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Understanding Chimamanda's Overrated Prowess And How It Affects Your Growth As A Writer


For some few seconds down these paragraphs, let me borrow you, as a writer, to paint the illustration below.

You have a table secured at the corner of your room, beautifully decorated with half read, half torn as well as newly bought books. Or perhaps you're the virtual type: Notepad, MS word, WPS and the likes are the tools with which you craft your magic. 

You have read the whole day, and just few minutes ago, you finished that story you have always wanted to write. The story that has cost you sleepless nights of research on and outside the web, questions and queries from your teachers and mentors, and ache; the type that’s so similar to migraine you felt your ugly neighbour was right for saying writing would be your ticket to just one thing: an unexpected end.

This is not the first story you would complete. But here, you feel special. Perhaps you've written something similar in literary dexterity and well articulated Africanism like Things fall apart; something deliberate with so much carefulness like Purple Hibiscus. You just feel like you are one step closer to your breakthrough. You could feel the walls of hall of fame closing in on you. This is it. This has to be it. 

But there’s one problem: you are confused, you already sent the work out to your editor, from there it goes straight to your publisher, and from them straight to the world. But this has been the way you have always done it with little to no success. Of course friends and families are going to buy it. Your loyalists would read, review and share. But that’s half the battle, and you know it.

Now if you don’t mind, here are few questions I would love you to go through with enough ease and give appropriate answers to: 
  • As a writer, what do you do after the completion of that great story/poem? 
  • The literary world is competitive and political. What strategy are you using? 
  • How well can you use controversy as catalyst to your growth? 
  • Aside the usual "Opportunity for Writers" magazines use as tagline for contests, what other opportunity do you think exist around here? 
  • Do you think you need more than winning prizes to stay atop your game and be relevant? 
If you can't answer them now, it's no problem. I wasn't expecting you to anyways. My aim is to embed the answers within the lines of this article, and my expectations are that you read carefully, find them where they are buried like treasures, come back to these questions and succeed at answering them. That's mission accomplished.