#WritingQuote – There is no rule on how to write


There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges. Ernest Hemingway

This is sooo true! New writers often want to know what the rules of writing are; the do’s and don’ts and as much as we’d like to reel out a ‘writing constitution’ full of the ways and manners you should write, there really isn’t any. 

There are times you’d pick up your pen or open a Microsoft document and the words would come out effortlessly! If only those days could be a bit more frequent. Other times you could stare at your computer for hours and nothing comes; it is part of the process. It doesn’t make you less of a writer and doesn’t mean you don’t have a message. 

Every writer must know this and be ready to go all the way when these dry periods come. Instead of folding your hands at this period, write – write about the fact that you have nothing to write.

Just make sure you write because that’s what writers do! 


Make your fiction unforgettable with these tips

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All you need to do is enter a bookstore and ask for a fiction book or type fiction as a hashtag on social media and you’d see that there’s a lot of them. In today’s unbelievably competitive industry, how can you make your fiction the best?

How can you make you reader addicted to your story? Victoria Mixon has the answers! 

Secret #1 Unforgettable Character

The most fundamental truism of fiction is that all great plot grows out of character.

You can design any type of plot you like. However, if it’s not grounded in the character of your protagonist, it will be nothing but a mish-mash of events from which the reader can disengage at any time and walk away.

On the other hand, you can design almost no plot at all, and if it’s grown entirely from the character of your protagonist, the reader will not only be addicted to your work, they’ll convince all their friends and relatives to become addicted as well.

Ask yourself:

How did James Bond become a cultural icon, although his plots are repetitive and he must frequently be rescued by a young woman he’s just met?   

Because Bond is an unforgettable character from which his plot grows. 

This means that character is where we always start.

So how do we make this character unforgettable? That work is based upon the character’s conflicting internal needs. These needs must be internal or they won’t be powerful enough to fuel an entire novel. They must conflict, or there won’t be any climax to this story.   

Secret #2 Inescapable Plot

Now what is this unforgettable character going to do?

A story—short fiction or novel—is, at its most fundamental, simply an opportunity for the reader to spend time with your unforgettable character. To make friends with them. To bond. To allow this character to become a part of their life.

This means you must design a plot that gives the freest possible reins to the protagonist’s character—exploring it, exposing it, delving into it to reveal its most intriguing and hidden facets.

 A plot that hooks them quickly, takes them for a thrilling whirl, then throws them off a cliff.

Secret #3 Mesmerizing Prose

Finally there is the writing of this character-grown plot.

How do you turn a brilliant, well-developed idea into a novel of some 70,000-100,000 words—a novel that the reader can’t forget, can’t escape, can hardly put down even for a minute? Because 70,000-100,000 are a whole lot of words. And the reader has a life to live.fi

How do you write a novel that’s mesmerizing? One to which the reader is addicted?

You’ll hear a lot in the writing community these days about how to make time to write, how to write faster and more efficiently, how to get your manuscript finished. This advice is mostly about time management, on the assumption that your life is not set up for endless hours in front of the keyboard. However, focusing upon time management misses a crucial element of writing: you write because you love to.

Truly, if writing is not the one thing you love to do above all else, then go find out what is and do that. Life is too short for wasting on doing things you don’t love.

And if writing is the one thing you love to do above all else, then you don’t need time management. You need stamina. You need to stay in touch with your passion. You need, especially, to know what you’re doing.

4 reasons why no one is paying you to write

Disclaimer –  This post is NOT for everyone. Some people have chosen to write for passion and are not interested in financial rewards and that’s okay. But if you are one of those people who want to make your writing a career, this is for you. 

Although writing may not look like the most financially profitable careers, a good number of writers have found their sweet spot and are able to monetize their skill. These writers have given their sweat, blood and money to get to this point. 

You may already be asking ‘sweat and blood’, is it that deep? Yes it is, because with writing and every other thing you want to make money from, you’ve got to be intentional. Don’t expect someone to come and say, “Hey there. I heard from someone that you were thinking of writing something and I’d love to pay you to see where that could lead to someday.”

That would be nice but it really wouldn’t happen. 

If you think you’ve tried everything and you’re not getting money, we’d tell you four reasons you probably have not heard before or ignored which may explain why you are not being paid to write. 

You haven’t become an authority in the field. 

Yes, you need to become an authority is certain fields of writing. It’s ok to be a Jack of all Trades but it is much better (and profitable) to be a Master of Some.

Which areas of writing interest you?

Which can you master and become an expert in?

Then can you begin to share content around those areas so people begin to see you as an authority in that field?

If someone Googles ‘Top editors in Lagos’ for example and you are a good Editor in Lagos, your goal is to ensure that your name appears on that list.

Also, when people ask for good content writers from people in your network, they should be able to remember you without having to think too much. That is what Brand Gurus call top of mind awareness! 

You’re wallowing in negative thoughts 

All these your;

‘I am not good enough’

‘This writer is better than me’ and 

‘I can’t’ thoughts would do you NO good. These statements kill your dream, weaken your spirit and if you are not careful, they will affect your entire morale. How will you write well when you are not feeling good about yourself? 

When you are beginning to think you are not good enough, counter that thought by speaking confidently and positively;

‘I am good enough’

‘I improve my writing skills daily’ 

‘I can and I will.’ 

Now go ahead and make things happen

You’re stuck with old knowledge

Any writer who wants to make money from writing and has refused to upgrade his skills and knowledge has not started.  Writing is an ever involving industry and only those who are able to keep up with trends and new developments can remain relevant to clients. For example, if your client wants you to update their blog with content and you don’t know how to edit pictures with basic editing tools, your post obviously will not reach its maximum potential because the picture was not properly edited. 

You have to write often; stay abreast of what’s happening in the writing world and understand multimedia and social media. Today’s writer must be tech savvy 

You’re thinking like a writer and not a business person


If you want to make money from writing, you have to think of your writing as a business not just a hobby . Generally speaking, most creative people like to create. Period.

Writers like to write, painters like to paint, and musicians want to play. However, until we attach a value – specifically, a Dollar (better than a Naira) value to our expertise – we will continue to be starving artists.

We are not saying you should go about demanding payment from everyone including Instagram for writing captions; all we are saying is that if you’ve chosen to make writing a business, some things have to be put into perspective. 

There are five things to consider when assessing value:

  • The services you are going to offer
  • To whom you will offer your services
  • Your experience
  • The value of your time
  • The value you provide to your customers.


Ultimately, the answers to these questions will become the foundation of your business plan, which is your roadmap to becoming a well-paid writer.


Become an extraordinary writer with these tips


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.

#WritingQuote – “Don’t let a single day go by without writing.”


“Don’t let a single day go by without writing. Cause even garbage eventually becomes compost with a little treatment.” Alex Myers, author of The Jump

We love the imagery of agriculture Alex Myers brings into this quote so we get the picture instantly. Compost is basically decayed stuff transforming into fertilizer. Isn’t it awesome that nature teaches writers how to make the most of work they consider to be garbage?

To be honest with you, there is really no such thing as garbage writing. With a little treatment, editing, researching and all the other deliberate efforts that go into bringing beauty out of the ashes of your writing, something awesome can come out of it.

Alex is saying to you today, “DO not let a SINGLE day go by without writing.” Just write something – anything, with the knowledge that even garbage eventually becomes compost with a little treatment.


#WritingQuote – Don’t be fake. You are more interesting as you truly are


Ask questions. Never pretend to know what you don’t know, otherwise you will never learn. Read books. Do things properly. Do not write formal emails in text language where ‘you’ is one letter of the alphabet. Don’t be fake. You are more interesting as you truly are. Don’t measure yourself using another person’s yardstick. Be curious about the world. – Chimamanda Adichie (Nigerian), Author of Americanah.

This is some real life advice for your consumption. Great writers read other writers. That you are a writer does not mean you should be all-knowing. Be humble enough to read books and stop pretending like you know everything.

Another candid advice from Chimamanda is this: jettison the mask you wear and come out plain. Avoid being fake like it is a plague because it actually is. Be the interesting person that you are. Yes, you are really interesting. That boring life is what someone else may just be interested in.

Another thing Chimamanda emphasizes is measuring one’s self using someone else’s yardstick. This is what most writers are guilty of. You have got to learn that no writer is your standard measurement.

Lastly, be curious about the world. You see, this is really profound. Curiosity opens you up to knowledge about the world you live like never before besides, curious people always make the most amazing discoveries.

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? 


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.

#WritingQuote – “In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the content of your mind, your heart, your soul.” Meg Rosoff

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Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul. – Meg Rosoff

For those who have never understood all the plenty talk on writing voice, this quote by Meg is apt!

There are many writers who try to shape their writing voice or at best make it sound like the voice of a writer they admire. While this is not bad, such writers face the risk of losing their own authentic voices. 

Dear writer, your writing voice is precious. It is unique to you, your mind, your thoughts and your heart. Don’t be afraid to flaunt it and do incredible things with it! 

#Writing Quote – “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper”


“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper” – E.B White, Author of Stuart Little

The harsh truth is that there will never be “ideal conditions” to write the way you have fantasized about writing. There will always be challenges you have to face. These challenges are what makes your story as a writer interesting.

There will never be perfect conditions for writing that book you have always wanted to write. Ask writers who have successfully published a book. Yeah, we know you want to develop yourself and hone your writing skills so you can put words together perfectly, we know you want to wait till you get that brand new laptop you have been waiting for, we know you want to wait till you own a website before writing. And all of these things are good. However, do not make them your excuses for not writing.

Seriously dear writer, time is ticking. And even if you get all of these things you so crave for, something else will come up and it will be an endless cycle of waiting until you realize that you and time are no longer buddies.

Today’s quote is spot on. Stop waiting for ideal conditions. That is a mirage. Start with what you have right now (yes, even if it is just a pen and a paper); start where you are, and let the words flow out of your heart.