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How I learned to Write

How I learned to Write

I’ve always told stories. There was this friend in basic school who had the habit of asking me to read the Tintin books and tell him the stories. He thought my retelling was way more interesting than the story itself. And then my Primary 5 and 6 teachers, Victor Welland Blebu and Christian Dorvlo, always asked me to summarize the books I’ve read to them. First steps.

I started writing consistently in 2007. I had signed up to Helium.com. It’s now defunct. Used to be a content mill that allowed writers to sign up and submit poems, stories, articles and how-to-s to available titles.

It was possible to have a single title with at least 10 or 20 contributions to it and they get ranked. If yours is good enough with Search Engine Optimization taken care of, it might get rated and ranked No. 1 by your peers and show up in the top five of Google searches.

There were writers from all over the world, especially the US, Canada, Britain and Asia, it was awesome competing with them.

There were writing contests as well and I won seven. But my most significant achievements were contributing articles or stories to titles having 50 or 100 submissions and seeing them climb to No. 1 or 5.

That’s peer recognition right there. And there were some cracking good writers. Your writing gets rated and ranked by your peers. Nothing beats that.

The most important thing I learned while writing at Helium was the value of consistency. I peaked in 2011/2012. Within five years I made a total of 502 submissions to the website. Got one of my movie reviews bought by a US publisher, got some articles published in a Canadian Magazine, did some voluntary articles for Child and Youth Finance International and wrote for BBC SportsWorld.

If you are a young person with an interest in writing and looking to get good at this, write everyday.

This is why the best teachers involve their students in the lesson. It’s necessary for students to try their hands at what their studying. It’s a lesson, not a sermon.

That’s the only way to learn. That’s the only way to get better at what you do. And read as much as you can. Non-negotiable.

The golden rule for every artist? Make that every professional. Daily practice!

A painter paints. A singer sings. A writer writes.

Let’s do this.

‘For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.’ – Aristotle

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