I must have either read somewhere or attended a webinar where I learnt that as a creator, your work must give a particular feel, so anyone reading it will be able to know it’s yours. Well, you know me, I started searching for my authenticity.
So when I began my search, I’d send my works to people and they’d be like, “it’s really boring, maybe you should try something else”. And I was hurt, the only people who were interested in reading my blogs were my dad and my mom. They were literally calling up everyone to read my stories, God bless them, but that’s not the point here. I felt like I was a charity case, no one really wanted to read some sad stories and I’d write out stories and delete them because, “no one will read them anyway”. I felt like I was losing the thing I really loved, Writing.
Without being close to me, you’d know that Chimamanda is definitely one of my favourite persons and she is so influential, people from all over the world read her works and she is largely recognized. Purple Hibiscus is my favourite book and I’ve read it a gazillion times.
One day, after getting another reply and comment on my “sad stories”, I had an idea. I decided to start copying Chimamanda’s writing style and writing just like her. I completed a short story and sent it to a friend of mine who is a really wonderful person, and immediately she read it, she said and I quote, “This is exactly something Chimamanda would write”. I was honoured, really happy, for my work to be compared to Chimamanda’s? I was on cloud nine.
Later that day, I was about to submit the story for a publication (if my story eventually gets published I’d share more details) when the words she said kept repeating in my mind. I then realized that it wasn’t a compliment, it was more like a congratulatory message on my leaving myself and picking up another. I realized then and there that as a creator, you have to be true to yourself, and that one day the people who will appreciate your work will come. That evening, I edited one of my “sad stories” and sent that instead for publication. I was, and still am a bit scared that the editors and publishers would find it boring, but whatever happens, I know that I remained true to myself.