Born To Write
Evening y’all. Today, I do something I’ve never done before: guest blogger! I’m very protective of my personal space so even I was quite surprised at my own willingness to post this.
Oh well, this story really resonated with me. Especially because it’s soooo similar to mine. Introducing Zinny.
I’m not one of those who know concretely what they want to do with their lives from birth. I didn’t know nothing. I floated through life blissfully ignorant, and was fine with that…until SS3 and that visit to the Guidance Counsellor’s office, where there was this talk about what career I wanted to have. Of course, I had no clue what the heck I wanted. Yes, I loved Literature, English and what else? I hated Maths! I found Government boring and Economics unintelligible. So what could a person with my limited abilities- if they even passed for that- do with my life?
I couldn’t teach; I knew that already. That lack of patience with students who couldn’t get it instantly was a genetic thing, passed down through the generation of women in my mom’s family. I could see myself smacking those kids upside of the head all the time. Imagine the complaints, imagine the threats, imagine the furore.
So what could I do? I derived incredible pleasure watching the women on NTA read the network news at 9p.m. They were so pretty, so well spoken, their geles, their make-up… oh my Lord! I couldn’t, if asked, tell you what the news was about; it was the women’s faces and voices I found gripping. But Broadcasting? Nooo. I’d have to get past the shyness…strike that, timidity I was cursed with. It was a very definite possibility that I would shrivel up and die when faced with a crowd. So what then? In comes my dad with a suggestion: Law. Why law? It is a professional course. Hmmm. Did I know what lawyers did? No. Did I know that it would involve standing before people to, as my law classmates liked to say, “adumbrate ,” which would be no problem if I could get past the blasted shyness? No. The word professional sounded so fancy, I was sold. Law it was. Hey, everyone, I have a career!
Fast forward to my first day in class. Law 101. No sense going through all the years of repeating JAMB so I could get the course I wanted – Law. So, I sit in class and my lecturer is teaching us Jurisprudence. He’s talking about these men (what are their names again?) and their different philosophies. I’m there bodily, but I’m spaced out. My mind is roaming many universes. It doesn’t help that he is speaking in a slow, halting manner. It’s all I can do to keep from screaming at intervals: “hello, these men are dead, let’s get a move on already”. That’s when I knew: it wasn’t Law either. But it was too late to do anything, I had to suck it up and stick with the program.
There I am, plodding through classes, novels in hand, making just enough grades to get me into another level, when a classmate walks up to me and asks for an article for our editorial board. I stare at him, incredulous. Finally I open my mouth and utter these words, “I read. I don’t write.” He refutes my claim. I insist. Then he takes to bugging me day after day after day. I’m so tired, I have to say yes. And would you believe it, walking down the path to my house, a script begins to form. Soon as I pick up my pen to write, the words just tumble forth. Crazy! Awesome! As good as I feel, I’m not in a haste to conclude, coz it could be a one-off.
One day, I’m walking down the corridor to my classroom after school hours and I see a friend- former secondary school classmate and president of one of the law chambers. I ask what she’s doing and she says she’s working on a magazine for the chambers. I ask if I can look. She hands over the scripts. Before I realize what I’m doing, I’m correcting spellings, expressions, replacing statements, inserting stuff. She is thrilled. Now she has help. And that’s how I emerge Assistant editor for the magazine. I’m still not thinking about any of these as a career possibility until I’m practically coerced into the position of E-in-C to revive one of our redundant boards. Then I know that this may not be what I was born to do, but it is for sure what I love to do.
Hello, my name is Ezinne, and I’m a writer.
So there. Sadly, she’s not on twitter. I’ll try to coerce her. For those of you who blog/write, how did you get into it? Comment box below. Rock it.