Yellow OrangesThe title of this post is a tribute to my dear best friend who was worried by some of my recent entries, particularly "The Blues." She felt that my posts have become increasingly negative about life in general, and more specifically about life in Nigeria. We had a good discussion and I (think I) convinced her that all was well and that my posts merely reflected my feelings at the time.
However, it made me start thinking about the nature of writing: what makes 'good' writing; is writing more authentic if it’s drawn from real-life experiences (and conversely, is it false if it’s not)? I think I read somewhere that good writing comes from looking deep into your heart and pulling out emotions that you might not really want to deal with. Growing up, I had always equated good writing with the ability to create worlds that were miles away from yours. Now, I think that good writing could lie anywhere between the two ends of this spectrum.
When I was younger, my burning ambition was to be a writer. Somewhere along the way that dream died-out as I adopted more 'realistic' goals. I also became extremely self-conscious about my writing, refusing to show them to anyone (whereas before I had been only too eager to show my stuff to anyone who would sit with me long enough to read even a page). I became convinced that this new trait meant that I could never be a writer – I mean how are you going to share your writing with potentially the whole world, if you can’t even bear to have a few friends read your work?
My stance now with this blog is to write whatever feels comfortable. If it feels too personal, then I will not share it. However, the longer I write in this blog, the more I find that my boundaries of what’s fine to share are being pushed and stretched to limits that I could not have imagined. I have always wondered how so many writers and journalists are able to lay open their feelings with seemingly such ease. I’m beginning to understand how. When even a little speck of an idea tugs at you and begs to be written, you HAVE to write it. And the more you write, the more insistent these urges become.