What’s a piece of writing advice that’s held true for you?
There’s never a right time to write. Regardless of your mood, schedule, inspiration levels — Just write. Period.
What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write?
Postcolonial Literature. Especially Postcolonial African Literature. It’s heavy; it’s full of raw emotion; it’s burning with the fire of a collective voice that knew that they needed to find their own place and gain the respect of the literary world; it breaks many pre-existing literary rules; it’s unapologetic; it’s not written for the sake of writing, but to evoke the power of writing.
What’s a writing strategy you’ve developed that’s worked for you?
I have a list of topics that I believe I must write about/around. I constantly add to the list, so that they always serve a quiet, yet very loud source of inspiration.
The next step is to pick one topic and develop a sketch for what you are aiming to write. This could include quotes, pictures, single words, drawings, you name it!
I usually put all of this into a Google Doc and then I build my piece of writing by moving the ideas and elements around — sort of like doing a puzzle or a Rubik’s Cube.
When I have a clear sense of what the final work should look like, I transfer all of the “chaff” and extras to another Google Doc, which serves as an archival page of sorts.
Then I clean the piece up — this could take minutes, or months.
You cannot treat your writing like the stepchild of a terrible step parent. It must be approached with seriousness and tact.
As a writer, how do you stay curious or keep yourself curious?
To stay curious, I create moments of curiosity for myself.
That means going to places that will make me uncomfortable, watching films and reading books that are not really “my thing”, eating new foods, meeting new and often inconspicuous people, browsing random threads and posts on Twitter and Instagram, etc.
Who do you think really knows how to do an email newsletter?
They are doing some great work, by amplifying the voices of women writers/journalists all over the world. Although I serve as an Editorial Advisor for the project, this is an unbiased opinion and their brilliant email newsletters are part of the reason why I agreed to join the InfluencHER Project family.
How would you describe your relationship with your readers? (especially if it’s evolved)
I am a mongrel; a mixed breed of Ga, Ewe, Akuapem, English and American cultures; therefore I am a Third Culture Kid.
My socio-cultural experiences are interesting and might appear to be unique; but the truth is that there are several other Ghanaians and citizens of the world who are secret sharers of my life.
Many such people lack access to platforms that would allow them to tell their collective story, so that their societies and communities can rethink all of the things that affect them.
My voice represents their voices, today and always.
And the best thing about this is that my readers and my audiences know this, so they expect my writing to either speak for them, to them, or to be a voice of reason and educative enlightenment.
What’s your one tip (that doesn’t get discussed enough) for a writer trying to improve in 2022?
Write every day. I promised myself a long time ago that regardless of how busy I get, or how lazy I feel, I would write one line a day. One line, before I sleep. This has led me to grow in leaps and bounds as a writer.
This practice instils discipline within you; the kind of discipline that successful writers needed to succeed in the first place.