#WriterSpotlight – Sholape Abidakun is pursuing her writing dreams one article at a time

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One of the reasons we started our #WriterSpotlight series was to encourage and celebrate writers all over the world. We are always happy when we come across writers with outstanding talent and passion. Today we have Sholape and we had a great time getting to know more about her love for writing. We hope you’d enjoy her interview with us. 

Hello Solape. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

My name is Sholape Abidakun, @desolape on Instagram. I am a lawyer, aspiring arbitrator and writer.

When did you discover that you had a passion for writing and why did you decide to follow this passion?

I discovered it when I was really young. I would write letters to my mum, giving detailed descriptions of what the house help did, what she wore, my entire day basically.

Can you tell us what you love most about writing?

The ability to put my thoughts and feelings on paper, bringing them to life. I also love that my writing connects with people in different ways and on various levels. It also serves as therapy for me.

Which author (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance?

Stephen King (Alive).

Have you ever reached a point where you wanted to give up on writing?

I have never reached that point, and I sincerely hope I never do.

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When you are struggling to find inspiration, can you share some of the things that you do find that inspiration to write?

I usually listen to music, or I just read. I turn to blogs, articles, the Bible (lots of stories there). Sometimes, I discuss with family or friends. I watch people and make-up stories about them in my head. I find inspiration in different ways.

Do you think you will ever retire from writing?

I hope not!

What will you say has been your biggest achievement as a writer so far?

I have never been as committed to writing as I have been this month, so I think my biggest achievement at the moment is staying committed to it.

Where would you like writing to take you in the future?

I want to publish books, hard covers and e-books. I would like to coach budding writers (like myself, at the moment).

What advice do you have for people who want to hone their writing skills and become renowned writers one day?

Be open. Share your work with people who are skilled in writing and listen to their criticisms, if any. Attend writing classes and workshops. Read different forms of literature. Engage in writing competitions or challenges.

#WriterSpotlight – “I think it’s important for us as writers to risk ridicule and bring truth to life.” Tolu Oluwaseyi-Daniel

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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.

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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.

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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.

#WriterSpotlight – “Find your voice, be consistent and stay true to yourself.” DamiLoves

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We have Damilola on today’s #WriterSpotlight. Her description of the difference between inspiration and motivation and the role discipline plays in the life of a writer is insightful and so is the rest of the interview.

Enjoy!

Hello Damilola Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

Damilola is a determined lady trying to live out God’s calling on her life, who endeavours to utilise all opportunities she encounters.

When and how did you discover your love for writing?

I cannot accurately pinpoint where my love for writing grew from, but I can certainly say that it was born alongside my love for reading books and stories. Growing up my father and maternal grandfather always had a book in their hands. They are two of the most intelligent people I know, yet they still wanted to learn and explore more. In reading, I feed my desire to learn more about the enigma that is life, and in writing, I attempt to bring a voice to stories that would have been forgotten.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you?

Writing has taught me the value of patience. It has shown me the importance of stepping out regardless of the amount of fear and hesitation one may have. The reason for this is that writing is an exercise in editing, but you cannot edit a piece of work if there is no first draft. You must have the boldness to write down the first few words of the first draft, and return to it and work on it until it resembles the finished product you have envisioned. It can be a gruelling process, but the catharsis it produces pays off in the end.

Which author (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance?

I will choose a dead author in the person of Rainer Maria Rilke. I bought the book “Letters to a young poet” as a young teenager, and I find his instructions to Kappus the young poet still resonating with me till today; the letters were written in 1902, but the wisdom is still relevant today.

Have you ever reached a point where you wanted to give up on writing?

Give up on writing? No, it has become part and parcel of who I am, I even write letters to some of my friends, and I adore love letters. Writing is a way for me to reflect, learn and even pray to God. So, no I have not wanted to give up, but when a project is due, or I am near a deadline, and I don’t have the finished product I envisaged, such moments can be testing.

When you are struggling to find inspiration, can you share some of the things that you do to find that inspiration to write?

I will acknowledge that there is no real lack of inspiration for a writer as there is a lack of motivation. Life is inspiring; nature, sorrow, joy, pain; there is some inspiration all around us. However, I have found that motivation and discipline are the more significant factors when writing seems to have reached a point of no return.

Creative people are more often than not taken for granted because people do not understand the amount of time and effort they put in their work. What do you think can be done to change this?

I have encountered the sharp sting of having my work rejected, and I acknowledge that a lot of us do work that inadvertently becomes pro-bono. So to change the current narrative, we will need to alter the mindset of those who are in the driving seat. Consumers and publishers alike need to understand the struggle, and sometimes tears that it takes to produce quality content.

You manage a blog, in your own opinion what’s the most important skill a blogger needs to have?

I currently run damiloves, and when I started, it was about my journey, but now it is about the journey of women. I endeavour to encourage women by sharing stories, poems or my thoughts of social events; reaching where we are today has been a lesson in evolution. I will say a passion and a desire to excel will be the main driving force. Find your voice, be consistent and stay true to yourself; your niche may change but don’t attempt to run someone else’s race.

What will you say has been your biggest achievement as a writer so far?

I completed a short series last year on my blog “a collection of scars“. It was a collection of fictional monologues by fictional Nigerian women who were carrying some burden or another. I was enamoured by the feedback I received, so many people had such unexpected emotional responses to the stories, their feedback humbled me.

Where would you like writing to take you in the future?

I would like my writing to be part of the legacy I leave behind. I want my words to bring joy, comfort and healing even after I depart from this earth.

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share, but fear keeps holding them back?

I would say to them just write, start with small steps and whatever you do just write. There is a talent in you that the world is waiting for; in following your dreams, you open the doors for someone else to walk towards the light of their destiny.

 

If you know any writer who you feel should be featured on our #WriterSpotlight segment or you are that writer, please send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com. 

#WriterSpotlight – “I would love my writing to win a space for me in people’s hearts.” Ibukun Tunbi

 

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We absolutely love Ibukun Tunbi’s interview on today’s edition of #WriterSpotlight. She is such an amazing writer and her answers are so real. We love how, after struggling so much with her passion, she is finally doing what she loves which is writing. Be inspired by our interview with Ibukun. 

Hello Ibukun. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

Assertive, strong willed, playful, bold, down to earth and spiritual.

When did you discover you had a passion for writing and why did you follow this passion?

At the back of my mind, I always knew I would write, I just never imagined it would become a passion. Growing up, I had this feeling that I would be successful at it and that made me very fearful of trying. Eventually, I found myself caught between this paralyzing fear and thoughts dying to be expressed. One had to give way for the other. On this particular day, I made a decision to get validation from someone that could be gracefully objective. I wrote a story and sent it to my sister anticipating her response. She was so excited and told me to continue with the story. Her feedback made me think, ‘Umm…maybe this could work’ but still I didn’t immediately jump into writing,

I started a blog last year and was still oblivious to the fact that I had a passion for writing. I knew I liked story telling but it seemed too big to touch so I didn’t really embrace the idea.

Eventually, after a few years of trying my hands at this and that, I accepted writing to be my passion. The year after, I was reminded of a scene from the movie Sister Act (II). It was something Whoopi said to Lauren Hill that caused my awakening.  She said to her, ‘If you wake up everyday and all you think about is singing that means you are a singer.’ Applying this to myself, I decided it was time to stop being chased by my passion and chase my passion instead, I was a writer.

 Can you tell us what you love most about writing?

What I love most about writing, specifically storytelling, is the power inherent in creativity. Once one word is written the next obediently follows. The words always find an avenue to come alive and find their place in your story. Characters, scenes, dialogue…all of it, fascinates me as they mix together to create a beautiful piece. Most times, I wonder if I am the one writing or if the story is really telling itself through me. The feeling I get in the mixing and matching process is amazing. What is even more fulfilling is the joy that comes from beholding a finished work. I usually feel I earned myself a reason to sleep afterwards.

 What is the most important thing writing has taught you?

Writing has taught me that you get better with use. In whatever field you are in, I believe this rule applies. Experience really cannot be bought; knowledge can but experience cannot. The more you make use of something the better you are at manoeuvring it.

 At what point did you decide to start your blog and how has the experience been?

My blog was my training ground. It started at a time when I was trying to discover myself. The words in my head kept bouncing around until one day God told me, “Start a blog.” It was very direct. I started to give my excuses, which He sorted out. All that was left was the courage to start and that came along too. I did it afraid. I still do.

It’s been a roller coaster. In the beginning, I got so much support, then it reduced. At a point, I felt drained. I had to stop but a friend encouraged me to continue. Sometimes, I ask myself ‘why am I doing this?’ But somehow, I get encouraged again. I can tell you, as of a few days ago, I was thinking of shutting down the blog, but this has encouraged me to continue.

Which author (dead or alive) would you love to spend a day with if given a chance?

Hands down, C. S. Lewis. I would love to peek into his mind to see how it worked.

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Have you ever reached a point where you wanted to give up on writing?

Not really but I found myself extremely discouraged recently. I submitted a script to this production house but they got back to me saying they couldn’t produce my story. It was my first bold step in putting my work publicly and I was terribly crushed. I felt very powerless to keep trying. It’s a terrible thing to feel like a dream died. So anyway, one of my Spurlies (friends) called me and suggested we attend this program. I was still in a haze so I told her to register on my behalf. Eventually I made it to the event, half interested. When I got in, I met this lady speaking. She mentioned that every year for the past ten years, she has considered giving up but somehow, she has kept going. I was really shocked, especially because the lady is quite successful in her field. This theme was re-occurrent throughout the program. A few other successful speakers mentioned how they kept going despite the temptation to give up. It then dawned on me that everyone was bound to go through this stage of despair and I was in good company. Thus, my resolve to keep moving.

When you are struggling to find inspiration, can you share some of the things you do to find that inspiration to write?

Sometimes, I just write anything that comes to my head and try to force the words out. However, in situations like that, I feel like my work doesn’t make a lot of sense. Other times, I change my environment, and I get inspired. This trick doesn’t work too often though. The one that works mostly is spending time with God. After I do, I feel a flow and writing becomes effortless.

I have learnt that my writing flows from some place and so I respect that. Therefore, if there’s still no flow after I have done all that I know to do, I wait until I am stirred, and I always am, then I write.

 Where would you like writing to take you to in the future?

As much as I would like to win Oscars and Nobel Laureates, I especially would love my writing to win a space for me in people’s hearts. The ultimate for me is when my words become a voice. A voice that influences how society is shaped; a voice that creates a worldwide platform where the very hearts of people are touched.

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

You can only run so far. It’s time to stop and embrace your message, your fulfilment is hidden in your fear.

 

If you know any writer who you feel should be featured on our #WriterSpotlight segment or you are that writer, please send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com. 

#WriterSpotlight – “No story is to short to tell, too long to narrate or too irrelevant to be listened to.” Abifola Abraham

 

It’s another Thursday and you know it’s time for our #WriterSpotlight feature! Before we tell you about today’s writer, we want to remind you about our special #WriterSpotlight Anniversary Edition. This evening, we will have an Instagram Live Chat with our Founder where she will give writing advice and solutions to common problems writers face. It starts at 7 pm so don’t miss it. 

Back to today’s feature! It won’t be an exaggeration to call Abifola Abraham a creative genius. He expresses his creativity in poetry and pencil art. We love the fact that he is self-motivated and he is willing to work hard to be successful in his craft. Enjoy his interview with us.

Hello Fola. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

Olorunlana Abifola Abraham is my name. I’m 18 years old. I hail from Ondo state Nigeria. I draw and write poems.

Drawing and writing poems. That’s an interesting combination. How did you develop a passion for these two things?

Let me say it has always been in me. All I did was let it out. The passion comes as a result of my hard work and encouragement from people who see my work and appreciate it.

In what ways are art and poetry related?  

Well, I define art as a creative way of expressing one’s self. Poetry exhibits this, likewise drawing. So poetry is just a form of art.

Take us through your journey to getting to where you are today. How did you begin as a pencil artist and as a poet?

Well, that’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it short. It all started when I was little. I was a fan of old British movies, where they’d sing while acting, or sometimes recite rhythmic words while acting. I also loved comic cartoon characters and paint works made by art legends such as Van Gogh, Lionel Da Vinci, and Picasso. I always tried mimicking the actors and actress in those movies I watched. Then I continued until one day my friends saw me in that act and they encouraged me to keep up. As I tried keeping up with the act, I was making caricature comic drawings of my own. Then as I grew older my fascination for comic characters began to fade right from the moment I came across “tag drawing”(a form of drawing in which you use objects to represent or describe a person, society or situation). I kept on making imaginative tag drawings until I came across a pencil portrait work of an Africa girl on the internet. I was amazed. I decided to give it a try and I discovered I had what it takes. Ever since I’ve been making pencil drawings, and I’ve not for once regretted being a pencil artist. On the other hand, I began to write poems the day I was introduced to poetry writing in secondary school. I was 14 and I did literature in secondary school even though I was a science student.  Ever since I’ve been a poet and a pencil artist.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration is a thing that comes to you anywhere, anytime.  Sometimes I am my own inspiration. Most of my poems are written based on things that have happened to me. So I just tell the story in form of a poem.  Sometimes, I get my inspiration from the society;  what’s going around me. I basically write my poems to express my thoughts in simple words, which of course will be easy for readers to relate with and get absorbed into.

Did you face any challenges in your journey and how were you able to overcome them? 

Of course I did face some challenges. There was a time I had issues with getting people to read my poems. But thanks to the existence of social media I get to share my poems on Instagram to a wide audience who can read my poems. On the other hand, drawing was more challenging. My parents always believed being a pencil artist was a waste of time and wouldn’t bring reasonable returns. All I did was to raise capital on my own. I denied myself of some things so I could get art materials which are not cheap to purchase and have never been cheap to purchase. It took a while before I could acquire a lot of professional drawing tools. I now have reasonable number of drawing tools.  I kept up with the work until my dad came home one day, saw one of my works and told me to keep the good work up. Today, I fund my own art.

What do you love most about what you do?

What I love most about what I do is that I get to express myself as well the fact that people appreciate my works when they see them.

Has combining art and poetry been profitable for you?

Yes, it has been profitable so far, especially drawing.

As a creative person, what are some of your frustrations with the way art is viewed in Nigeria?

First of all, most attention is focused on people who have spent decades doing art leaving the young and upcoming ones crawling their way up on their own. Secondly, art in Nigeria is not that well-appreciated. It’s sometimes considered as being cheap. People give you good credit for your works but don’t want to pay to have them.

Creative people are more often than not taken for granted because people do not understand the amount of time and effort they put in their work. What do you think can be done to change this?

Well, it happens in almost every occupation. All I think could be done is that one should try to stand out in whatever he or she does. The more the expression of creativity, the more the chances of appreciation.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you?  

The most important thing I’ve learnt from writing is that, whatever story it is you have in mind, learn to put it down and showcase it to an audience. You never can tell who’s going to learn from it and whose life it is going to change for good. I’ve written a poem which I didn’t consider to have a strong theme but I was surprised when a reader texted me saying he read my poem and his mind was eased. He, in fact, thanked me for it.

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

My advice to those who have something to share yet allow fear to hold them back is, no story is too short to tell, too long to narrate or too irrelevant to be listened to. Do not mind the number of your audience. Not every story is for everyone. Just express yourself to an audience and you’d see your story touching souls and changing lives.

 

If you know any writer who you feel should be featured on our #WriterSpotlight segment or you are that writer, please send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com. 

#WriterSpotlight – “A writer is a prophet sent to minister to the world.” Maryam Afolabi

We love it when we have interviews with writers who remind us how blessed we are to have this skill. Maryam Afolabi is simple yet profound. We love the way she talks about her love for writing and writers. You will love it too. Enjoy our interview with her. 

Hello Maryam. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

I am a jovial free spirited lady. I love to be around people to share their stories and experience.

When did you discover that you had a passion for writing and why did you decide to follow this passion?

I’ve always had this passion for reading literary works especially novels since I was young, but I started composing poems when I got to 300 level in college.

Can you tell us what you love most about writing?

 I love the feeling I get when I come back to read some of my works after some time and it made sense.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you?

Writing has taught me how to lock down my thoughts and experiences in words.

Which author (dead or alive) would you love to spend a day with if given a chance?

I am a fan of many authors but I would really love to meet Tunde Leye and the delectable Chimamanda Adichie.

Have you ever reached a point where you wanted to give up on writing?

There are times when I get too tired or too busy to write but I’ve never been frustrated to the point of giving up on writing.

When you are struggling to find inspiration, can you share some of the things that you do find that inspiration to write?

I find inspiration in many things, from novels, conversations, music, and even from my imaginations. But when I have a theme or topic to write on, it makes it easier for me to focus.

What will you say has been your biggest achievement as a writer so far?

My biggest achievement was when my poems and articles were featured in the NYSC magazine.

Where would you like writing to take you in the future?

Apart from being a writer, I’m also a reporter so I would like very much to improve my writing and I would love to write and publish books.

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

A writer I believe is a prophet sent to minister to the world, so it’s now left to the individual writer on how they want to utilize their gifts. Therefore writers should be free to express themselves because you can never tell whether what you are withholding is what will change the world for better.

 

 

 

#WriterSpotlight – “It’s lovely to know that even when I am gone, generations to come can get an insight into my mind.” Tolu Akinyemi

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Hey Sparkle Writers. It is time for one of our favorite segments on the the Sparkle Blog, #WriterSpotlight.  Much more than we could have imagined, this series has helped us gain insights into the life of many amazing writers. Today’s guest is no exception. 

He is an outstanding writer and we are honoured to feature him on this platform. If you do not like poetry, we’d ask that you look for any of Poet Tolu’s poems. You will definitely change your mind. 

Enough of the talking; let’s go straight to his interview. 

Hello Tolu, please introduce yourself to us.
My name is Tolulope Akinyemi, also known as Poet Tolu. I’m a writer and a poet and a few other things. I am a Nigerian who currently lives in the United Kingdom.

We did a little snooping around on your blog and found out that you are a writer, architect, and entrepreneur. Can you please take us through the process, how do you do all these simultaneously?
I write mostly at night and it helps that for some years till now, I’ve learnt to get by on a few hours of sleep daily. It also helps that I’m a single man without family commitments yet. My time is completely mine. I write by night and do the other things by day.

Do you think you were born to be a born writer?
As a kid I really wanted to learn to play the piano, but my parents couldn’t afford to buy one. I would arrange my mum’s cooking pans in a line on the floor, turning them into a kind of ‘percussion piano’ but it obviously wasn’t a real piano. The interest died out eventually, and I didn’t become a piano prodigy that I might have become if we had a piano in my home and I also had an opportunity to learn it. Perhaps people are born with talents, but I think what we call talent is usually opportunity that met interest (voluntary or induced) that became a passion. Growing up, we didn’t have a piano in my home, but we had books, tons of them and I read them all, including the ones in Yoruba, my native language. Did that contribute to me becoming a writer? I think so, and that lends some credence to my earlier hypothesis about opportunity, interest, passion and talent.

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You have written three books, which was the toughest for you to write?
The first one. Not the writing per se, but being new to writing and publishing. There was a slight learning curve with many things I needed to understand.

We know that you write poetry for those who seemingly ‘hate’ poems how well has this worked out?
The amount of positive feedback I get suggests it’s been working out well. Many people avoid the poetry genre not because they don’t enjoy reading but because they find it tedious, obscure and difficult to understand or relate to. Remove that, and they enjoy poetry almost as much as any other genre they love to read.

Did you have to train yourself to write simple yet profound stories or does it come naturally?
In a way, I had to learn to understand my audience and define what my own style would be.

We know you loved reading since secondary school in Akure when you smuggled library books so let’s play a little game;

Enid Blyton or Charles Dickens
Enid Blyton (because of the fond memories from my childhood)

Playing football or reading a novel during the weekends?
Tennis

Fiction or Poetry?
Fiction (interestingly)

How much did reading help shape your love for writing?
A lot. I always say every good writer must first be a good reader. It’s the love of reading that sparks the love for writing. It’s like opening the door before walking through.

What’s your take on the belief that ‘talk is cheap’?
It’s not a belief, I think it’s a fact. We may not be able to say the same for its consequences, but ultimately, speech is free.

Tell us two things social media doesn’t know about Poet Tolu.
I’ll tell you one. I have never tasted alcohol.

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How do you know that a particular story will be a hit or do you just write hoping that somebody will relate to it?
It’s hard to know how well people will accept a writing, but the chances increase with how well you understand your audience and what they love or want.

What do you love most about being an author?
Next to taking ‘selfies’ it’s one of the easiest ways to immortalise oneself. It’s lovely to know that even while you are gone, generations to come can get an insight into one’s mind. There’s also a ‘social prestige’ that comes with being an author. I once went for a medical checkup and the doctor got really excited when she learnt I am an author. She insisted I signed a flyer advertising my book, which I found amusing.

To get Tolu’s books go through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. They are also available in Nigeria through Konga, Jumia, Rovingheights, Okadabook

If you know any writer who you feel should be featured on our #WriterSpotlight segment or you are that writer, please send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com. 

 

#WriterSpotlight – Eniola Adenijiloves that writing gives her the power to weave beautiful stories

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It’s #WriterSpotlight time! Who is excited because we are. Our guest is the multi-talented Eniola Adeniji. According to her, hardcore dedication, tenacity, persistent and a drive towards success have helped her get to this point. You need to read her story. 

Hello Eniola, please introduce yourself to us.

My name is Eniola Ennmae Adeniji. I am a writer, a content developer, a Marketing Strategy Consultant, a Chef, Fashion Designer, a social entrepreneur and a farmer (Let’s just say I am an Industrialist).

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

I started writing when I was 16, that was 14 years ago. I believe with age comes a different outlook to life, people and things. And of course our experiences along the way and how we’ve been able to navigate through life and it’s numerous circumstances and indeed success, all this have shaped the way I write over the years.

Like you mentioned earlier, you are a writer, coach, marketing strategy consultant, industrialist, agropreneur. How in the world do you manage all these effectively?

I manage them basically by having little to no social life (Chuckles). It’s been a journey of hardcore dedication, tenacity, persistent and a drive towards success

Why did you choose Instagram as your primary platform?

Actually Facebook is my primary platform, I only share some of the things I share on Facebook to Instagram. So you’d find more of my writings on Facebook.

Do you think you were born to be a born writer?

I don’t know if I can say I was born to be a writer, I just know someone took the time to mentor me at the age of 13 by giving me two books a month to read and write my perception of it, and this went on till I was 21. That was the birth of my ability to write really.

What’s your take on the belief that ‘talk is cheap’?

Indeed talk is cheap. I’ve seen quite a number of people who aren’t anything close to what they write. But again, as much as most of what I write were drawn from my daily life experiences, as writers we are also sometimes inspired to write things that does not necessarily mirror who we are, but who we aspire to be. The goal is to keep working towards closing the gap between what you say, what you do and who you are. The goal is to go beyond saying to being.

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

I am pretty shy outside social media and often avoid the camera. I love Cartoons 

Do you have an author crush?  If yes please tell us who?

Oh yes, quite a lot of them though (Chuckles). But I’d stick with John Grisham

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

Social media has helped my writing career by helping me to first built a platform, then an audience and on the long run referrals.

What do you love most about being a writer?

I love the ability to weave my own stories, which other people can connect with daily.

What is your advice to other writers who want to merge their talent and faith together but don’t know how to start?

Read. Every great writer is first an ardent reader. Find your voice and never do the smoke on screen with it (Own it) if you don’t, chances are you’d find it pretty hard to convince others to. Begin where you are, write your stories and faith, the more you write the better you will become.

What’s your ultimate goal as a writer?

Publish my books and raise a generation of kids who love reading and writing from early ages through my Mae’s Book Club.

 

#WriterSpotlight – ”I have to win the battle against my thoughts and imaginations. The best way I can is to write.” Adewale Olayemi

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Thursdays on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub are for #WriterSpotlight interviews. Who is ready for today’s interview?  

Our guest today is Olayemi, a poet who believes that writers are one of the most blessed people in the world. You’d find out why in his interview with us. 

Hello Olayemi. Please introduce yourself:

I’m Adewale Olayemi Mudashiru, a writer, poet and a budding author. I am also an undergraduate studying Chemical Engineering at University of Ilorin, Nigeria.

When did you start writing?

I started writing before I could give the meaning of writing, before I actually could say “Oh! Okay, so this is what writing is all about.’ At least I can say now, to some extent, that I understand what writing is all about, unlike then when I was so naive as a child. I can remember then I had a small notebook and I would just write randomly in it with a little touch of art, you know all these childish sketches and sort of.

I started writing officially around December 2016, officially in the sense that I had to upload on Instagram and share on other social media accounts. Actually my first write-up to be posted on Instagram was a eulogy. I lost someone so close then I had to share something on my social media accounts, subsequently other write-ups and poems were uploaded.

Can you tell us what inspired you to write?

Source of inspiration? I just write, the inspiration comes. It keeps coming, anywhere, any day, anytime. Sometimes I have to think like the characters I write about or assume to be in such a scenario which will determine the theme of my poem. Other times, the kind of day I had or activities I see during a typical day inspires me. I wrote a poem tagged “The Cry of an African Child” a while ago. I got the inspiration from a documentary I saw about the dilapidated state of IDPs and the ill-treatment of the children of African descent. In a nut shell, I could simply put the “World” at large is my greatest source of inspiration.

You seem to love words so much you even tagged your Instagram page as the ‘city of words’. Why is this?

Like I said earlier, I don’t have any difficulties with writing, words just keep coming. Words are like the blood that flows in my vein, the air I breath. It’s something I could see even in the dark, something I could feel when I am fast asleep. As a matter of fact I could just probably wake from sleep and the next thing I do is to pick up a pen and start writing. I could be in the midst of my friends having a cheerful discussion before I know it, I would drop lines, beautiful lines involuntarily. I feel like “I am a vessel of words; a warrior word is my lethal weapon; I use it to fight against the demons of thought and imagination”.

In your opinion, how can writers make a difference in the society through their skill?

Writers are actually blessed, blessed with the art of words. I personally feel writers are potters. They mould the world into a beautiful shape with their craft. “If you want to change the world, it starts from your room, pick up your pen and write, just write, write what you feel, how you feel, don’t conceal anything, bare it all”. Your words might probably be the drug someone out there needs to get well. The only way writers can make a difference in the society at large is by divulging their thoughts with beautiful words. This could actually quench the fire consuming a fellow out there.

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We know you are working on your first book. Can you give us a brief on what it is about and why readers should anticipate its release?

I actually have a lot in store, I might probably decide to drop a collection of poems, or an inspirational novel. I am yet to decide on which to drop first, but I think I will stick to the novel. I just have to bridge the stress of engineering with that of converting manuscript into printed copy. Whichever way it is going to be, readers should expect greatness and uniqueness. Greatness in the sense that I have actually put in a lot of work; I write with my body and soul, everything. Uniqueness in the sense that I have my style. My style is my style; it is peculiar to me. I just can’t wait to share this greatness with the world.

People write for different reasons, why do you write?

I write because I have to win the battle against my thoughts and imaginations, and the best way I can is to write. It’s overwhelming! I have to free my mind and soul. There is a need to empty the river of thoughts which flows in my mind via my words. I write because I just can’t stop writing.

Can we do something fun? Fiction, non-fiction or poetry?

Anything, in as much as I would be free of a burden, and it will bless the world.

Reading a good book or listening to great music?

I would prefer reading a good book. I read a lot, hardly go a day without reading. “Readers are leaders” they say and I choose to be nothing else but a great leader. There is joy in being intellectually sound. Music is not bad too, but I am not really a lover of music.

Writing or football?

I am actually a bore when it comes to football. I am not a football type. I don’t have a favourite club and if I am right, it’s been about 4 years since I mindfully saw a football match. Writing, I can’t stop!

What do you love about The Sparkle Writer’s Hub?

Everything, Sparkle Writer’s Hub makes writing even more interesting and gives the zeal to write more. They make it seem like a surmountable task, which in actual sense it should be. But probably because there is lack of motivation, upcoming writers see it as the otherwise. I have screenshots of your daily quotes in my gallery, I read them to feel delight.

What do you love most about writing?

The ability to touch hearts with the craft of words. 

What’s your advice to upcoming writers who are scared to share their talent with the world?

My advice to upcoming writers who are scared to share their talent with the world is that they should overcome their fear and bless the world with their talent, otherwise the blessings in the world would be less their “untapped talent”

What’s your ultimate goal as a writer?

My ultimate goal is to never stop writing, to improve on myself and to bless the world with my writings.

#WriterSpotlight – “I chose to mend broken hearts and build soul bridges that have been broken back to God.” Itunu Taiwo

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Hey Sparkle Writers! Today’s #WriterSpotlight is absolutely amazing and that’s for lack of a better word. We have a writing powerhouse on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub today. She tells beautiful stories in the most unique and real way. Her name is Itunu Taiwo She’s a writer, blogger and pharmacist.

If you’ve been looking for someone to give you detailed advice on how to grow a blog community Itunu’s interview is exactly what you need.  We don’t want to continue talking just read up. 

Hello Itunu, please introduce yourself.

My name is Itunu Taiwo and I love to see myself as a modern day woman with Christ-fashioned values. I love Jesus and I aspire to be like him every day. I also love ice-cream, vintage and all things cute. During the day, I work as a practicing pharmacist while I love to read and write during my spare time.

We did a little background check so we know you’ve been writing since you were 9. At that what inspired you to start writing?

During my childhood days, I had a best-friend who brought some hand-written stories by her cousin to my house. After reading them, I felt I could try something similar. So I would draw pictures to illustrate my stories as much as I could while structuring white stories I’d gleaned from Enid Blyton. I also loved watching Tales by Moonlight and other shows that aired on TV back then. Before I knew it, the writing thing chose to stay and I discovered I found joy creating new worlds, scenes, characters and bringing my imagination to life.

So do you think you are a born writer?

Haha, I think it’s safe to say I was born a writer.

How has your writing evolved over the years?

Firstly, the more I spend time with God, my writing keeps taking shape. Intimacy with Him blooms into all kinds of expressions and writing is the best way I can express His love. I also observed that the more I read more books, the more my writing evolves.

You’ve grown a community via your blog. Can you give tips to bloggers who are struggling with this?

Patience and consistency are sisters. Over the years I learned this myself while writing. People appreciate consistency especially as a blogger or they’ll think you’re unserious. It’s also good to have a niche that people can use to identify you. My readers associate my blog with the following theme: God, Love and Life.

So whatever I’m providing to my readers, be it in stories or articles, all are centralized around this. You can’t be a jack of all trades. Also, your content must be good and be generous with it too. I realized people were able to trust me enough to buy my stories because they’d read stories from me in the past and they knew what to expect. These days, there are many things vying for people’s attention. So that you don’t get lost in the crowd, ensure you let people know how much they need what you want to give, and they’re willing to pay for it.

 

In your opinion, how can writers make a difference in the society through their skill?

Words are powerful. They can either make or marr a person. Now imagine weaving those words to reach the soul. That’s a powerful weapon if you ask me. I chose to mend broken hearts and build soul bridges that have been broken back to God. I chose to shed light and make people see the light in whatever darkness they may be dwelling in.

It’s left to each and everyone of us what we wish to do with our writing skill. Just remember you’ve got a powerful weapon that must not waste.

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Why do you write?

I write because it’s the perfect way I know how to express myself fully without restriction or inhibition.

Which would you choose;

  • Fiction or non fiction? Fiction
  • Reading a good book or listening to great music? Both!
  • Writing or pharmacy? Writing!

What’s your definition of having a great weekend?

A good book in hand or my tablet, tea or coffee and chocolate cake while I’m wrapped nicely in a warm blanket. A good movie (science fiction or drama) could come later in the evening though.

How has your love for books helped your writing?

The more I read books, the more I tend to pay more attention to vocabulary use, tense structure, body language, character development, benefits of research amongst many interesting things. Reading is very vital for a good writer.

What do you love most about writing?

The ability to create characters and make people fall in love with these imaginary friends of mine. It sounds like a Lego movie I know. And the beauty of this is I can express something vital through each story fascinates me. I don’t think I remain the same after I’m done writing a story.

What’s your advice to upcoming writers who are scared to share their talent with the world?

Just do it anyway! Perfection is a journey and this journey begins with a story. If you don’t begin, you’ll never have a story to tell. That in itself is a story!

What’s your ultimate goal as a writer?

To be a lighthouse with my stories and to take joy in the fact that I lived building God’s name above mine during my time on Earth.

We told you Itunu is awesome! If you would like to purchase any of her books, please click the links below;