Writing is a craft; treat it as such

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Do you know that there has always been this argument about the difference between art and craft? Well, it has often been said that writing cannot fall into the category of craft because it does not produce something tangible like pottery, sculpting and wood-carving would produce.

It has also been mentioned that art comes as a result of a person’s innate talent while skill in craft can be acquired with experience. How wrong! 

You see, writing is art and craft all at the same time. It is true that writing, irrespective of whatever genre, first begins with your innate talent. However, it does not end there.  You’ve got to put in the work. Someone who carves wood for instance becomes skilled with experience. No wood carver becomes a legend overnight, irrespective of how talented he or she maybe. It takes time, lots of work, practice and experience to become a better crafts-person. The same happens with writing. Don’t see yourself as someone who just puts down whatever he feels like. You are a skilled person, setting hearts free, bringing joy and hope with your words.

It is high time you began seeing your writing as a craft. When you do this, it takes on a new shape. It becomes something tangible. You begin to see yourself as a crafts-person using his or her tools, which in this case are not concrete, to carve out images that people can relate with.

How do you get to that point where your writing becomes so tangible and real that your audience can almost touch your message? The answer is to keep writing to gain mastery of your craft.

One thing you should always remember is this: it is a good thing to be a talented writer. However, without practice and determination, you will never be a skilled crafts-person. Talent is just never enough.

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Google Analytics explained

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If you are a blogger and you do not know just how important Google Analytics is for your blogging thank us later. Google Analytics is a super important tool for any blogger. We know you may have heard people raving about it but this post will tell you how it can help.

If you’ve not taken it seriously before now, you need to change your ways and this is why. 

Google Analytics helps you to: 

  •  Track down daily and monthly visitors to your blog.
  • Track the time spent by visitors on your blog.
  • Track how quickly audience leave your blog.
  • Provide information on the trending keywords among your target audience.
  • Track the channel trough which traffic is generated to your blog.

Generally, Google Analytics is a necessary tool for monitoring the overall performance of your blog as well as traffic. Knowing all of the above information can help you as a blogger to improve the quality and performance of your blog thereby increasing its visibility on the web.

If you have not gotten a lot of traction on your blog maybe you should employ Google Analytics to help. It gives you raw data you can work with. 

 

#PickOfTheWeek – Life as we know it

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Social media has changed the way life is and the earlier we accept it the better. Today’s title is dedicated to one of the posts we selected. You will love this week’s pick. 

This is one great thing writing does. It helps to pass strong messages across without causing so much trouble. Thank you Fawaz for sharing. 

brunch (1)Sue Chioma touches a very important point with this post. Home is where the heart is but we all agree that home means different thins to different people. While some have family members who make life beautiful, others have found succor in the arms of friends. Whatever home means to you, you will agree with us that there’s no place like it. 

brunch (3)Your work goes before you and speaks clearly. Not just your words. We’re with Muhamad on this one. brunch (4)Tomiwa blew our minds away with this post. Social media has made it easy for you to know that you are not alone. Going through something and want to find out who else is going through the same thing? Hashtag it! brunch

The bright side of writer’s block

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As much as we do not believe in writer’s block, we know there are some writers who still struggle with it. Today we have discovered something fun…the bright side of writer’s block! 

Who ever thought that writer’s block could have a bright side? 

Firstly, if you want to get the best out of a writer’s block experience (since you insist you have it) you have to change the way you see it. You have to stop seeing the block as an enemy. If you continue to see writer’s block as the enemy, you would end up frustrated and anxious. This will further hinder the inspiration from coming at the time it should come.

Secondly, writer’s block is life’s way of saying, “Hey, writer, it is time for you to take a break and have fun.” It draws your attention to some areas of life that you probably have been missing out on. It could be a shopping experience, a movie, another genre of novel that you probably never considered reading, a sermon, a scrabble game, a walk around the neighborhood, a music album, playing the guitar, anything to take your mind off the task for some time. The list is endless really. Have you ever wondered why inspiration drops at times when you are not even deliberate about it? So, relax and be calm. Handle writer’s block like a pro.

Finally, writer’s block will help you develop patience as a writer. It will teach you how to go easy on yourself and bring you face to face with your humanity. When you write in that “lack of inspiration” state and feel like what you have written is not worth writing or reading, you have to understand that with just a little patience, you can make something beautiful out of a crappy piece of writing. Do not give up on your writing because of writer’s block. Look on the bright side and become better at your writing craft.

See that writers block isn’t so bad after all? 

 

#WritingQuote – Stories can break the dignity of a people and they can also repair that broken dignity. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story, Ted talks.

This is one powerful quote from a Nigerian literary icon. Can you see just how much power your stories possess? Your story matters. If you are out there thinking it does not, you are either lying to yourself or listening to the lies of other people.

Give your story the chance to do what it has the power and capacity to do. Look out for someone around you to empower and to humanize through your story. Your story has repairing power! Can you believe that?

Dear writer, don’t stop writing.  Let your words give somebody else a reason, a single reason to live and a reason to see the world from a whole new perspective. 

#PickOfTheWeek – Find out what procrastination, failure and pain have in common

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If you are new to the Hub you may not know about our #PickOfTheWeek series so we’d explain what it is. On this segement we feature amazing writers, whom you may not know because there are so many of them. 

If you are a writer and want to be on the segment, please tag us on instagram

The first post by Richard Dappa tells us the differnece between a man and a woman from a fresh perpective. Do you agree with him? brunch (4).pngMost times we are get upset when we feel like failed others but Muhamad Gbolahan reminds us that when we fail ourselves, fail to work on those big dreams, that is the biggest failure, although there is a way out of that too. 

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We told you there was a solution! Adebisi Olaniyi brings the solution with her post. Even when you fail yourself or make mistakes, don’t dwell in them. It is not wise. 

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The last post for today is by Sue Chioma. If you are a recurrent procrastinator this is for you. Whateever you have to do, do quick. 

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Embrace your not so popular ideas

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We absolutely love Amos Tutuola! Yes, his life is still an inspiration to all writers out there. It is remarkable what he did and how he became the first Nigerian writer to gain international fame through his writing. His first novel, “The Palm-wine Drinkard” has been translated to 11 languages. It was the first novel published in English outside Nigeria.

Why are we bringing this to your notice today? The answer is simple. Amos Tutuola wrote that book in modified Pidgin English. The title of the book tells us that much and it was outside of the mainstream literature at the time it was published in London.

This book garnered more than enough criticism with a good mix of popularity as well. The book was criticized as being too primitive and barbaric because of the kind of English it was written in. However, the book has been described by so many literary icons as the greatest novel ever written.

Dear Sparkle Writer, embrace your out-of-the mainstream ideas and opinions. Be fearless with your writings. Imagine that Amos Tutuola had chosen to focus on how he had just six years of formal schooling and was not educated enough to write in Standard British English. We would not be celebrating the ingenuity behind the novel “The Palm-wine Drinkard.”

Embrace your strange and not-so-popular ideas. Forget about the criticisms you might most likely receive. Forget about what other people might think about it and just write. Amos Tutuola’s book was not a perfect book but it was appreciated for its originality. Let go of your fears and write what you need to write. Trust us; you would be glad you did.

#PickOfTheWeek – Life is what you make out of it

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Good writers are not easy to come by but on The Sparkle Writers Hub, we make it our duty to find them and encourage them. On today’s #PickOfTheWeek we have four spectacular writers. 

Let us know which pick resonated more with you. We’d let you know ours too.

The first is by Dorathy and she gives us her take on time and wounds. Unlike the common saying that ‘time heals everthing’ Dorathy thinks otherwise. Instead of healing she believes it only gives us memories, something we can definetly hold on to. 

 brunch (2).pngWe saw this post and we knew we just had to share. Sometimes we complain that we have too little not realizing that even with so little, we could do a whole lot. Start with that little talent, gift and ability, it will grow.  Thank you Layoladedayo Alonge for this. 

brunch (4)This right here is the truth. There’s no point jumping into another relationship with a broken heart. It brings terrible consequences to both parties. If you haven’t recovered from one relationship, don’t go into another. brunch (3)Too many times we imagine ourselves better, more successful and more acomplished but we never really take it serious because we don’t believe we can make it happen. This in actual fact is not true. The success we all dream about it is right inside us and all we have to do is bring it on! 

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Writers are listeners. Are you listening?

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How much of a listener are you? This is your question for today.  So, we hear that you want to be a good writer which is awesome, but we are asking you just how much of a listener you are. Have you noticed that there are too many talkers in the world but few listeners? Yes, people are more interested in being heard than lending a listening ear.

Good writers are actually good listeners too. It really does not matter if your niche is fiction or non-fiction or just plain journalistic writing. The point is if you do not listen to people or the world around you, you will not have any material to work with. If you want to do “how-to” posts, for instance, you have to understand the specific problem that people would like to get solved. You would have to listen to their needs and their wants so that your writing would align with their needs. If you are a fiction writer on the other hand, listening to the people and the happenings around you would help you create real characters that your readers can actually relate with.

Ever read a book that made you laugh or cry and then you went, “Oh my God, that is the exact same thing I would have said if I was in that character’s shoes?” Well, that is the point exactly. Do not wade through the solitary waters of life simply because you are a writer. Listen to other people, like really really listen too. You would be amazed at the depth of information you would glean from just listening. Interesting characters abound in real life. All you have to do is keep your ears and eyes open to hear and see them. 

We know life is happening fast but you have to pause and listening to the world around you.

#WriterSpotlight – “With a few words carefully strung together, a broken spirit is uplifted.” Olamide Oti

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She’s a lady of few but powerful words! Olamide Oti speaks from a place of wisdom and this interveiw is a must read. This is #WriterSpotlight. Enjoy!

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

Passionate

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

I discovered my passion for writing in 2013, few months after I made a decision to follow Jesus. I would say I was compelled to follow this passion because for the longest time I had always wondered what I was good at doing and once I found it I could not let go.

Can you tell us what you love most about writing?

Words are beautiful and powerful. With a few words carefully strung together, a broken spirit is uplifted.

In what ways have you grown as a writer and poet since you started writing?

I have grown in the way that I express myself, discovering my style and not trying to be like anyone else.

Shine 100% Which author/ poet (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance and why?

Jackie Hill Perry. I love her heart and the fact that she’s a complete woman.

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

I get quiet before God, I remind myself that the words come from my Father’s heart, I watch spoken word videos and I read as well.

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

I would say it’s keeping my eyes on purpose.

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

To the place where I write about the future of nations. To the gathering of Kings and Queens.

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

Dive into the perfect love of your Father where fear loses its hold on you.