How I Lost My Taste For Writing

Since I joined the African Leadership University, I’ve embraced writing as a tool for self-expression. Just like my music, writing allowed me to honestly communicate my experiences and shed more light on my life in general.

During my second year, I wrote numerous pieces that allowed me to get immersed in my experiences. My favorite piece is “What I Learned From Living Without A Roommate”, whereas the least favorite one is “Black November”. Like the other 10 articles I’ve put out on Medium, I especially enjoyed the process of putting these two together.

Writing started becoming an emerging passion, a way of self-expression, and something I could use to get away from the sad realities of my existence. However, one day, the zeal to write or publish was no longer there.

Of course, I didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly chose to quit writing. It was a process. My desire to write and express myself slowly vanished for at least fourteen months. It was like an unexplainable divorce between two love birds (my writing and I) and it was only recently that I could explain why this happened.

I Lost Confidence In My Work, Mostly Because of Feedback.

Every time I wrote, I’d share my drafts with some content editors at the Campeedia Team (a media organization I launched at my university), and some of my colleagues who are writers. They analyzed my writing so much that at the end of each feedback round, the only thing that made sense was my title. And somehow, I didn’t have the bravery to take all that in and improve.

My Writing Was Getting Dark, and Scary.

I realized that 80% of the time, I was more interested in pointing out the difficulties I experienced in all areas of my life than the good stuff. At some point, I was scared that I was gonna get comfortable with negativity, which would end up inhibiting my progress in life.

I Was No Longer At Peace With Getting Vulnerable

I was brutally honest in my writing, and that was letting out some private details about my life. I felt like I was giving the wrong folks access to my most precious and personal deets. Eventually, it was so terrifying that I had to stick to just WhatsApp statuses.

I Struggled To Find A Unique Voice & Style

My inability to effectively apply the feedback I received made it uneasy to find the right voice or style and to stick with it. I ended up running around with many ideas and words until, eventually, I gave up.

But hey, it wasn’t all bad news.

If there’s one thing I learned during this period, it is that failure blatantly opens up our flaws to us, but gives us a chance to fix things and come out stronger than before.

Luckily, I managed to pick myself up during the summer season, in 2019. I secured a Marketing Internship with the African Leadership University, and that marked the inception of my rebuild. I was lucky to work with a manager with high emotional intelligence, who picked and fixed up my confidence, piece by piece, by constantly reminding me what I was capable of doing.

I developed a mindset that allowed me to grow from feedback. She also made my comfort zone uncomfortable, by deliberately putting me in charge of the university social media platforms and blogs, in the absence of students and a dearth of school activities.

This consistent push from May to September of 2019 allowed me to discover my love for the art of storytelling. I found a good reason to rekindle my relationship with my long lost love, writing. It influenced how I structured stories on social media, scripts for videos, and Instagram stories.

The results were amazing.

Sometimes, an emotionally intelligent third-party with a strong desire to see you grow and become confident is good enough to get you out of the pile of self-doubt. You just need to find the right mentor.

So yes! I’m in love again and I’m gonna give writing another shot. These crazy ideas in my head will get another chance to break free and live. And this time, I’ll be more intentional about taking in feedback with growth in mind, finding a strong voice, getting vulnerable with wisdom, and developing my love for storytelling. I do hope to get to the highest level possible on this journey.

In the meantime, I invite you to follow me on Medium to get notified of new articles and be free to engage constructively with my work. Also, feel free to connect and engage with me on Twitter.

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