What’s the thing you read when you want to remember how to write?
I come from a place where oral storytelling is a significant part of our culture, and history. As unconventional as it may seem, when I need to remember how to write, I call my mother and discuss the themes of what I’m writing. Sometimes, I read works that have already explored these themes.
What’s the best thing you read in the past month?
Woman, Eat Me Whole by Ama Asantewa Diaka. I was fortunate enough to watch her perform some of the mind-blowing poems from this collection. As a man with relations with a lot of different kinds of women, a book that explores the complexities of these different women — what they go through with regards to their bodies, reproductive health, who they love, and how they even choose to love — is an important read. Ama is a genius, and this book is good for your soul.
Who’s the Twitter follow that hasn’t let you down since the beginning?
@FCTamakloe always uses an authentic voice that is hilariously relatable, and unashamedly Ghanaian. My relationship with him has grown beyond a Twitter follow to working together on important projects like this audio drama @GoodbyeGC1957. He reads my drafts and sends notes — which I appreciate as an intimate and romantic gesture because every writer knows how embarrassing first drafts can be.
Tell us a way you’re excited to see people use Notes?
I am excited to see how people use their distinctive and unbridled storytelling skills to create opportunities for themselves and their communities. I look forward to reading stories in more personal, and less strict, language — as well as paying close to no attention to conventional writing rules.
What’s a piece of writing advice that’s held true for you?
Travel is expensive, but you should when you can. Whenever I travel, I return with fresh ideas, different perspectives, a deeper understanding of the world, and more empathy. Travel even if it means leaving your neighborhood to talk to people, get their stories, develop communities such that you can actually tell real stories with soul.
How would you describe your relationship with your readers? (especially if it’s evolved)
My relationship with my readers has been a journey through different media.
People have engaged with my writings in different forms: short stories, films, television shows, podcasts, audio content, or even Tweets. In whatever form, it is humbling to watch them come along with me at every point of my career. As long as I am able to make them laugh while staying connected with my stories, I’ll be doing this writing thing with them — through different genres — forever!