Good things take time as they should. John Wooden
I had written about 5 books before mustering the courage to go into Wattpad. My high school friends then had read them all and would be keeping tabs on my writing. It was amazing support. By 2017, I had lost 3 of the books and retained a series of 2. I had also started writing something else but couldn’t complete it. Besides these, I had made a tiny collection of at least 100 poems and scattered others.
One afternoon in 2017, I left the house with the three books that remained, lit a fire outside and burned them. I wanted to start over. “Revamp” my whole writing style, I claimed. I recalled how my high school history teacher had felt about my writing. I don’t remember the word he used. At least I refused to listen. Well, I knew one thing he didn’t know. I will die a writer.
I asked myself so many questions before lighting that match.
First was the big question: Did my writing portray anything about me? Then many others. Was my style mature enough for my age? Who was my audience? What message did my books drive? What was my intention of writing? I answered all these questions of course. The answers, however, were that I did need to look at my writing differently.
So, I lit the match. One thing I didn’t realize then, was that writing was not this “thing” that had to be perfect. I didn’t even need the “right” reasons for writing in order to be a writer. A good writer. Writing is growth. It’s like a flower. A beautiful flower. You will love it when it blossoms, and when some of its petals wilt, you don’t cut down the whole branch. You can choose to prune the petals and the others will look good as new, almost as if nothing stood there before. Forgive my Biology. Well, you can choose to let the flower be. It will of course die with time. But at its time. To give growth to something more beautiful. Or more flowers. In my view, that’s more beauty. Think about it.
Today, I realized that I did have an intended message and purpose for my writing, only I still hadn’t understood myself and my talent well enough. Perhaps, I was impatient to.
Nonetheless, today I understood why I did the things I did and that it was part of my growth and that even though I could have understood myself sooner and hence given my mind some freedom, sooner, who knows how that would have turned out? Knowledge. Thank you, R.P. Warren. The knowledge of what may or what might have. It usually slips through us. So, I chose and still do, to live on with what I have today. Right now. Because this is what today presented, for I know nothing of tomorrow, and I know little of yesterday; the “what mays” and “what might have”.
I’m working on a couple of books already. This time, I didn’t sit down and thought that, “Ah, I should do it differently.” No. This time, I didn’t scrap my old work or lit a match. Actually, I’m going through some of my now-old stuff. I want to learn from my past, for it holds so much lessons of what we have neglected along the way and the mistakes that we have bettered. I will of course be editing some parts that feel off; well, it feels like pruning the petals.
I haven’t named them yet, but I have all the chapters for two books ready. I will be sharing snippets and my journey and will be blown by your support.
Thank you for your time 😀
Benson Langat is a poet, fiction writer, and freelancer. A dreamer, he realizes a world of possibilities through stories and explores life in poetry. Benie is a dad and lives in Nairobi, Kenya.