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How to become an award-winning writer — From your very own favourite non-award winning writer

How to become an award-winning writer — From your very own favourite non-award winning writer

by: Dorathy M. Kolo

Dear reader and writer,

Do not dismiss the days of my little beginning. You might have seen that I’m not an award winning writer. However, this does not mean that you should not hearken to the words that I have for you. For if I had known early enough in my writing career, the secret to being an award winning writer, what is the Booker Prize, the Pulitzer prize, or even the Nobel Prize in Literature that I wouldn’t have won, eh? But because I have decided in my good graciousness to share these special nuggets with you, you should, you must and you will hearken. And you shall be grateful you did. So I’d admonish you to open your inner eyes and ears. Also, do not forget your pen and paper, if you want to get the maximum benefits from my teaching. See you at the zenith!

First, I want you to acknowledge that the most critical part of your writing is your creative process which is simply the way you come up with ideas, concepts and terms and how you incorporate them into your writing. What is writing without coming up with something worth paying attention to? 

If you want to create the best pieces that will get you the awards which you so much desire, you should pay special attention to your creative process and get yourself into a state of mind where inspirations will start flowing steadily.  Fortunately for you, that is what I shall be dwelling on in this teaching.  I shall also be telling you the ultimate state of mind to be in during your creative process, and I shall also be showing you, step-by-step, the quickest way to get to the highest frequency in that not-so-secret state of mind.

I already know that you can’t wait to know what this state of mind is, do not be in too much of a hurry, the answer is very simple and it is something we all know; this is a state of mind that will get you to a creative high. William Shakespeare would definitely tremble whenever you come up with your pieces. This state of mind will make you so sensitive that you would begin to see things differently and you would literally be able to weave words into art, and art into words.

Statistics have it that the greatest writers usually have had rough lives before they make their writing debut (souce: trust me bro/sis). What if the reason you have not made your big break in the writing world is because you have it too comfortable? Why not make things a little hard for yourself?  Anything for the prestige, innit? Look, I won’t even gatekeep here, one of the easiest and most effective ways to make things hard for yourself, is to get yourself heartbroken. Yes, heartbroken.

If you’re lucky enough to live in Nigeria, things are already hard, but you can make it harder by just getting your share of a crippling breakfast. If you do not live in Nigeria, just get yourself Karens and Todds around, they’ll frustrate the creative juice out of you and they’re also evenly spread across the globe. They don’t even have to be blonde (yikes), they may be Black, Asian or even Hispanic too. 

If by any chance, you doubt me, just go read about how Friedrich Nietzsche, who was a German prose poet, cultural critic and one of the realest MVPs in  contemporary philosophy came up with his masterpiece,Thus spake Zarathustra’ after chopping a 15-star breakfast. You still doubt me? Why do you think heartbreak songs are the most touching of all songs? The profound feelings you get from listening to their cathartic melodies is nothing compared to the creative high you can get from an actual breakup. 

So, without wasting time, I shall be listing, in six simple steps, How to get yourself heartbroken because I want to get you on the creative high as soon as possible, the sooner, the better it is for you. 

Find your spec: You know that person you find very attractive? The one who is notorious for breaking hearts all around who has been showing interest in you and you’ve been avoiding because you don’t want your heart broken? Find him/her. Because you are ready to do anything for the cause.

Fall in love: What’s heartbreak without first falling in love? If you have been heartbroken before and you are scared of falling in love again, just think of the prestige associated with being a great writer and get yourself to fall in love. Keep talking to that person until you fall in love. A wise man once said ‘A Yoruba guy will break your heart but an Edo man will break you’.  Yoruba men are not the real demons, Edo men are. So if you’re a lady, for maximum results, just get yourself an Edo guy. I assure you that you’d be served a premium breakfast that would get you to that mental high that you so much desire.

Give it your all: At this point, I expect you to put in maximum effort, shower them with gifts, time and affection. Communicate with them as often as possible, intensify your efforts especially if it is one-sided and most importantly, ignore all the red flags. At this point, if the spec starts asking you out or starts behaving well, Just end it. Because they would interrupt the process.

Ask the big question:  If you made it to this point, I congratulate you heartily. Good things take time, I know you might have seen a lot of shege, but do not fret, keep on keeping on. See, you don’t even have to go as hard as Friedrich Nietzsche went, you don’t have to ask them to marry you. After about eight months of talking stage and your putting up with their mess, just ask them the ‘What are we?’ question. I know it would hurt so bad when they say ‘We’re just vibing’, especially after making those one-sided efforts. But my dear, this is the time to leave them alone.  It’s hard but cut them off. You might start exhibiting withdrawal symptoms, therefore, I’d advice that you get a therapist. If you can’t afford therapy, your friends could give you some cheap therapy, and if you don’t have friends, I‘m sorry, but there’s no way forward and you are on your own.  

Go to work: At this point, you’ve unlocked a new level in the creative high, I know you might have questions like ‘Why did Segun, Sandra or Aigbomode treat me this way?’ I need you to be strong for yourself and for the task ahead of you, this is not the time to slack, this is the time to create meaningful pieces, there may be just a few tears here and there but just take heart. Without pain, there’s no gain. Cry all you want but not too much.                                                           

Gentle disclaimer:  Do not harm yourself in the process, if you do, it’s not on me. Also, direct all the pain, frustration and anger into your writing.                                                                                                                   

Rinse and repeat: I know you must have heard it more times than you can count and it’s the truth:  Consistency is the key to being a successful writer, Keep unlocking new levels of the creative high. Moderation is also very key in this, don’t damage yourself in the process and blame it on me.

Thank you once more and see you at the zenith!

Kolo Dorathy regards herself as a lady who loves to weave words into art, and art into words. She is in her second year of studying Physiotherapy at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. She is on Twitter as @doramecium.

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1 year ago

Nice one

Ebeledike Chidiogo
Ebeledike Chidiogo
1 year ago

Sweeeet and a great write up👏👏

9 months ago


Last edited 9 months ago by
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