Monday, 7 September 2009

200 candles

Strictly for the young
IMAGINE if this article was a person. A 200 year old person! I mean, just last week, I was rambling on about my age and what birthdays now mean. But what if adding a notch, or in this case, a 200th edition, was something to be excited about?
When it was time to submit my article for the 100th edition of The Guardian Life, I felt almost giddy! It is easy to do almost anything in life, but it is hard to be consistent. And they say it is the consistence that makes all the difference. You sometimes see, or hear of people who have worked in a company for 50 years, and sometimes, for those in the ‘creative’ field, that feels like being stunted. But that is not 50 years of being stunted. That is 50 years of progressing and being the best at what you do. It is so easy for us, these days; to be a million things; I am probably one of the most guilty of this! But there is a certain level of excellence that comes with time. AND so now, it is a 100 editions later. And what other lessons, apart from consistency, have I picked up? Writer’s block is not the enemy. The person who came up with the term, ‘Writer’s Block’, deserves an award, for giving a generation of writers, an excuse to not get things done! There are days I am staring into space without a sentence forming properly in my mind. Other times, it is my inner gypsy that takes over, and I can’t bear to be still enough to write. I once asked celebrated writer, Odia Ofeimun, how he deals with ‘Writer’s Block’. He told me that the only way to handle deadlines was to sit in front of your computer, and start. Type the first sentence. Then type another one. And before you know it, you have an article. I tried that method more than once, and I’m surprised that people sometimes respond to those ones, more than the ones that are written when the stars have aligned! Or whatever else gets me through the day. The truth however is, I either write an article in one sitting, or it takes me a whole week! Then there is keeping the personal away from the professional. Which if you ask anyone who gives a piece of themselves out regularly, can be easy, yet real hard to do! It is easy when you create personas. You can be one person when at work, and another entirely, when at home. BUT there are some personal tragedies that will cross over, whether you want them to or not! I saw Celine Dion on the Oprah show the other day, and she spoke about the night she had to perform though her father had just died in the morning! We saw a clip of her performing, and she had to sing through tears. Yes, she is an entertainer. But how do you get on a stage and dance, act or make people laugh, when something in your life has crashed? Yet there are people who have had to do this time after time. People who have to still function at school even though they have just had the mother of all fights at home. People who have to work through tears and a heavy heart. Personally, I sort of crumbled at the beginning of this year. I spent more time lying on the floor and staring at the ceiling, than functioning. And having to get up, to type, and write, and possibly inspire, was harder than I could have ever imagined. I think I tried to hide it a bit, but I do feel if one were to go back to certain articles written at some point, one would find, there was a deeper story buried between the lines! Then there is keeping personal judgements and ‘beef’, away from an article. There is such a thing as liking someone too much, or disliking someone. The safest thing is to leave out articles where you either cannot be truly objective, or where your motives would be called into question. As they say in law, justice must not only be done, but must also be seen to be done! FOR it is easy for one to think, it is just a column tucked beside another column, moved from page to page, no one is reading it! Ehen? Prepare to be shocked! In the Dramatics Society back then in Secondary School, our teacher told us, there were no such things like ‘bit’ parts. She said, even if you have just one line, make that line yours! Everyone is as important in the story as the lead! No matter what you do, you are there because you are needed. And if you feel there are inconsequential jobs, then be rude to the staff at the embassies! Or the secretary to the Dean of your faculty. IT is the 200th edition, and yes oh, there is much to be grateful for. There is also much to be scared about. One of which is running out of things to say! I mean, is it possible to stay fresh every week? It is a question I have asked a thousand times recently. And watching shows like Oprah which have been on since forever, give some pointers. Stay fresh by staying relevant. By not reinventing the wheel, but by spinning it differently. And when all else fails, change your haircut. Happy 200th to us here at The Guardian Life! It is a fantastic family to be a part of! Happy 200th to you, and thank you so much for reading us weekly. Next week will be the 201st, then the 202nd, and before you know it, we will be pushing 300! Chei!

No comments:

Post a Comment