THE GIANTPEN LECTURE SERIES ON WRITING, PRESENTED BY NSONGURUA MAIDENJAH AND BALOGUN TAIWO (BARLOWH).

GIANT PEN LECTURE SERIES

A lot have been said about “making career out of writing

Making Writing a Career.

Speakers’ bio:

Nsongurua MaidenJah, a Lawyer and an ardent literary writer with an indepth knowledge of critiqueing poetic works.

Balogun Taiwo (Barlowh), a poet, content writer and a budding prosaist.

Today we shall dissect the following:

• Appreciating the concept of e-writing

• Defining a career

• The relationship between writing and career

• Value

• Discovering your strengths

• Knowing your deficiencies

• Harness your strengths and;

• Pursuing your career.

APPRECIATING THE CONCEPT OF E-WRITING

Thanks to technology in the life of writers, many can validly say that they are published writers. This in my opinion is the sweetness of E-writing. Also, commendation must also go to those who didn’t only see this opportunity, but created a platform to ensure that writers get published. On this note I say thank you to Judiasky⁩ and his team.

WHAT IS WRITING?

If you’re asked in an interview to define “writing” would you be able to define it? Simple right? Let me give you a brief description of what writing entails:

_Writing is the representation of speech with symbols or letters for the purpose of communication._

WHAT IS CAREER?

I know majority upon hearing/seeing the term career, think of how to make money. Career however, simply means, _one’s calling in life, occupation or profession._ It may, but not necessarily have to do with financial benefits.

Making writing a career therefore, is _the intentional decision to be associated with writing._ And that’s why on your bios or profiles, you can easily say “I am a writer” or can be addressed as a writer.

SIMILARITY BETWEEN WRITING AND CAREER

What is the similarity between writing and career? what appears to be the similarity suggests having a craft/trade.

The difference however, is that writing is aimed at communication. Whereas career is an engagement.

VALUE AS AN INGREDIENT TO MAKING WRITING A CAREER

Now that we have defined what career and writing entail, the next is Value. There’s nothing new under the moon, right? But there’s a new way of doing something, express, and package. This is the core of value. Value is what makes your work desirable to your audience? I will give in summary, two things that add value to your writing:

1. Consistency.
2. Carving a niche

These will be explained accordingly.

1. CONSISTENCY

This is not in terms of volume of works created but in the quality of the Works. Writing can be likened to courtship, the more you see each other— choke, the more the “see finish”. I’m sure you don’t want that with your audience. Even if you post everytime, your work’s quality must be consistent.

2. CARVING A NICHE

What are you known for in the writing world? In the ocean, and amongst school of fishes, it’s very easy to identify a shark, right? Also, as a writer, your work must be distinct or have a specialization. Shakespeare wrote a lot of poems, but he was known of his sonnets. Your niche could be a genre, a style of writing, devices employed etc.

ON CARVING A NICHE

Writing is wide and broad. Carving a niche is discovering your strength and knowing your abilities. Finding a spot that may not necessarily be your comfort zone. This requires effort and commitment. So you must be ready. You must be ready to face your fears, and ready to accept your limitations.

HOW DO YOU DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES?

To discover your strength, you must be deliberate and systematic. As earlier stated, it is not about the quantity of your work but the quality of your works. Discovering your strengths involves you digging out the best in you.

One way to do this is by reading consistently. This is not just by reading anything that comes your way but reading right. Reading things you have passion about creating, to illustrate do you love poetic writing, engage in reading poems from different poets, study their setting, diction, characterization, try to discover why they wrote that poem, after doing this with several poets, pick a time , choose a theme, write a poem.

Investing in your abilities needs commitment, for instance, you’re a poet but you’re not familiar with figures of speech, would you say you are a good poet?
What should you do in this circumstance? Very simple. Read, learn and practice by using them in your piece. This will help you to see your strength and know your weakness(es).

PURSUING YOUR CAREER AND HARNESSING YOUR STRENGTHS

Can you do more than you are doing now? The answer is a definite yes, but like every other career, you must invest in it. You must attend conferences and practice seminars. Network with people in your field with similar mindset. Money is very important but if you do not have the passion to learn, the money won’t come or even if it comes, it will be with great difficulty.

Think of Shakespeare, John Milton, Andrew Marvell etc. Of course, you’ve never met them but you have read their poems. Did you pay to read them? Of course, you bought their books or even use your data bundle. You read them and will keep reading.

You can make writing a career if you have the right strategy, consult the right people and be ready to be committed to improving the quality of your work(s). By Harnessing your strengths you will thrive. Don’t just be concerned about winning competitions that happens through votes, be ready to win competition by assessing your work in all honesty and ratings of high standards. Let money be secondary, and the quality of your work, primary, then, you will succeed in making writing your career.

So at this point, we draw the curtain for today’s lecture.

Many thanks to the organizers and everyone who participated in tonight’s lecture. Thank you all. I wish you all a safe E-drive home. On behalf of my co speaker and my humble self, we say thank you.

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