Hey Sparkle Writers! It’s time for another #WriterSpotlight. Today we have Tolu Oluwaseyi-Daniel, popularly known as L’Queen. She is an author and blogger and she has some great advice for writers who want to publish books and write stories.
We can’t wait for you to dig in!
Hello, Tolu. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?
Hi, my name is Tolu Oluwaseyi-Daniel, also known as L’Queen. I’m a purpose driven person who loves to be a source of joy and motivation to others. I am a writer, blogger and public speaker.
At what point did you discover that you had a passion for writing and why did you decide to pursue this passion?
I fully discovered my love for writing in 2012, when I started my blog LQUEENWRITES.COM. Although before then I knew it was something I had a flair for. I’d always been inspired by books, every writer I know is a reader. Growing up, I was surrounded by books. My parents read a lot so that probably birthed my interest. Somewhere along the line, I knew that someday I would have to share my own stories both fiction and nonfiction.
You recently published your book, ‘On the Ride’. Can you tell us what inspired you to write it?
Growing up, I saw a lot of books that addressed issues regarding living life as an adult but there weren’t so many books that related to our experiences as adolescents and young adults. Issues relating to building confidence, overcoming low self-esteem, mood swings, voicing out about abuse, bullying, the use of social media, grooming, utilizing talents and discovering purpose. Aside from my love for teens, I felt there was a need to put the right words to the shadowy corners in the lives of the younger generation so that definitely inspired me to write, On the Ride.
We know you shared a lot of your personal experiences in the book. Was it easy for you to do this?
I think the true reason why God allows you go through things and survive them is so that your story can reach out to others and give them hope. It wasn’t easy putting myself out there but it was very important for me to share those experiences to help someone that might be encountering similar challenges.
Why is it important for writers to learn how to be vulnerable when they write?
Vulnerability as a writer is one way to make your readers connect with you. It sparks emotional feelings and gives them a more detailed knowledge of you as a person not just for the words written but because they can relate to your own personal experiences. Writing to me is a generous act so I think it’s more important for us as writers to risk ridicule and bring truth to life.
Let’s talk about publishing. What challenges did you face in writing and getting your book published?
One of the major challenges was finding a good publishing house to work with. I called several publishing houses but when it sounded like I wasn’t getting what I wanted from any of them I became a little frustrated. Fortunately, I found Winepress Publishing and they were just in sync with the ideas I had for the book. They did a good job ensuring that the manuscript was well edited.
Many writers find it difficult to finish writing a book and get published. What tips do you have for such writers?
I think the most important thing is to know that there’s a story you must tell, there’s someone out there that your story is meant to reach out to. There would be days when you don’t feel inspired to write but you have to constantly remind yourself that you have to get it done. Have a total word count in mind, have people you are accountable to, set a deadline and stay focused on the goal.
With the right amount of commitment and motivation, one chapter at a time you’ll see your book finished in no time.
In what ways has your writing grown and evolved since you started writing?
With each article and short story I have written, my writing has greatly evolved. I have learnt to be more descriptive, my vocabulary has expanded and I have gained a better understanding of my audience.
Where do you want writing to take you in the next five years?
Well, my goal right now is to take more writing courses and develop my writing skills much more. I’d like to write more fiction stories and gain more recognition as a writer.
I’d like to explore the world, meet more people and have more experiences to write about.
Most importantly, I want to be that writer that blesses lives with words.
What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?
Fear would always keep a person under because it limits their capacity to become more. I would encourage such people to rise above fear to a place of courage. The message is always bigger than the messenger so they need to come out of that place of hiding and unabashedly share their stories with the world.