By Adetayo Omotoyosi Adeolu
Productivity is the ability to create things in abundance, it can also be yielding fruitful results. In this case, the strength of a writer is found in his ability to employ his mind and creating thoughtful ideas, stories, life issues and turn them into abundance for the use of his or her audience.
The writing journey is a rough and reclusive one that makes supposed writers or intending writers stumble on the way. It is a rigorous process that involves constant meditation, reading, researching, frustration, depression which may eventually leads to the end of the writing life.
A writer should constantly keep himself updated with the latest trend in the industry. There is no two way about being a great writer who command results. For you to be a great writer, you must scribble your thoughts daily. Commanding results as a writer is not a magic, it takes a lot of hard work, hours of reading.
A writer does not become great by being inconsistent, he becomes great by writing everyday, any thoughts that comes to him. The idea is to first put those jargons on paper, whether it makes sense or not, that is not the time of making sense. When the thoughts have been penned, then the strive for corrections and understanding take the wheel and leads the way.
I have read many thoughts by some influencers and writing coaches on how writing can be all rosy and smooth. And they brag about paying their bills only with writing. That is a lie from the pit of hell, last year I deleted some of the manuscripts I wrote due to lack of motivations. The drive to continue writing went into oblivion.
The Nigerian environment is quite inimical to writers, particularly newbie writers. The crave for knowledge is still at the developing stage, the majority of the citizens are illiterates, not by certificates, but illiterates of the mind. The Nigerian citizens can boast of tons of certificates. But the illiterates I mentioned are those who are bereft of knowledge.
As a writer, never should there be anytime in your life where you become comfortable without creating avenue for generating more incomes from other sources aside writing. Calling yourself a writer is great and there is this respect that goes along with it, but it would have been wonderful if those respect can put food on your table.
Another deceit being peddled by the So-Called capitalist is the saying " Follow your passion, not money."
That is the greatest lie ever told in the history of mankind, especially as a Nigerian. That philosophy is bound to work in developed countries but they often work in climes like ours. It has become a cliché. Writing as a passion is not enough, it would put you in bankruptcy. It is your ability to inculcate design thinking methods to into that passion that triggers creativity and productivity, which in turn makes you a living.
Nigeria of today is not those of the Wole Shoyinka, Chinua Achebe years, things have changed rapidly. Mediocrity is celebrated or creativity.
And did I hear you mention Chimmamanda ?
Lord knows if that woman had been in Nigeria all along, it would have been more difficult for her.
Can you mention ten writers who are richer than Olamide ?
My thoughts is same as yours, the society values those Logo-Benz crusaders more than majority of highly intelligent writers.
Another deceit which I think is not fair to aspiring or newbie writers is the attempt by writing coaches to confuse and limit the potentials of their students. That attempt is the lies by these coaches who claimed they pay their bills with writing alone. They come out on social media bragging of how they made millions with their writing skills. If writing was that simple, then "we should all be writers."
The truth is writing alone does not pay bills, there are hidden secrets that most of these coaches refused to show to their students. One thing is to write a book, another is to market the same book, another is selling the books to your audience. Finally, impact is the greatest rewards for a writer, when people pick up your thoughts and they are able to connect with them, then you can boldly call yourself a writer.
Secondly, these coaches lied to their students so they won't look beyond writing as a means of survival. A writer's ability to discover, develop and deploy his innate talents is the greatest thing he can do for himself. Knowledge is power but when you choose to look the other way, there is a cost attached to it.
There are over 10 billion cells in the human brain, that means there is no limit to what a man can know and achieve. Except those limits he placed on himself. If he seeks adequate information, he will get it. As a writer, you have the ability to develop other skills alongside your writing skills.
Content developer, creative writer, content writer or whatever name you choose to call yourself in this 21st century, technology has paved the way for you to spread your tentacles.
But are the writers who are familiar with other skills needed to push them to the forefront of their career ?
Sooner or later, life will demand you to go outside and it will be evident that you do not have the key. Guard yourself against those coaches who are claiming to have found the keys to productivity.
I recalled a song by the popular Nigerian musician, "OREZI" who made waves with his popular hit, Double Your Hustle."
As a writer, you need to double your hustle and find skills that will generate incomes for you aside writing.
Blogging, Web development, digital marketing and graphic designs are some of the skills you can use to double your hustle. Whether you like it or not, you will need these skills at some point in your writing journey. When you fail to acquire knowledge, you will later pay for that knowledge you looked down on.
I once read an article by one of Nigeria celebrated journalist, he started that he started writing only poems alone. But when life hit him hard, he quickly discovered his space. Writing poem is absolutely fine, but what if those poems are not generating income to you ?
What is wisdom ?
Applied knowledge, but how do you apply knowledge you have not acquired.
The journalist simply develop another writing aspect of his life, he went further by going for trainings on journalism. Journalism pays his bills today, only through writing.
There is need for a careful explanation of the recommended skills above.
Blogging- Blogging is probably the fastest and easy way to build a tribe, a community, relationships and income. Blogging is a tool and a business you can leverage on as a writer who wants to diversify his or her economy.
Web development- As a writer, you can easily create websites for friends, brands. It doesn't take much other than the constant urge for knowledge, practice. This is another avenue for you to make money to support your hustle as a writer.
Digital Marketing- We are in the digital world already even though as Nigerians we are yet to fully key in into that concept. But you will be doing yourself some good by learning the basics of digital marketing, practising it and perfecting it. You can easily create adverts for people, small businesses who needs digital marketer to run adverts for them. You can even take it a step further by working as a social media manager for brands, companies who need people to manage the social accounts for them. In that way you work and earn at the same time.
Graphic Design - Writers creates contents most time though pictures, imaginations and stories. Your ability to use design thinking skills to picture those stories can fetch you extra income as a writer.
In conclusion, the most important skills that differentiates real writers from ordinary men on the street is the thinking skills. Writers are thinkers, they are avid readers. If you value knowledge and information, you will soar above limitations. It is what you do not know that destroys you, not the knowledge you already have and applied.
The above listed skills work hand-in-hand, ignorance is not an excuse in the world of champions. Do not be intellectually lazy as writer, if you do, your productivity will suffer for it. Access to quality information is the key to doubling your productivity as a writer.