#WritingQuote – “Your attitude is everything. Believe in yourself and trust your material.” Bud Gardner

“Your attitude is everything. Believe in yourself and trust your material. To be a successful writer, write every single day whether you feel like it or not. Never, never give up, and the world will reward you beyond your wildest dreams.” Bud Garnder

Can we just say that we absolutely love this quote by Bud Gardner. It mirrors one of the key messages we share at The Sparkle Writers Hub. 

You need to believe in yourself and your material. You might have the greatest writing talent but if you lack confidence and faith in yourself, we’re sorry to tell you that you won’t go very far. Someone with less writing talent but more faith and confidence will definitely achieve much more. 

To a very large extent, writing is personal. So it truly does hurt when people poke holes at your work and criticize you. We understand but that’s not a reason for you to fold up and give up. You must gather the courage to keep going even when you are heavily criticized. 

Write every day. There are no shortcuts to success in this game. Keep improving yourself. Read books. Put your work out there and most importantly, trust your material. 

 

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How to write when you don’t feel like

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Let’s be honest, there will be times you won’t feel like writing. You’ll be tempted to do every other thing except to write. Sometimes, you may not be in the mood for days or even weeks. You just can’t explain why don’t ‘feel like’ writing. Somehow, inspiration seems to have taken a long hike and you’re not sure when it’s going to return. 

Well, if you intend to be a good writer, one who is known to make impact, you need to know how to write whether you are in the mood or not. The best writers are those who are able to master how to write in ll seasons; whether they are in the mood or not. 

We want you to be one of the best writers the world has ever known. Here are some tips that will help you to write even if you are not in the mood. 

Allow Yourself to Write Crap

Yes, you read correctly! Allow yourself to write crap. Sometimes, the reason you don’t feel like writing is because you feel what you will produce will not be good enough. “So why write it,” you wonder. Other times, you don’t write because you over think things; How should I start? Will the story be interesting enough? Will people want to read it?

You need to stop over-analyzing and write. Ignore those voices that keep telling you that what you want to write will not be good enough. Who said so? You never know how good what you have to write is until you finish. And even if it is not as good as you want it, you can always edit and fix it! 

It is possible for you to start writing and the first few paragraphs won’t make sense to you. Instead of getting frustrated, just keep going on. The victory is in the process. Finish, review and learn where you need to review.

Motivate yourself 

If you say you are not in the mood and you know that you definitely need to write then do the needful and motivate yourself. What puts you in a good mood? What gets you excited? Note them and do those things.

You may need to take a walk, listen to music to motivate yourself. The best motivation however is thinking about the number of lives what you want to write will bless. Your message should motivate you. Your purpose should stir you to write.

Even if like this man you have to search for motivation;

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Don’t stop until you find it😌

Eliminate every form of distraction and time yourself

It is bad enough that you do not feel like writing, the last thing you should do is to allow distractions. Your children are running around the house, the TV is on and you’ve been surfing the internet for almost an hour. Why will you feel like writing?

Find someone to stay with your children, leave the house, go for a power walk and go back home to write or look for a park, co-working space where you can have some peace and quiet and write. Distractions are not good for anyone much less a writer.

What are some of the ways you get yourself to write when you are not in the mood. Do share!

#WordOfTheDay – This is what idyllic means

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Our word for today is…‘Idyllic’

It is pronounced as [ahy-dil-ik].

It is an adjective meaning extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque.

The synonyms of the word are wonderful, peaceful, perfect, ideal.

Examples:

The idyllic setting had a therapeutic effect on her health.

The ranch owned by Mr. Laser is idyllic.

 

#WritingQuote – “Read everything you can lay hands on.” Michael Moorcock

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“My first rule was given to me by TH White, author of ‘The Sword in the Stone’ and other Arthurian fantasies and was: Read. Read everything you can lay hands on. I always advise people who want to write a fantasy or science fiction or romance to stop reading everything in those genres and start reading everything else from Bunyan to Byatt.” — Michael Moorcock

This is one mind-blowing quote from an unusual author. Initially, this quote might not make a whole lot of sense until you take a deeper look at it. How do you get better at writing a science fiction by reading other books that are not science fiction-related?

The answer is you get infinitely better because ideas that come from reading books in genres that are way different from your genre of writing would be invaluable when infused into your writing.

For instance, if you are a fiction writer and you read non-fiction books or even fantasy books, you would be able to get both realistic experiences and ideas from non-fiction books to add to your fiction writing with a sprinkle of weirdness coming from fantasy books. Isn’t that dope? 

The main point of the quote is this: as a writer, you have to learn the art of diversity and versatility. Do not allow yourself to be stuck in one kind of writing. You have to be an adventurous reader to write adventurously.

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)

How to create custom WordPress designs without prior coding knowledge

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Hi there blogger!

We saw this superamazing post on  Wpbeginner and we know that it is going to be a great resource for bloggers who use WordPress sites. We may even try it on our WordPress site but note that Wpbeginner already tried the plugins.  Enjoy!

Do you want to customize your website? Or even create a completely custom design without writing any code? No need to pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming. It’s definitely possible!

There are two really useful WordPress plugins that makes it easy for beginners to customize their WordPress sites.

Beaver Builder

Funny name, I know. When these guys first contacted me to try their plugin, I didn’t take it very seriously. But then, I tried their free demo, and I was blown away – because I literally built a responsive, mobile-friendly, custom WordPress website in 20 minutes without touching a single line of code.

If you are struggling with customizing your website, then you need Beaver Builder.

See full tutorial on how to create custom layouts with Beaver Builder.

CSS Hero

CSS Hero allows you to easily customize your existing theme with a simple point-and-click interface. If you want to customize your existing site design rather than creating something from scratch, then check out CSS Hero.

See full video tutorial on how CSS Hero makes customization easy.

When you try out these plugins, do let us know. 

#PickOfTheWeek – The lies we tell ourselves

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Hey Sparkle Writers! Our #PickOfTheWeek is back! We’re excited about the writers we are featuring today. We hope you learn a thing or two from this week’s pick.

Temi is speaking the absolute truth and everyone needs to read it.  There is no point living in regret. We have to move on. 

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 Those ‘I am not enough’ ‘ I would do it tomorrow’ kinda lies. Be conscious of them, they are slow and silent killers. Gbolahan is one of our steady writers, there’s something about the way he writers.  farmto table (3)Oh if everyone could see the next post. Tomiwa hit the nail on the head Whether as writers or in our individual lives it is important that we remember this all the time. No forming, no pretense just be you. farmto table Desolape is one real writer! There are honestly some memories not worth remembering, the question is how do we erase them? Anyone with answers? farmto table (1)

#WriterSpotlight – When it comes to writing, Eketi Ette is on a roll!

Hey Sparkle Writers, you are not ready for the amazingness our interview with Eketi Edima Etti contains! Our first #WriterSpotlight for the year is loaded with wisdom and wit. If you have multiple passions you certainly would learn a thing or two from Eketi. 

Enjoy her interview with us.

Hello, Eketi. Kindly tell us about yourself.  Where do I begin?

I am your average girl next door. The first child of the family, Christian, vivacious, lover of life and people. I am a multi-passionate person. I have several passions and I’ve tried my hands at acquiring the skills to go with them. So, I’m a lawyer, author, editor, content creator, farmer, entrepreneur, MC, actor and social media manager. It’s a lot, I know.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was four years old. Blame my mother. She started me on the path by making me write letters to her and my father at least once a week. However, I didn’t take my writing seriously until 2011. That’s when I decided what I did was worth giving more time and attention to.

How has it paid off for you?

It has, in ways I never imagined when I started out. The most important part of it all has been the journey of self-discovery it’s taken me on.

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You are well known for your funny and highly engaging stories on Twitter, what’s your source of inspiration?

Life and people. The one recurrent comment I hear when people read my stories is that they can relate to them. Our world is filled with very interesting people and their lives are interwoven tapestries of compelling stories.

What genre of writing do you focus on and why?

Fiction is my major genre. My head is an interesting place and my imagination constantly demands that I give it a chance to express itself in words.

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Your book ‘Chinda Ella’s is making waves online. Tell us about it.

It’s a humorous Nigerian parody of the popular fairytale, Cinderella.

What inspired you to write the book?

I love fairytales and folklore. So, one day, I was watching the latest Cinderella movie. When I got to the scene where she fled the palace leaving her shoe behind, I was struck by something I’d never noticed before.

According to her Fairy Godmother, everything was supposed to change back to what they were before, at midnight. But the shoes didn’t change. Why?

I was like, “Lai lai! Dis tin na scam!” And then it hit me—why don’t you write a Nigerian parody of this story, using this scene as the cornerstone? Make it as outrageous as possible.

And so, Chinda Ella was born.

 

Last year, you were named one of 100 most influential Nigerian writers under 40, how did you get to that point?

Honest answer? I don’t know. I didn’t set out to be influential and I wasn’t expecting the nomination either. I guess, when you’ve been at something for long enough, people notice. It does feel good though, being noticed.

What do you love most about being a writer?

The fact that I utterly enjoy doing it. Every time I write, I do so for the love of words and the ease with which they come to me.

What’s your advice to an upcoming writer?

First, write. You get better at your craft when you keep practicing. It is in doing this that you find your unique writing voice and style. Secondly, don’t write for praise, especially the kind on social media. Write first for you, with your audience being the secondary consideration.

Lastly, don’t you dare compare yourself to another writer. Do you.

 

 

Books, Fun and Food At The Book Banters With Nkiru Olumide-Ojo

We were excited when we received an invitation from Roving Heights to attend The Book Banters with Nkiru Olumide-ojo. What’s better than hanging out with other book lovers at a bookshop? Maybe reading the books perhaps.

The event took place yesterday on Sunday 28th of January at Patabah Bookshop in Surulere. For those who attended, you’ll agree with us that the book reading was one of a kind. The event was not only highly educative and enlightening, it was also filled with fun conversations and loads of refreshments. You know what they say, when books, fun and food come together, they make history!

For those who didn’t attend, really where were you? To be honest, you did miss a lot. The author of the book, Nkiru Olumide-Ojo read portions of the book as shared the inspiration behind the book. She also gave some useful tips to the women present, admonishing them to be strong and be courageous enough to go for what they want.

On mentoring, she said, “Look at the person’s journey and what you can glean from it.”

When asked why she chose the title, ‘The Pressure Cooker’ for her book, Mrs Olumide-Ojo’s answer was simple – she felt she was under so much pressure, like she was boiling in a cooker, and it inspired her to write the book, to encourage other women out there who are also under pressure, and to teach women how to juggle it all together.

The host of the event, Olive Emodi really did a great job in steering the conversation to the right direction causing the author to share deep insights from her book.

The beautiful event ended with photographs and a book signing. Well done to the Roving Heights team. You rock!

 

If you would like us to attend your book reading or book club event, please send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com. 

 

#WritingQuote – “To create a market for your writing, you have to be consistent, professional, a continuing writer.”

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“To create a market for your writing, you have to be consistent, professional, a continuing writer, not just one-article or a one-story or a one-book man. ” – Langston Hughes, author of Simple Takes A Wife

This is to all those writers who want to create a market for their writing. There is a need for consistency in your writing.

Being a consistent writer gives you some sort of leverage over the other writer who does one article, maybe per month or one story in two months. It is simply logical that you will improve your writing skills by writing every time.

The quote above says you have to be a continuing writer. Writing has to be a continuous act for you to create a market for your writing. There are certain writers who have carved a particular niche for themselves because they have written several novels, books or articles that have pegged them as either fiction writers or no-fiction writers or sci-fiction writers and so on.

Therefore, dear writer, write all the time. Continue writing and never stop writing.