The final period.
The rush of emotions when you close the document or turn the page.
The excitement that you’ve done it.
Whenever I finish my first draft, I drink wine to remind myself that I can be awesome when I put my mind to it. I get so excited that I sometimes throw myself a party.
I tell my friends and whoever cares to listen that I finished that book.
I finished writing and I wait for the vote of confidence in my abilities. True, I write for the release and the joy of creating but while I’m at it, it doesn’t hurt to get a few rounds of applause from others.
During those months, I eat, live and breathe that work until it comes to life.
Like the first memory of my completed book. I finished the play in less than a week! That was 2005. I was just about to write my school certificate exams but it didn’t hold much interest for me.
I put more of my energy into writing my book than studying for my exam and it did not come as a surprise when I failed both Mathematics and Chemistry. Although I did not like either of the two courses, they were mandatory.
So back to the story, I wrote my first play in three days and I wrote the story of a young girl who was about to be circumcised. In July 2006, I staged the play after first contacting HURINET Lagos. I planned to perform it on the international day of the African child. I missed their stage but I ended up staging it at the school where I got the students. To compensate the cast for all their hard work, we staged it at their annual prize giving day and that happened to be my first foray into media. Akeem Lasisi, a renowned poet and acclaimed journalist help me put the play together.
It felt so good to deliver a work of art to a ready audience. It was a heady feeling.
As I lost my youth, I believe a part of my confidence ebbed so I abandoned that work till a good friend decided to help. He contacted his friends who thought I should be encouraged and they helped to design both the cover and the book layout.
Since then, I left the work alone to breathe. In 2016, I picked it up again when I found a part of my lost confidence. I felt I was ready to publish so I read through it and it read like a first draft so I re-wrote it from start to finish.
A publisher helped me see the need to rewrite so I rewrote it like an African play. A linguist friend then helped me to proofread it for language use. By the time I finished several rounds of editing, I knew the story by heart.
It is 2019 and I am set to release it. It has spent many years on my hard drive and it needs to breath on its own. I have learnt from my failed first attempt and I use many checklists to gauge my progress in my self-publishing journey. At the same time, I have done a lot of research into marketing self-published books.
The book is titled The Pains of Childhood. In the next post, I will talk about the book in detail, how my writing journey began and the reason for my theme.