See Me, Move Me, Feel Me Part Three: Abubakar Wasiu Sheyi
It’s good to make new friends, especially when they admire your craft. It didn’t take long for Wasiu and I to click, after all, we are both dreamers trying to get a grip in this life of writing. It can be an amazing feat, you know! Some people have no idea how much writing captivates your entire world. If you’re not writing, you’re at least thinking about writing. If you are writing, you’re thinking about writing some more until you hit that good ole writer’s block for the hundredth time. Oh yes, the life of a writer can be a hectic one, but it can also be rewarding.
To become a writer, the first thing you must do is write. The hardest thing about doing so, I have to say, is disciplining yourself to sit the hell down and write! I swear there are so many distractions; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter I can go on and on. But I won’t because we have no time for that. This last interview is for my long-distance friend Abubakar Wasiu Sheyi. He is from Lagos, Nigeria and we connected in a way that most people do these days, online. We are both apart of a writing group on Facebook which is how we found one another. We became critique partners and I am pretty glad he is in it for the long haul. I admire this man for many reasons: one, being that he has such a hunger for writing; wanting to learn the do’s and don’ts, where to submit and how to hold back until you have ran through every spec and detail of your heart-throbbing work. Second, he wants to learn what makes good writing and third, where are some good places or sites to get published. We are all in the same boat my friend.
He is new to the world of writing and I couldn’t be happier to help him along the way. So, without further ado, lets get to the interview.
I like the fact that Wasiu Sheyi is a straight forward man. He has a keen eye for detail and likes to ask lots of questions about writing. However, I strongly feel as if there are no stone written rules to writing, especially for amateur writers like myself. I just write how I feel. I think it’s better that way. Wasiu feels the same, in fact he says you should write in a way to create change. At first, I didn’t know what he meant by this until he went on to say that he is very interested in politics. He went on to explain all the wrongs and social abnormalities that were happening in his country and ideas on how he wants to change them. He spoke with true passion and determination; I don’t see why he isn’t a politician already.
“Write with a purpose!” he says, and I couldn’t agree more.
Wasiu combines his love of politics and storytelling to settle his views on certain matters. For example, he tells me that the educational system in Nigeria is a bit sketchy to say the least (this is not to offend anyone). He has been trying to enroll into University for some time now and still has yet to get in. So, Wasiu incorporates the pain and frustrations of his own trials and tribulations of the educational system into a glorious fairy tale warped from his own imagination.
Working as a secondary school teacher, Wasiu finds the time to write. Like many writers, timing can be a luxury for the fact that life always gets in the way. Nevertheless, he finds a way whether if it’s in between classes or after school, he makes sure he writes every day. But, there are days when the joy of writing becomes torturous. Lack of inspiration and motivation can occur on any occasion. It’s called writers block people! As writers and authors’, it’s inevitable to obtain. Question is, what do you do when that brick wall is upon you? The best advice Abubakar Wasiu shown me, is to write even when you don’t want too. He explains that it is best to keep the creative juices flowing to make sure you exercise your writing every day. On the other hand, Wasiu hates when he must do this. He wishes he could be in the mood to write all the time, but, we don’t live a fantasy world like how we prescribe in our stories.
Writing when he's not in the mood bothers Wasiu because he is afraid that whatever he writes, isn’t meaningful. I know all writers have this problem. There were many days when I when I wasn’t in the mood for writing, so I took this advice and wrote anyway. I felt as if my work wasn’t all that great, so I’ve decided to throw the whole thing away. As always, he gave me the best advice:
“Seek a second opinion!” Pretty necessary I think. You just never know.
Moving along in the interview, I asked my friend a question I've been wondering about for some time. I asked him, was it a good thing to place characteristics or qualities of yourself into your characters and his response golden.
“I don’t think one can absolutely separate himself from his characters.”
I must agree with this for I find it hard not to place bits of my personality into my favorite characters. On the other hand, I think it’s important to detach yourself from your characters for if you don’t, you’ll end up writing about the same person. You want to differentiate personalities and perspectives throughout your novel. Much like what the game of life teaches us about people in general.
Growing up, Wasiu didn’t have the best advice about doing what he loved. He felt his environment didn’t match his dreams, so he didn’t pursue them. The life of a writer has lingered on his mind for years. It wasn’t until about a year ago he decided to go after what he wanted. He joined writing clubs and connected with other writers to help him along his journey (sometimes, he would create quite a fuss in the group based on the questions he’ll ask). Even though writing is his new-found “love affair”, he feels that he wouldn’t gain any true satisfaction until his work is published. Wasiu feels that this is when a writer can truly make a change.
Is he right? Are you truly a writer unless your work is published? Is the literary world like a metaphor for natural selection; only the strongest and the most evolved can win?
I want to thank those that took their time out of their day to read my very first interview series of See Me, Move Me, Feel Me. I had fun doing this project. Sitting down with my favorite people, listening at how passionate and positive they are about their work is astounding. It was definitely an experience I would never forget. The light in their eyes and the fire in their voices as they spoke about perfecting their craft was just, AWE!! I will be doing more interviews in the future. I have already chosen two people that have caught my attention. If I can’t leave with anything I’ll leave you with this:
ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS! No matter how big or small. It is all you have in this life to make it worthwhile. Be who you are and trust your intuition! It is you guide to peace and happiness.
Well people, as always:
Stay Positive. Stay Focused. Vibrate Higher