Hello BMers, its time for another #MyLitHubStory feature and the spotlight is on Adedoyin Jaiyesimi of The Sparkle Writers Hub. Enjoy the story that led to the journey.
“How are you able to write down the words in your head so effortlessly?”
That innocent question asked on a rather random day took me down a path I never knew existed.
As I looked into Zara’s eyes, I realised that there had been something I had taken for granted all my life – my ability to write.
Many years I cried, I did tests, I went for counselling, just to find my talent. As far as I was concerned I had no talent. What I didn’t understand was that my talent was hiding in plain sight.
“I have so much I want to say but I can never seem to put them down into words. I want to share my experience with the world but I am not a writer like you. The way I write is just too disjointed. No one will want to read it.”
Zara interrupted my thoughts.
As I pondered on how to respond to her, I knew there was a reason we were having this conversation.
Many people had shared with me how they would love to write the way I do. Many coveted my gift just like Zara. But what could I do about that? I just write. I don’t think about it. It’s something I do mindlessly.
“You have to get over the idea that you need to be a ‘writer’ to write. What you need to do is to write in a way that you find comfortable. Just pour out your heart on paper. Don’t second guess the process. Let it flow. When you are done, send me what you wrote and we can begin from there.”
That was the best answer I could think of. I wasn’t even sure if it made sense.
The conversation with Zara haunted me for several weeks. I saw the deep desire in her eyes. She really wanted to write but what was stopping her?
I began to do some research. Why did people find it so hard to write? Why did I find it so easy to write? Where is the middle ground in all of this?
I heard my stomach grumble. Time for dinner.
I decided to make something simple. Stir fry spaghetti.
I cooked. I pondered. As I pondered, something dropped into my spirit.
“Start a writing blog to help people like Zara.”
Huh? Writing blog? Who has time for that? Is that even a thing? Just because a few people have told me that they have challenges with writing doesn’t mean that there are thousands of people with that same challenge.
But the thought did not leave.
I saw pictures; people learning how to write, people visiting our blog every day to get some useful writing tips, people engaging with us on social media.
And then the name dropped – The Sparkle Writers Hub.
The website will be like light which will point people in the right direction. Through the Sparkle Writers Hub their ‘rusty’ writing skills will be polished and it will begin to shine like a diamond. No offence to Rihanna.
And that’s how it all began. The journey to helping people master the art of writing.
Was I scared? Was I uncertain? Sure I was but there a conviction in my heart.
God had sent me a word. He had sent several confirmations and He had shown me several pictures.
I would later discover that these would serve as anchors during the down times.
Day after day I posted regularly on social media until the weariness began to set.
“Hey D. How are you?” It was my former colleague Nathan.
“Hey Nathan. I’m great. You?”
“I’m fine. What’s up?”
“Well, I’m calling to find out what’s going on with the Sparkle Writers Hub?”
“What do you mean?”
“You haven’t posted in days. Why”
“Oh. I just got really busy.”
“Hmm D. You can’t afford to give up on this.”
“Who said I am giving up on this?”
“I know it’s looking like you are not getting any traction. Your traffic is low and you have very little followers. Keep at it. You have created something that is going to be bigger than you. Do you know now much impact that platform will make? You cannot afford to give up now.”
“Argh. It’s like you can see through my mind. The highest number of views we have gotten so far is 10. 10! After over three month of opening the blog. What’s the point? Sometimes I feel like I am over my head on this one but I remember that I heard God.”
“Exactly. There is a greater purpose for this. Never forget that,”
Nathan had no idea what he did for me that day.
I renewed my commitment to The Sparkle Writers Hub and I knew I had to get someone to help me with it as soon as possible.
I also decided to start coaching people online for free as well. Crazy I know but I did what I had to do.
My first trainee was Clara, a young girl doing her NYSC.
I must confess, I did trial and error with Clara. Who was I kidding? Me, a coach? But week in week out, I saw her writing improve. I saw her implement the tips I shared and they worked.
Hmm. I wasn’t a fraud after all.
After Clara more people began to enrol for the free online training program. I goofed here and there but the results always amazed me.
One trainee after completing the course had his article featured in an international magazine. This was someone who was discouraged by the many rejections he had received.
I shed tears of joy.
I’m on to something. I’m definitely on to something.
The testimonials were beyond my imagination.
Blogs opened, books started, freelance writing opportunities opened.
Nathan was right. The Sparkle Writers Hub was definitely bigger than me.
I remembered the word He spoke to me at the beginning. I remembered Zara. She became a keen follower of the blog and she sent many messages telling me how useful she finds our articles. Zara has started writing her book.
When I think about giving up, I know it is too late. There are many out there who need us.
There are many writing gifts that need to be unleashed and polished.
That keeps me going. That and the picture in my head of what The Sparkle Writers Hub will eventually become.