Last year we had the pleasure of interviewing Moses Kilolo, Wanjeri Gakuru and Anne Moraa, three writers from the awesome pan-African writers collective, Jalada. They shared their thoughts on writing and editing. Here's the roundup.
- Don’t rush it.
- Give yourself some time before you return to your work.
- Rewrite as many times as you can. (helps to save each draft, in case you hate your rewrite and want to retrace and go in a different direction.)
- Appreciate the tough love of your reader friends.
- Write as often as you can, and have a few stories stored away.
- Respect the writers’ vision.
- Let the writer know that your work is to improve their piece, not rewrite it for them.
- Do not assume you fully understand a piece on your first reading. Editors need to reread even if stuff seems obvious a few times.
Make sure to fave, save or otherwise store your truly inspire tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts. The last story I wrote grew out of a random musing I’d tweeted.
Read. Read. Read.
Find your ideal writing time and space. I find that if I sit on the floor late at night I’m very likely going to write something. It doesn’t matter if it’ll be two lines or a master thesis, something will walk into my head and demand to be considered.
Read. Read widely and profusely. If you’ve been told about something and you haven’t, go get it. Admit what you haven’t read, then go read it. Find your blind spot (and we all have them), get a book on it and read it. Read the back of your cereal box. Read everything.
Find your good readers. You can’t see your own mistakes as well as you would like to. A good reader is someone whose eye you trust, who knows you, with impeccable taste. Their eyes can see far better than your own sometimes.
Hunt for art, for artists. Musicians, animators, dancers, all art is striving to say something. Writing is just one form of speech. Look even in unexpected places. One might say everyone is an artist. After all, even physics is simply the language of the universe.
Writing is scary as fuck. Fuck it. Write anyway.