Celebrating a Bicentennial in Writing.


Photo courtesy of University of Virginia.

I wrote my 200th article on this blog on the 21st of February this year. It slipped through my fingers until last week when I saw a congratulatory message for writing over 200 articles. This got me curious and I decided to check out, only to realize that I had surpassed the mark by far many more articles. In fact this specific one marks my 220th article on this blog. What a fete!

To reach 200 or anything especially in writing makes one take a journey back down memory lane. So today I will just write about my memories in regards to this writing journey. That is what will mark my bicentennial celebration.

Bicentennial means lasting 200 years. But for today, we will use this word in relation to celebrating a 200th anniversary. This, to me, is a huge achievement now that I put in every effort to achieve this. It means a lot to me in terms of the motivation to keep me writing. As a matter of fact, there are those days I felt like not writing but still wrote. The most striking thing is that that those are the articles people loved and applauded so much.

Writing, like any craft, needs a lot of attention while at it. This means committing a huge amount of uninterrupted time to researching and jotting down a standard article. Should you decide to write with a dictionary by your side like I did from the beginning, it may even take longer than anticipated. But as one gets better at it, writing becomes quicker and a little bit easier. But another development comes into play; that of trying new ways of writing and also venturing into unfamiliar fields. At times you can flop at it but then it becomes rewarding once you learn and master this new art and try to simplify it for your readers.

In the first few months of my writing, I suspected that one day I would run out of ideas if I wrote too much. I almost thought it true because I could end up writing poems and publish them instead of a whole piece of article. At times I could write a very short piece and feel like I had done wonders. Looking at those articles today, I end up re-writing them and laughing out loud at myself. Nevertheless it all begins there. Simply deciding to start with what you have and to do what you can. It is the very reason why we are celebrating this journey this far.

I recently got my spirits beefed up to continue writing courtesy of an article written by my legendary friend Dr. Dawood of the Surgeons diary. He celebrated writing his 900th article with the Sunday Nation a while back. This is the mark to beat. I decided after reading his piece that I had a record to beat. It is one I can comfortably say here that I can beat. A little motivation from you my readers can help me reach there.

This resolve keeps me going. Very many days I go out in the morning asking myself what I will write about in a bid to keep with the consistency. Then as the day draws on, I receive an inspiration on what to scribble about and get the topic jotted down somewhere to await the evening. At other days, I just pluck out a few papers from my notebook and decide to write a whole article right there and then. Then comes those days when I just rush home to start writing as soon as possible or else I will lose the flow and motivation.

The most interesting thing about writing is the autonomy of the process. I can embark on writing an article and few lines into it I get the feeling that this is not it. Then I simply highlight everything and hit the delete button before starting all afresh again. It could be as a result of something better I remembered or an interesting thing somebody requested me to write about. The other beauty is that I can get cheeky at times and still not worry of censure. There is some freedom that writing gives which means you are in your world. As long as you keep to your lanes, you are good to go with all the remaining space around and can play with it.

Should you cross paths with others, one gets to learn how to handle the fangs that will be coming their way. These ones can’t be avoided at all. That is how I have developed my thick skin to handle criticism. It is a very important part of development and one which makes us to be better writers. Of course we cannot satisfy everybody and meet everyone’s needs but we do what we always do knowing we will all win.

In the process comes such challenges as distraction. You remember an awful thing from the past and your thoughts drift off course. You may be in the process of writing a juicy piece and then the phone rings all of sudden and your imaginations get halted immediately. Creativity is affected a lot by distractions especially when writing is underway. It is so far the greatest challenge I have had to contend with. I have learnt to ignore the distractions nevertheless. It is a tactic to learn and a muscle to develop at the same time. One we don’t learn in school.

All in all we write and churn out new content every day. We write and write and keep writing till we hit the 50th, 100th, 200th or even 220th article like this particular one. We add a little skill into the craft and we look forward to being masters someday.

To all of you my avid readers and fellow writers out there, this one is for you. Join me to toast for this bicentennial!


Copyright @ 2019

Post thought: My condolences to Safaricom PLC, the nation and family for the loss of my friend Bob Robert Collymore, the CEO Safaricom. We will surely miss him.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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