#WriterSpotlight – “When I write, I literally feel I’m in my zone; in my space and I can be me.” Yetunde Oladapo-Sadiq

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From discovering her love for writing at a very young age, Yetunde Oladapo-Sadiq has moved on to use her gift to share a divine message with the world as she constantly encourages God’s children to become who God has called them to be. We love her openness and her commitment to her God-given purpose. You will definitely enjoy our interview with her.

Hello, kindly introduce yourself.

My name is Yetunde Oladapo-Sadiq. I am a wife to a wonderful husband and mother to three amazing children. I am a writer. My writings are usually based on my Christian faith where I explain everyday issues using simple and clear language that can be easily understood. I write to teach, inspire and empower my readers to live their best lives. I am very passionate about this. I love to help people wherever and however I can. This is one of the things I do with my writing. It is one of the reasons I wrote my book, “Let your light so shine: Discover the power of shining your light brightly.”

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy both from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. I am an avid reader and a creative. I love writing, dancing and watching football.

When and why did you start writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I used to write stories, poems, letters, dialogues, scripts, articles and so on. After school, I was usually dropped off at my parents’ offices to go back home with them in the evening. So, I was surrounded by a lot of activities and of course writing. There was business writing on one hand (my dad) and on the other hand, medical and administrative writing (my mum). I remember going through proposals in my dad’s office and thought of writing mine. I was about 7/8 years old. My mock proposal was to supply stationery to an office in Surulere. I titled it ‘Yety & Co’ and the other one, ‘Yety & Daughters’ (It was always ‘Sons’. I guess I was trying to change the narrative). My dad’s friend was in the office on that day. I showed my dad and he showed his friend. They were very impressed and praised me. They loved what I wrote so much that my dad’s friend started calling me ‘Yety n Co’ till he passed a couple of years ago.

I just kept writing. I remember in secondary school (Queen’s College Yaba), our English teacher asked us to write an introductory paragraph on ‘Superstition’ and instead of defining what it was, I decided to write a conversation between an elderly woman and a girl with the former warning the girl against crossing her legs as she sat on the floor because it was bad luck. Our teacher went round the class checking. She came to my paragraph and read it. She looked up at me and announced that I had the best opening paragraph. She said she was quite surprised. I was quite the chatterbox back in the day. 

I love writing. Some people write to ‘escape’ from their reality. Not me, I love my life and it is often a source of inspiration for my writing. I ‘think’ in writing. Writing comes naturally to me. Over the years, from people’s feedback I discovered that my writing lifted, encouraged and motivated people to live their best. I love helping people and my writing is a platform for me to do this. Writing is what I do. It is who I am. It is definitely a huge part of my life.

 

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You are a wife, a mother and a writer. How have you been able to juggle it all?

My mantra by God’s Grace is – God. Family. Work. I discovered it when I was reading about Mary Kay Ash, America’s renowned female entrepreneur and founder of Mary Kay products. She was reputed to have lived by this order and was still able to run a successful business that is still a multi-billion dollar industry today. I found it very interesting and decided to adopt it. Don’t get me wrong, it can be tough juggling everything but since I placed my priorities in that order, it’s been much easier juggling these roles.

After God, my family comes next before my writing. If there’s a tupsy-turvy, I quickly ‘reset’ to that order. Also, I get my family involved in my writing. I tell my husband about my writing plans and he gives me the necessary support. I also involve my kids. I tell them what I want to write about and explain to them. They are very helpful. They often ask me what chapter I’m on with my books or the progress I have made. They give their input too sometimes. I have learnt that it is easier to juggle these important roles when I let my family on to what I’m doing. When I need to write or meet a deadline, I let them know its importance and that they’ll have to cooperate with me to get the work done. With this, they understand and give me the much needed support. I don’t work my family around my writing; I work my writing around my family. I am self-employed but I also have an effective and good domestic staff support system, which have helped me tremendously. It’s not always easy but with God’s Grace, my priorities set, determination and by focusing on the goal for every aspect of my life, it’s been working well and everyone is happy.

What challenges have you faced so far?

The major challenge I faced which I have overcome (to a large extent) by God’s Grace is being focused on this path of writing. I love writing but I also love other things such as business, self-development, charity, style and so on. I was into quite a number of things but after years of “running” from writing, I finally accepted it as my calling.

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with God and He told me that He knew that I loved all those things. He said He knows that my background exposed me to a plethora of knowledge but He didn’t CALL me to any of those things. He CALLED  me to teach God’s Word through writing. He went on to ask me if I were called by my LG Chairman, State Governor or The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria at the same time, who would I go to. The President. Exactly. There is a Higher Calling! That jolted me and made me refocus my attention to my writing.

How has writing been for you so far?

Prior to being a full-time writer (if there is such a thing), I worked in corporate Nigeria for 12 years. I resigned in December 2016 and started those other things I mentioned earlier but towards the end of 2017, writing pressed heavily on my mind. The more I focused on it, the more I drifted from those other ‘projects’ to the point I am now. Writing for me so far has been very interesting. So far, I have written my first book. The response to my writing has been more emphatic than to anything I had done previously. It’s what I love to do. It’s not always easy but because I am passionate about helping people and my writing helps me to do this. It makes it fulfilling.

What do you love most about being a writer?

What I love most about being a writer is the freedom it gives me to express myself. When I write, I literally feel I’m in my zone; in my space and I can be me. I love that writing lets me be myself. It’s a wonderful feeling to do what you love to do.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from life. I am extremely observant about what goes on around me and I am also very moved by it too. So, when I see or ‘feel’ something, the Holy Spirit begins to talk to me about it or what it symbolises and immediately, I want to write about it. I want to share it with others. That’s when you’ll see me reach for my phone’s notepad or my ‘countless’ notebooks and pens to quickly write them down so they won’t ‘fly’. My inspiration is definitely life guided by the Holy Spirit.

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You recently published your book, “Let Your Light So Shine.’ What propelled you to write the book?

I wrote “Let your light so shine: Discover the power of shining your light brightly” at a time in my life when I grew more conscious of being a light for my generation. It was also borne out of observing that many of us Christians are conforming to the systems of the world instead of being transformed daily by the renewing of our minds by God’s Word. Man’s approval of us has become more important than God’s. Instead of the world being like us, we were becoming like the world. I wrote it as an awakening or reawakening for us to be true to who God made us to be i.e. The Light of the World with the power to transform and influence those around us. It is a call to us Christians to be (more) intentional about shining our light in a dark world and unearthing the power that lies within us.

Why did you decide to publish only the e-version of your book?

I decided to do this so people could read it anywhere on their electronic devices. I wanted them to always have access to it anytime particularly when they needed insight, encouragement and lifting as they walked daily with God. I wanted it to be something they could just pull out of their back pockets or handbags and read on the go. A sort of spirituality meets convenience.

What influence do you believe the book will have on people?

The influence I believe my book will have on people is courage. The boldness to be who God has made them to be i.e. the light of the world. I believe it will also make them get a fresh perspective on what this entails and see it as a divine responsibility. My book also discussed using our talents and gifts as ‘lampstands’ to elevate our light and shine brightly before men as we ought to. Most of all, I believe my book will cause people to transform and influence the lives around them positively. 

What advice would you give an upcoming writer?

Stay focused on your writing. Write every time irrespective of the length. I discovered that the more you write, the better you get at it. Develop your craft as much as possible. Learning never ends. You’ll also learn to connect better with your readers. Appreciate your readership. Don’t forget to show gratitude to those that have been supporting your writing since you started. Let your writing be clear  and simple so you can communicate your message effectively.

Where can readers get a copy of your book?

My book is available on Kindle Amazon for $2.99 as an eBook. It’s also available as a PDF downloadable format. This package also includes the Cover Design and ‘About the Author’. To purchase a copy, an email should be sent with the subject ‘My Copy’ to letyourlightsoshinebook@yahoo.com or oladaposadiqyetunde@gmail.com. It’s N1,500

 If you could spend time with three writers, who would you pick and why?

Ha! My three writers would be:

Wole Soyinka – I mean, ‘The Trials of Bro Jero’ satirical comedy at its best!

Francine Rivers – I mean, how dare she take me back to Ancient Rome to meet Hadassah in the ‘Mark of the Lion Trilogy?’ How dare she write ‘’Redeeming Love’ and keep Angel’s real name till the end? She is an exceptionally gifted writer.

Writers – I am an avid reader. I read a lot! From articles to Googling information about people, television shows of the past, to business models, online courses, how-to’s, history, sports news…Name it, I’ll read it as long as I find it godly, informative, interesting and captivating. So, any writer who writes any of these, I’d like to spend time with them for their wealth of knowledge.

 

 

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#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. 

 

#PickOfTheWeek – Not seeking validation

 

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Hey Sparkle Writers, welcome to another #PickOfTheWeek segment.  Writers are truly amazing people and the level of wisdom potryed in the posts are encouraging. Today we have four amazing writers. 

Let us know what post you loved most. 

farmto table How many of us agree that no matter how negative the comments we recive are, we should not at any time let them get to us. This may be hard but if we can make up our mind that no amtter the negativity we’d continue we will realize that they will in the end celebrate us.  farmto table (1) Do you know why we love this post? Because we know for a fact that it is true. Many of us sometimes get confused on what is and is not good for us and the truth is that sometimes the person you want does not deserve you.  Thank you Elo Osiki for the reminder. 

 

farmto table (3) How easy is it to point accusing fingers at others when we are also doing the same thing or maybe even worse. Thank you Kolade Afolabi for the reminder. 

farmto table (4).png Henrietta is a new writer on our   PickOfTheWeek segment and this post is everything! We cannot give what we don’t have .  Before you can become the one to someone else you must the the one to yourself. You must see yourself as important and valuable 

#GrammarSeries – The purpose of parallelism

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Parallelism in grammar occurs when there is a similarity of structures used in sentence construction. The usage of parallelism in your writing makes the information you are presenting easier to process for your readers. 

Inappropriate parallelism, on the other hand, disturbs the flow of thoughts when reading a piece of writing.

When two or more parts of a sentence are similar in meaning but different in form, a faulty parallelism can be said to have occurred.

Let us take a look at the following examples;

Ali is swimming, driving, running and to dance.

The above sentence sounds odd, doesn’t it? Now check out the sentence below.

Ali is swimming, eating, running and dancing.

The above sentence sounds a whole lot better, doesn’t it? Now, here is what happened.

In the first sentence, the verbs are all in the present continuous form except the last one ‘to dance’ which is in the infinitive form while the verbs in the second sentence are all in the present continuous form.

Be mindful of this when you write.

#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 – Is there anything like a perfect fit in love?

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We’ve discovered that Tuesday’s are one of the most popular days on the blog probably because that’s when we feature all the amazing writers we meet on social media. We figured that’s your way of saying thank you!👍👍👍

Four incredibly talented writers are on our Pick this week. 

Let’s start with Muhamad Gbolahan’s piece. 

farmto table There are a number of reasons we love this. Maybe its because he points out that we would not always have it easy or because he reminds us that even in those tough circumstances we need to find light at the end of the tunnel. 

The next piece is by WriterZues 

farmto table (3) We say this over and over but once in a while it is good you hear it from another source. Never be afraid to pour your heart out on paper. 

Victory goes on to give insight about love and finding the perfect fit. 

farmto table (2)What do you think about it?

The last piece on our #PickOfTheWeek is by Blessing 

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Hard work really isn’t a crime but even if it is Blessing thinks we should be ready to commit that crime over and over again. Thank you for reminding us of this truth Blessing! 

Want to be featured on our next #PickOfTheWeek series? Simple! Tag us when you post on instagram. 

This is how to write clearly

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Have you ever read books that mentally wore you out? You know, those kinds of books that leave you confused? If you have, then it would not be too difficult to appreciate a good book that takes you, seamlessly, from one part of the story to the other.

What this means is that clear writing is pivotal in making your piece understood by your readers or audience. You definitely do not want someone reading your article or write up and coming out of the reading experience with a headache. Sigh.

We would be giving you tips on how to make your writing better and clearer.

Have a plan 

It is important that you have a plan before writing. A plan includes some sort of guideline to help you in your writing. This is important because a plan helps you to fix in and delete what needs to be in your writing as well as what needs to be deleted from your writing. Whenever you eventually finish writing, make sure you arrange it in such a way that there is a logical flow of thought. Make sure you include everything that needs to be covered within the scope of your writing.

Read through over and over again 

You need to read through your work to make sure there is a flow of thought in your writing as a whole. You need to be detailed enough to include linking words if the need arises. Linking words or transitional words help to link words, phrases, clauses and paragraphs together in a coherent way. Examples of transitional words are; in addition, equally, identically, however, although, then again, after all and so on.

Have someone else read your work

This is crucial because there are things that might not catch your attention even after reading through a couple of times. It might take someone else to point out that flaw or that idea that you unintentionally left out. Be open to ideas and corrections from other people. This would help a great deal in your writing.

We do hope these tips are helpful.

 

Become an extraordinary writer with these tips

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Who wouldn’t want to read today’s post? The title alone is inviting but beyond that we have killer tips on today’s Writing Series and you know we don’t just talk at the Hub.

If you want to move from ordinary to extraordinary, these tips will help.

Compare yourself with yourself ONLY.

Can we just say this; comparing yourself to other writers is a recipe for disaster. Each writer is on a different journey and you need to STAY ON YOUR LANE.

It is easy to see comparison from the angle of ‘I have failed’ but sometimes comparing yourself with other writers and feeling like a champion can be deadly.

If you write 1,000 words in a day while a fellow writer manages to fit just 500 into their busy schedule, it’s easy to get cocky and relaxed, which makes you slip into bad habits when in actual fact you should be writing 2,000 words because you stay at home all day.

Every writer has different strengths and weaknesses; a different day job, a different state of mind. You can only compare you to you. Evaluate and track your progress. Learn from others but never compare. You are well on your way to becoming not just an extraordinary writer but a balanced one too.

Train your eyes to see extra in the mundane things.

Learn how to look out for the extraordinary in the ordinary activities of everyday life as well as everyday concepts. Think about this for a minute. Most books you read are not exactly about new concepts or issues that you are totally unfamiliar with. On the contrary, they are about every day issues like walking by the roadside, Lagos hustle, conversations in Danfo buses and so on. However, you can master the art of making them sound like something from space!

Be willing to step out of the box.

All it takes sometimes is that willingness to write even if it makes no sense initially. You see, most of the writers we celebrate in our world today were rebels at some point. They simply refused to dive into the pool of conformity. They were unusually bold about their unconventional ideas and their unconventional manner of expression. Decide to step outside of your comfort zone and fly free or in this case, write free.

Cheers to your extraordinariness in 2018! Yep, we just formed that word.

Go beyond saying you want to write in 2018

Hello dear writer! I know we’re eight days into the new year but since this is our official resumption day, let me start by wishing you a very happy new year. 

We’re grateful at The Sparkle Writers Hub to have you as our follower and supporter. I’m glad that many of you took the motivation we shared on social media and ran with it.

2017 was a year filled with testimonies from writers across the country. We had people who published books, there were some who finally completed their manuscripts after being stuck for many months, other launched their blog, some took their writing more seriously and many more began to make money from the craft.

The biggest testimony for me came from those who never believed they could master the art of writing. Today, because of their commitment to getting better, they are writing like they were born with the skill. 

I say this many times to the writers I coach and those that come for our writing classes, “Writing is not as difficult as you think.” Yes, I understand that you find it very difficult to put your thoughts into words but with great discipline, this will become easier. We’ve had too many testimonies for me to be certain of this. That’s why there is one thing that I need you to do for me this year – go beyond saying you want to write

Talk is cheap and when it comes to achieving goals, talk holds no water. 

I remember this quiet but incredibly intelligent young lady I coached last year. She reached out to me on social media and told me how she had struggled to write a book for eight months. “Eight months? Surely it can’t be that deep!” I had to tell her this. During her first coaching session with me, I was determined to discover what the problem was. After talking with her for several minutes I found it. She talked so much about this book that it became a hindrance when she wanted to settle down to write. In fact, there were many months where she didn’t settle down to write at all. She kept writing in her head. Do you know what I told her? I asked her to take her laptop, open a blank document and just write using a guide and an outline that I shared with her. Four weeks later, that book was finished! 

It’s good to set goals and have big dreams but can you go beyond that stage and actually act on your dreams?

Yes, you don’t write so well. What can you do to change that this year? What steps can you take to ensure that your writing muscles are exercised weekly or even daily? If you lack motivation or inspiration, what can you do to get it?

Push away the excuses and take a step that you didn’t take last year to become better at your craft. You will be surprised at the results you will get. This is why I am very excited about the launch of our support group for writers, Sparkle Writers Pro. If what you need is 24-hour motivation, tips, resources and materials to help you write better, this support group is for you. We are going to work round the clock to make sure we turn you into the best writer you can be. Watch out for more details about Sparkle Writers Pro later today. 

Please remember that your dreams are valid and achievable only if you act! Be committed and consistent with your skill and most importantly, develop it. 

Happy new year once again! 

#WriterSpotlight – For Adebisi Olaniyi as long as there’s life, the ink will always flow

 

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It’s the last Thursday before we close for the year and we have an amazing writer, Adebisi Olaniyi to end this segment of #WriterSpotlight with us. She’s got a heart of gold and it shows through her words. Her desire to use her words to heal hearts is commendable and you’d learn from her. Enjoy her interview with us.

Hello Adebisi. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I am Adebisi Olaniyi. A Christian, a wife, a mother and a teacher.

How did your journey as a writer begin?

I have always loved to write, in my secondary school days, I wrote articles, poems, songs, and stories. I was always one of those who wrote the good essays. I knew there just had to be something with me, talking and writing. I made a consistent effort to develop my desire to write. I was a member of the literary and debating society, drama club and I readily made myself available for every opportunity to speak and prepare an article. I actually have a novel unpublished, I wrote that book before I got into the university and the title plays in my head all the time “The Recorder’’ I just might bring it to life. I like to put my thoughts in writing, where my mouth fails me sometimes, my pen never does. There’s no story as to how I started writing but for as long as I can remember I have always loved writing, It is a gift that has been expressed at every stage of my life.

What do you love most about writing?

I love the fact that writing helps me realise myself and also helps others realise a part of themselves. It is healing for me and healing for the reader, I like the fact that writing is selfless, more than anything I seek the joy, satisfaction and change of someone I may never meet. Every time I put a pen on paper, it is so that a life may be excited, hopeful and changed with the knowledge of those words.

In what ways has your writing grown since you stated writing?

It has a better structure, I know my audience, I have my message. Recently as a way of living love I started a poem series that has people’s names as titles. That has been widely received, many people have asked for their poems as well and that is refreshing. I recently made a poetry delivery at a send forth and people felt the emotions in the words, some were in tears and daily I am relating well with the power of words. Soon I just might take those deliveries to weddings. I see how people are moved by my words and how I have learnt overtime to organise my thoughts for every audience.

Where do you get inspiration from when you want to write a story?

My inspiration comes from God and His creation, most things I write about are usually in line with His word, lives and lessons I’ve learnt over time.

There are people who believe that writing can never be financially rewarding. What are your thoughts about this?

The most noble and life changing visions are never truly measured by money but the heart. It is true that you may not get ‘gbem’ money from writing but there are people who have made a honest and comfortable living from writing. Write because you like to write. Write because you have things to share, write because there’s a void to feel. You see the heart of riches that comes with writing far exceeds any financial compensation at least for my kind of writing. The lives that find company, The hearts that are renewed, The legs that get to work simply by reading your words. No writer should choose that over money. It may not be as financially rewarding as we would hope but its price is far above money.

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You authored your first book ‘Pointless’. What inspired that daring title?

Pointless was a word divinely received. It was after the book had being written that the title formed its essence. God was simply saying at the point of purpose, at the point where love should be expressed, if we are living less than the intentions of the creator, then that would be POINTLESS.

What major lessons have you learnt since you published the book?

That there’s a meeting place for all humans and it is in the heart of love. We are all equal with different abilities, we need each other and more than anything we need to love beyond what we see. Love is big and deep. Writing has helped me to understand what God truly intends for us and I am trying to live that in the gift of everyday.

What do you want your book to achieve?

If I could make it happen, the book would be free but I can’t afford that right now. But I have given a good number as gifts to people. I hope that the world will see and receive the message in the book because if we all receive the message as purely as God intended, we would be better people and the world will be beautiful again.

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What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

For hearts to be happy, merry and changed through the words I write. That through the words I have written many years from now, people will know my cause and interest even when they may never meet me and live believing that there’s love in their heart bigger than the pain in the world. You know nothing brings joy than a book or write up that fulfills its breathed purpose in the lives of others.

 

Do you think you will ever retire from writing?

No I won’t, God helping me. As long as there is life, The ink never stops flowing.

Aside from writing, what are your other hobbies?

Teaching, Cooking, Dancing, Acting, Composing, Speaking, and most recently designing.

Any advice for other writers who have stalled in publishing their books?

Writing is a call to heal and share. What do you have that is worth sharing? What purpose do you seek to serve? Entertainment, motivational. Whatever it is find your art and stay consistent. Your motivation should be in those you seek to share with. Writing is personal and until you find your own reason, you may not get around it, many have lost the sense of their reason and are frustrated and lost in their own art. Once you know why, you just keep going and don’t stop for the sake of those who always need your reminder. So whatever you have in your hands now, please put it out there, someone needs to read it. No better time than now when the world needs the comfort and company of inspired words.

 

To reach Adebisi or buy her books visit her instagram page, @prime_pen or blog.