By: Lydia Oyetunji
Do you have a talent or hobby that you love to indulge in? You may love it so much that you wish you can do it for a living. Writing is a talent that brings me that level of excitement! Who wouldn’t want to do what they love for a living?
I have always been a proud literary nerd. As a child who suffered severely from asthma, books were my best friend, pen and paper my side-kick. When my siblings were filling their Christmas lists with the latest games and toys, books were always at the top of my list. In grade school, Thursday was my favorite day of the week because the class visited the library to check out books. Remember school-wide book fairs? That was a treat as well!
There is no cure for what ails me.
My love of books infected me and created the need to push a pencil. So I did! The literary snake bit me, and it’s venom coursed through my veins. It created a need that was only fulfilled by composing stories or jotting secrets and emotions in my diary. I felt like a villain; I lied to get new notebooks, replacements for the ones designated for school work. Currently, I own a mountain of discs overflowing with work and a mountain of notebooks in which to scribble. There is no anti-venom to cure my need to be a novelist.
The literary serpent came in the form of authors or literary scholars I idolized.
• Nancy Drew, who wrote “The Hardy Boys Mysteries.”
• Edgar Allen Poe stole my heart with my favorite poem “Annabel Lee”.
• William Shakespeare wrote “Taming of The Shrew” which I had to read a couple of times to understand but became another favorite.
• Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” was a novel that should remain in schools reading lists.
These are the creative minds that inspired me to put pen to paper. Constantly wondering, could I become an accomplished author half as good as these great artists? Naturally, I went left at the crossroad, but I have no regrets about my career choice; I was subconsciously aware that I would some day relapse and return to my dream.
When will I see in myself what others see in me?
Have you ever been told you were good at something but never felt you were good enough? From childhood to current day, I’m complimented on my writing. I always felt my writing was chopped steak and readers are craving a thick, medium well porterhouse with all the trimmings. Even with paid jobs reviewing products, doing research articles, and creating content for websites, I can comfortably say I have never encountered an unsatisfied client. The compliments, be they verbal, or in the form of payment with bonuses, never gave me the confidence I needed. I continued to write despite the lack of confidence.
Finally, I am on my way.
Like the little engine that could, I continue to forge ahead. Sharpening my skills by learning new techniques, studying different genres and reading the work of other writers. Surrounding myself with experienced writers who are also good friends and mentors is a definite confidence builder. I enjoy the tips and constructive criticism that they give; it allows me to fine-tune my talent.
As the author of “Live, Love, Share” and a contributing author at “Two Drops of Ink,” my foundation for a promising writing career is impenetrable. My goal is to build upon it by encouraging other aspiring writers as well as writing my first non-fiction novel. I now realize that you can do whatever you want in life, all it takes is a mustard seed of faith!
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