Write Seriously

A little while ago, I shared a letter written by Teju Cole to an up-and-coming young writer (here).  Please go read it, it highlights some really good points about the writing process. But for those of you who really won’t go have a read through the well written letter, here’s a short synopsis:

Point #1
Keep it simple: in lieu of big, long, complicated words, use simple ones

Point #2
Stop using cliches, they add nothing to your writing

Point #3
Avoid adverbs.  I personally never realised adverbs were such a cardinal sin in writing.  Interestingly, Stephen King (the author) said the same thing in a similar write-up about writing

Point #4
Use he/she said and never he/she shouted

Point #5
Read more than you write. Read slowly and deliberately

Point #6
Rely on your observation

Point #7
Be courageous! “You are writing so that you and your reader can share solidarity in the complications of the human condition.” I think this resonated with me more than anything in Cole’s letter

Point #8
Avoid narratives that have one single meaning; venture into the complex!

So there you have it. You’re welcome.  In response to being courageous and expanding my writing, I’ve decided to feature as a guest writer to a friend’s blog! I’ve set personal deadlines for myself to submit something every week. Thus birthing udee, writer and an editor extraordinaire!  Editing your own work can be one of the most excruciating things, I’ve found. Nothing hurts more than reading something you wrote and cringing in response!

The blog is primarily about life in Nigeria, in all its beautiful complexities. I will be blogging about foodie life in Abuja and what it means to be a Nigerian Third Culture Woman.  Catch me if you can! And then check out the blog: TooBeeHonest.