keep it Smart (Modus Operandi of successful people), Talent is cheaper than salt, How to be a peak performer in 168 hours, The Self help Guide, The 7 mistakes of the young people

What is the best part of writing a book; the writing process or seeing the finished work?

The best part of writing is seeing your thoughts and ideas packaged into products. For instance, raw rice has little beauty until it is cooked and served.

What’s the one thing that can make you quit writing?

Nothing can make me hang my pen like a retired footballer hangs their boot.

What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your article?

When I started, someone said it to my face that the stories I tell are unreal. I had to read more storytelling books.

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Will you ever retire from writing?

Writing has no retirement age, as long as I live, I will keep writing daily.

What are your thoughts about the reading culture in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, educational books are seen as the only books students should read, which affects how they reason and how creative they are.

Tell us two interesting things social media doesn’t know about you.

Social media doesn’t know I have three siblings and I attended a public primary school.

You are also a speaker. How did you develop this skill?

I developed my speaking skills after I won a championship on public speaking and ever since then, constant practice has kept me floating

If you could meet three Nigerian writers who will they be and why?

I would love to meet Prof. Wole Soyinka, Strive Masiyiwa and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

What do you do in your leisure time?

In my leisure time, I listen to highlife music and play soccer games.

What’s your ultimate dream as writer?

My greatest dream as a writer is to write a book that will stand the test of time, bless lives and be read all over the world.

 

#WriterSpotlight – For Margaret, writing is her calling

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We are excited to feature yet another exciting writer on our #WriterSpotlight Series. She is a writer who has been able to monetize her skill. There’s so much to learn from this interview.

Hello, please introduce yourself

My name is Bolu-Adebayo Margaret and I write under the pseudonym Maggie Smart. I’m the second of three children in a family of five. I attended University of Ilorin and bagged a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 2011, then I proceeded to earn a post-graduate diploma in Journalism in 2013.

You have been writing for at least five years and have found ways to monetize your writing talent. How did you do this?

Yes, I have been writing for close to five years now. I published my first novel in 2012, and then went on a long break until late last year when I decided to be intentional with my writing gift. Since I made that decision last year, I have earned from transcribing for clients, from ghostwriting, from creating content for brands, websites, and magazines, and from selling my own works.

What would you say is the biggest challenge a young writer will face?

The biggest challenge a young writer will face is what I call the ‘unknown syndrome’. A young writer, especially those who want to follow the traditional route to publishing their work might face a lot of discouragement getting the publishers to take them seriously. Publishers are businessmen, and they usually don’t want to take risks on unknown writers. Also, as a writer, if you seriously want to sell your books one day and make good money from them, you need to start building your fan base from the very beginning.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

No, I didn’t. I was fortunate to meet someone who recognized the talent in me, pursued me doggedly until I published my first work, and the rest as they say, is history.

How rewarding has writing been for you?

Writing has been rewarding to some extent. I say that because I’ve not in any way gotten to the heights I know I will get to as a writer. The rewards are still coming, but for now, I’m focusing more on releasing good works and building my fan base.

You write romantic stories how were you able to discover that niche?

Yes, I do. I read a lot of romance while I was growing up and I think to some extent that played a huge role in my choice of niche. Besides, I love love and I believe everyone is entitled to love, no matter the circumstances or situation.

What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your article?

I can’t remember anything off hand right now. People are generally very receptive to my works and find them enjoyable.

As an author do you prefer self publishing or traditional publishing and why?

I prefer self-publishing because you get to have complete control over your work and how it turns out. You make the decisions, for better or worse, and you deal with the consequences as they come and learn from them. You can promote your work as you see fit, work very hard on it, and when the monetary rewards come, you don’t share with anyone (laughs).

Has there been any time you wanted to quit writing?

There’s never been anytime I wanted to quit writing. I know writing is my calling, and I know that wherever I get to, whatever work or career I focus on, I know that writing will always be there, and that is my destination and final goal. I feel discouraged from time to time when I don’t get the results I expect, but this just challenges me, it never makes me feel like quitting.

What do you do in your leisure time?

I read, a lot. This year, I challenged myself to read 100 books before the end of the year, and I am on my 62nd. So, every free time I have, I just grab a book and start reading (laughs)

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to get writing! Don’t waste anytime pursuing frivolous activities. Focus on what you want, work at it until you see results. It’s a lot better when you start working on your dreams early. You get to make all your mistakes and learn your lessons early, and you achieve success early too.

What would you say is your ultimate dream as a writer?

For myself, I would want to be recognized as a world renowned writer. I want my brand to stand out, and I’ll like to be able to rub shoulders with the big guns in the society. I also have a dream to see Nigerian writers stand with the ‘professionals’ and be recognized as successful people in their own right.

Do you consider writing as work or pleasure and why?

I consider writing both work and pleasure. I enjoy writing, so it’s pleasurable for me, but to be an outstanding writer, I have to take it as work, and pour everything I have into it to make it a successful career.

Any last words for upcoming writers especially those who want to become freelancers?

I would advise upcoming writers to start early, build their brand, build their fan base and focus on what they want to achieve as a writer.