At home in just a shirt having a glass of rum and smoking a spliff to relax my nerves. I want to forget all about today when the night is done or be done with the night. Although the woman I am currently told me I cannot talk like that anymore because I have a duty to be alive, to be a husband, a father and a lover. She thinks highly of me, I cannot believe it sometimes but it is true, she loves me.
I feel bad that I haven’t written in a while, depending on what your idea of writing is, but, I have not written something I consider writing, the long ones that leave me feeling breathless and like I have achieved something I can publish and not second guess (I am prone to self-sabotage). I did write a story about my lover and some other articles for artists but they did not really feel like writing to me. Maybe because the length was not enough (4-17 pages), or because they did not come to me the way I like stories to come to me, a single line of the end and the whole picture becomes clearer after I roll the thought around in my head a couple times. Other than those little forms of writing I have been busy working on making the second draft of a novel I wrote. It has been going great if I do say so myself; currently, I have made about 10 chapters out of forty-four and when I am not thinking about the characters and the poor decisions they made, I spend time-fighting feelings of depression, anxiety and imposter syndrome.
Not checking your email every day is an extreme sport and so the rejection emails I find there makes all these feelings real or at least it makes my mind play tricks on me. I want to talk about how submissions make writers feel less about the craft but I can’t because if it was easy then everyone will do it. I however cannot fail to say that rejection letters and not living the writer life makes me wonder if I am really a writer or a fraud. I have been stress and comfort eating to fight my feelings in my own little way, having a beer here and there, talking to my lover without trying to start an argument or be dismissive, and window shopping. Despite my introversion I try to go out, I even went clubbing on my birthday and everything changed after I popped that bottle of champagne, the need to save money and invest wisely flashed before my eyes but I did not let the truth stop me from having fun for one night. I wanted to have sex, it has been so long since I did and now my heart is so tight, but I don’t see me having any anytime soon, I am being celibate for the time being. E-mail me about what that really entails. Besides the numerous style magazines I have been reading I have also read numerous short stories online, finished a few novels I care to mention, Ghana must go by Taiye Selasie, Taduno’s song, Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adeleye, Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo, Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo (a book I picked up and read because I remembered our meeting at a literary festival and the conversations we had) and the hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu. I have been on a hunt for Fresh Water by Akwaeke Emezi and I am still waiting for the mango rains. I have to find Fresh Water as soon as I can because I have to read it for a new gig I got being a photographer for this web series on books written by Black writers, it features one guest on the show talking about issues raised in the book and other questions that may arise during the interviews and cross conversations. I look forward to it.
Maybe I am not that jobless when I think about it, I mean I have a career; I am a published writer and photographer, I have also exhibited my pictures and book enough times to not feel the pressures of trying to prove myself. It is more than a lot of people have or dream to have, maybe I am not an imposter and I just need to pace myself, be kind with how I talk to myself and in due time everything that is good will fall in place.
I miss my family. That goes for whoever makes me feel like family, I haven’t seen anyone in months. The quest for knowledge took me far from love and comfort. What is that thing they say about discomfort and growth?
I wrote a lot of poems after freeing my mind of these troubling thoughts. In these poems, I talked about my knowledge of love through all of the people who have cared enough to invest such intense emotions in me, starting from my mother to my lover and then my very few friends who understand me, or don’t, or pretend to. I explored their characteristics and tried to mirror it with my choices in what kinds of love I have chosen, will choose and the kind of people I attract.
After writing that I wrote a story short about a girl’s first time. I always bear in mind that men can never write about women without being cliché or sound like she is nonhuman but I tried to capture details as much as I could. I talked about her innocence and the process of how it left her eyes as she experienced her first time with a man she liked and wanted. The story was in the juxtaposition of how African mothers take the news of their daughter’s first time with a man out of wedlock (statistics show that most girls have their first time out of wedlock and still everyone acts surprised, even mother who went through the same routine). It was my question about what can be considered good parenting? I worked on it for a lot of hours into the night and continued in the new day. I was proud of the issues the inspiration discussed. I don’t like bare fiction, most people already feel like Fiction is not as tasteful as nonfiction because it is not based on facts but they don’t see the freedom it offers for writers to expand on what could be, what can be real.