Celebrating East African Writing!
I sat down with a couple of old friends last night. We used to spend quite a bit of time together what seems like eons ago. Then we each had to go our ways, to college, to jobs out of town, to journeys that forced us to grow out of our video gaming, Bleach watching, TheOnion reading ways of post high school, pre college nerdy fun.
So we now meet at a time when we are all at different crossroads in our lives. One is starting at a new job, one is deciding on a total career change, and I am deciding what should be a priority in my life now.
We are all very different people, yes, we share certain common philosophies, and we do have certain characteristics in common. But we are unique individuals, seeing life from different perspectives, and looking at the future through different eyes. But that’s the beauty of it. Without being able to see my friends’ different way of thinking, I would think that my way is the only way.
And so, in the middle of tea and laughter, some teasing, a little bit of arguing, my world is opened up to different ideas and thoughts, even hopes and ambitions.
Now this principle is part of, but not all of the online experience. Information has never been cheaper, more available, in all variances. By that I mean, as easy as it is to type Star Wars into the search engine, it is just as easy to stumble on misinformation, gossip, hate speech and all the vices that lurk on the whole wide internet.
On the other hand, with the blogging space so wide open, it is wonderful to see wonderful pieces of art, be it poetry, prose or opinion. I do so love it when I read a blog that helps me see a part of the world I might never have seen. And don’t you appreciate it when someone highlights an issue that might have passed you by if you had not gone online, on your phone, in the matatu.
As writers, of concern is standard of writing, copyright and creative license, as well as the right and possibility of earning from the toils of creating art. It is a good idea for any writer out online not only to be aware of their own rights as artists, but also to respect the rights of others to claim their work as their own and to earn from it.
So do some research, find out a few things about protecting your work and earning from it. In the meantime, allow me to link you up to blog posts written by Kenyan bloggers.
Now some of the blog posts I found are fiction, some are opinion editorial, some are more personal writing. Some of the posts were nominated by readers, others I just stumbled upon and loved. I encourage you to read them all, comment on the posts and then come back and tell us what you think of blogging. You can also send a nomination to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you mark in the subject line: Blog Nomination. If you don’t your message is likely to be filtered in to spam.
Top on Today’s List is a post out of Business Journalist Terryanne Chebet’s blog.
To The Shredder: When I decided to go back to school last year in May, I had no doubt in my mind, that this was the right thing to do. I may be among the lucky few who managed to convince my bosses throughout my career that with only a college diploma in Broadcast Journalism and no University degree I could do the job. [From Inflation, Stilettos, Pacifiers & An African Dream]
How to Take a Twitter Break: Sometime in April, I decided to log off Twitter for a couple of important (seriously) reasons that I will not disclose. Ok, it was for the GREATER good. Happy? Anyhow, it will become clear once you read what I have to say. It was actually on March 31st, which means that I missed all the hilarious April Fools’ tweets that I found out about later. [From Unsaid but Written]
Stereotyping is as Easy as 1, 2, 3…: So every-time you walk around thinking that it is not you it is them. That they do not understand you. The blame game is on and right there the stereotyping seeds of me, you, them are planted. [From Writing with Your Eyes]
Our Kileleshwa Home: This is a quick letter to let you know that I received your letter last night. It was a bit short though. Sorry to bitch about this but, I don’t understand how I can write you a 3 page letter then all I get back is a quarter page, written in huge block letters!! Did I do anything wrong? You should tell me, you know!! [From Dear Doris]
Bin There. Dump That: Last weekend I embarked on a general house cleaning that lasted from saturday till Sunday. I had no choice but to appreciate Carol, the woman who has been my house keeper for 7 years. How she has managed to keep my den neat and fresh with great dedication and consistence still surprises me. I also got to do some filling as fate would have it, I got to learn some very important lessons. [From A Day in a Dog’s Life]
Of Lisa and the Reverend: It had been a boring day, so boring actually that Lisa had gone back to bed a little past noon even after waking up just a few hours earlier. Cleaning the single roomed house she lived in with her mum and her younger sister did not take too long, and preparing a meal for lunch was out of the question, left-over vegetables and a small piece of ugali from last night was all there was in the tiny house. [From Story Mode]
And we finish up with a poem As Told By Bobby:
Has anyone ever asked you your talent,
That thing that defines your awesomeness?
Has anyone ever asked you your talent,
And you swore you didn’t know it,
You swore you didn’t have one,
As strongly as you swore you never played
So go on, and enjoy!