Articles

The pros and cons of working on the net

It has become a new trend for millennials to choose to work on the internet as freelance workers. For the first time in Africa, many employers will be considering this option as the current pandemic has forced them to do a test run on the possibility of staff working from home or anywhere else to that matter.

Employees, on the other hand, are having a feel at a nomadic lifestyle as they are able to perform their duties even while they are far from their places of work, makes me think that this could actually be a cause for delocalization.

As a person who has been working from home for a while now, I thought I should let you know what you may be looking forward to should you choose to work as a freelancer.

Time flexibility

The one advantage of working away from the office is that you have the option of creating your own schedule. The objective is to have the work done in good time. If that is done; no one cares if the job was done in the middle of the night or during the known working hours. You chose when to work and when to have some free time

Job control

A majority of people desire to have control of what jobs they are doing, that’s why we have dreams and pursue different career paths. As a freelancer, especially an experienced one, you get the privilege of choosing what job you want to do and rejecting the job that you dislike.

Get paid your worth

While the revenue at the office may be split for bills and all employees’ salaries, a freelancer is able to receive full payment for a job well done. Usually, this amount could triple what an employed fellow would make over the same job.

Getting full payments for jobs also means that you will have to take care of your own deductions which may include taxes, insurance, and retirement plans.

This is just one of the cons of working as a freelancer. As an employee, the employer usually takes care of these deductions, but as a freelancer, you have to do your own calculations and set reminders to make monthly payments.

Other disadvantages of working as a freelancer include;

Work overload and work reduction

One day you could have an overload of work to do and the next you could have nothing on your pipeline. This interprets to payments as well. Freelance work, therefore, requires financial discipline so that the good days may cater to the bad ones.

Don’t work don’t get paid

You will always have to be on your toes, unlike employees who expect a salary at the end of each month no matter how well or bad the month was, a freelancer’s daily activity determines just how much they get at the end of the month.

Have you thought of working as a freelancer? Many people take their time to consider if this is an option that will work for them. Am sure there are many other advantages and disadvantages of working online.

Let me know, what scares you the most about being self-employed as a freelancer? What do you admire about freelance working?

Girl on Transit

10 things a grown woman must have

Throughout my blogging journey, I have shared with you my evolving thoughts, imaginations, and realities of my becoming a woman.

I know since the rebirth of writersfantasy.com from Jshare.co.ke it seems like I have given my womanhood a back seat, I haven’t. Writers fantasy at this stage represents a grown woman, a woman who; if you go back to my 2014 articles and compare to the ones you read now, you will notice she has evolved and she is becoming, dare I say like The Budding Tree?

Writers Fantasy represents a businesswoman, a woman who needs to give back to the
society what the society has given to her. Which is life experience and
professionalism, but within this growth, I know that there are things a grown
woman must own, well, it couldn’t be everything, but I find this to be
essential, at list for me.

  1. Pen and notebook

These things seem simple; in fact, they are easy to forget. A grown woman, I feel, needs to always have a pen and notebook to jot down their thoughts, write down things they need to remember for future reference and diarize their activities. Ladies who carry and use pens and notebooks are more organized, they get things done and know just how far to go and when to stop.

2. A plan and its plan B

Now that we have spoken of pens and notebooks, it’s inevitable that we speak about having a plan. A proper woman must see their tomorrow and must work towards it, but even as you work towards your tomorrow, you must understand that the universe has a mind of its own. So do have a plan B in place. It will set your mind up in case of any disappointments, and it will help you pick up as soon as possible and move on with life.  

3. A tight-knit circle of friends

Each person needs to have friends in this world – birds of the same feather. Friends have a way of keeping you balanced and in check. I have this particular friend who has helped me through some really tough times, they ground me by sharing their wisdom and challenge me by making sure that am operating at my optimum. You don’t need to have a million friends; in fact, I think it’s impossible to have many close friends. A wise man once said that to know your average income, look at what your friends make. A grown woman must surround herself with people that improve her emotionally, socially and financially.

4. A little black dress

Let’s get real here; part of being a grown woman includes meeting people, most times even potential future partners. Even though we dress for ourselves, a little black dress in the closet means you have something that fits all occasions and makes you feel feminine for a date, a dinner party, a walk with a special someone or a quiet evening at a restaurant

5. A good suit

Whether you own your business or you are employed, a good suit is a statement on its own. It might cost you an arm and a leg, but I advocate that you own one good suit. You may have to meet with some prominent people, go to an interview or make a presentation that will gain you substantial amounts of money. Either way, you will need to make a statement.

6. A stable source of income

This is another thing that our society seems to exempt us from, but as experience has taught me, it’s easier to have control of your life when you have your source of income. Easier to make investments, secure your future and get a seat in decision making whether in your own home or the society. Have your own money; work for it, your quality of life will be better.

7. A savings account

I cannot insist enough about how much life can surprise you. It could be an economic crunch, a disease or a home emergency. Any grown woman needs to be prepared for the unknown by saving up some money.

8. Insurance cover

We all know how expensive health care has become, this is a global concern that almost all countries are struggling with. Make sure you see the doctor when you need to by having a good health insurance plan. As women, many things happen to our bodies; do I need to spell them out? Make sure you can afford a good gynecologist, Physician, and General Practitioner. In the same way, make sure that you take care of any in eventualities on the road by having vehicle insurance and a retirement plan.

9. A zen space

After a long day, a tough season, a breakup or just a simple exhaustion, every grown woman must have a space where they can find their peace. This could be in the comfort of their home, a tiny garden or a place out of town. Either way, we need a place where we can reset and start over.

10. A vacation of your own

After all the hustle and bustle of being a woman, I think we can agree that a vacation, after a zen space is becoming a necessity. It is said that change is as good as a rest. So it’s important to change the environment and rest your mind while exploring the world.

I haven’t achieved everything on this list, but every day I am convinced that
these are essential things that I must have, and sure enough, I am working to
ensure that I am wholesome and fulfilled. Tell me, are there things you find
essential that I haven’t mentioned? Let’s have this conversation in the comment
section below.

Opinion pieces

Humans for Humans – The COVID 19 Survival

When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID 19 a global pandemic, the majority of us did not give it the seriousness it deserved. The majority of us in this life have never seen a disease so serious that almost all the countries in the world are on lockdowns and curfews. For this reason, the death rate has increased significantly even as fear, panic, and anxiety fills people’s hearts.

For a long time, we have come to identify ourselves as the strongest species, and until these tough times, our strength has never been put to test.

Today, many hospitals are running with minimal resources, medical practitioners are happy to be overworked and governments are pulling together everything to help people by supplying foods, providing disinfectants in public places and educating masses on what needs to be done to keep healthy and safe from the dreaded Corona.

But these times have proven the strength of humanity, and we must be so lucky that all this is happening at a time that technology is advanced and the world is a global village.

We are all united in this, standing together to fight a common threat in the simplest ways we can.

While many people have abandoned their jobs to stay indoors and reduce the spread of COVID 19, risking a stable economy and as a result simpler livelihood, you can tell that we are a people willing to go through the storm, pick up what will be left and carry on from where we will be.

In the United Kingdom (UK), many English men and women stood on their balconies windows and top of their roofs to clap and appreciate the National Health Service for the strenuous work they are doing to control the spread of Corona.

In Italy, where the disease has not only paralyzed operations but also claimed over 10, 000 lives, people have been recorded singing from their balconies to encourage each other and show solidarity towards each other amidst the somberness.

Just the other day in the Emirates, people were observed shouting from their houses to encourage each other and let each other know that they are still there and that things will be fine.

Here in Africa, where the seriousness of the disease is only but sinking in, warning messages have been received from the diaspora of the looming effects of Corona. As a result, people are beginning to see the seriousness of the disease. We are slowly settling into our homes, supporting our medical teams and doing our best to avoid infection.

Being the Africans that we are, we are taking advantage of these times to invent our disinfectants and face masks from our homes, letting the national governments deal with the issues the easiest way they know-how.

All this has fascinated me about our specie, but most importantly am impressed at how we can find strength from each other. I am impressed that even with minimal resources we can encourage each other, support each other and join hands with an assurity that we will overcome this, just as our forefathers had overcome the problems of their times.

INTERVIEWS

The freelance writing engineer

Meeting Laura was a mere coincidence. I was on YouTube looking for some form of entertainment when I bumped into Laura’s studio apartment tour video. It was a tiny space, but it was tastefully put together. So tasteful that I went through her profile and watched some more of her videos.

This was the beginning of our online friendship. Online friendships are very common for people who work on the web, we spend the majority of our time on our computers, so it’s only inevitable. 

Our online friendship was fueled by our similarities; we are both freelance workers, we run our own businesses, mostly online and often offline. We have exchanged notes and bounced ideas off of each other.

I recently asked Laura if I could interview her for this segment of my blog. I am sure you wonder if I know other freelance writers in person, am sure you wonder what our lives are like. Well, today, through Laura’s eyes I would like to introduce you to a freelance workers world.

Her name is Laura Wendy; her specialty is blogging and freelance writing. Laura runs her own website which she explains is geared towards helping creative entrepreneurs build their dream business. She provides her writing services to various companies and individuals from all around the globe while at the same time she runs an online shop.

But to get here, Laura explains that she had to put in the work. Like any other person, she was afraid that her income may not be able to sustain her livelihood, that is until she learned the reliability of online working. You see, when you work with strangers, they want to maintain a good impression, they ensure that payments are done in good time, and Laura learned how to manage and save money to have a wholesome life.

Laura is a mechanical engineer by profession; however, she expresses her joy in the freedom of freelance working. ‘Job security is the ninja benefit of working online’, Laura writes. ‘My favorite part of the freelance life is having to spend a certain amount of time writing, and a certain amount of time doing my other stuff like catching up with friends, going out and engaging with family’.

The flexibility of choosing your own working hours is the other advantage that has caused Laura to prefer online work as a full-time source of income.

Her day starts anytime between 5:30 a.m and 8 am, no alarm clocks necessary, if she worked late, then she wakes up late, but if she was done early she is also early in the morning. Her body rests fully. Laura feels that she has achieved a comfortable work to life balance. She has found her fulfillment in a rarely explored field.

Her daily routine comprises of responding to emails from clients and potential clients. She submits pending work, publishes content on her website and her YouTube channel, edits and writes some more.

Self-employment allows Laura to take brakes every two hours. Laura explains that writing has expounded her thinking; she has become widely knowledgeable about current affairs and different professions thanks to the amount of reading and research she has to put into her work.

She explains that her biggest challenge has been missing networking opportunities. ‘Being unable to interact with your colleagues can make one feel isolated and lonely’. She explains.

Laura is our second cool girl in this series, she has proven that with the low rate of employment in our world today, it is possible to start and maintain a good business and thus a descent livelihood.

Articles

Can you work online without membership sites?

How easy it is to work online away from websites or freelance agency sites.

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, the role of this sites is to bring workers and clients together. They ensure that money is paid into a workers account and act as a mediator whenever there is dispute.

Working sites are important, especially for beginners who are learning the ropes of working independently.

There are as many corn men online as there are genuine business men.  Online sites just ensure that your money is where it needs to be.

However, grown freelance workers often choose to work away from the working sites. Many have created their own spaces where they can directly talk with their clients and exchange money without a third party.

Reasons behind this move include:

  1. Personalized relationship with clients

There is a sense of community and friendship when you are talking with a client without any limitation. Don’t get me wrong, professionalism and working ethics are still important, but there is a bond that is formed with clients that you communicate with without limitation.

2. Reduce the cost of transaction

The more the money moves from one person to another, the more deductions are made in terms of transaction fee.  A lot of money is wasted in the process of moving money; this can be avoided if money is moved directly to the service provider

3. Marketing your services

Working with clients away from working sites makes it easier to receive recommendations and testimonials from the client. If you have a website, it is easier for potential clients to look you up and see who you have worked with, what you did for them and how they feel about your services. Trust me, if you do your work well, this will bring more clients your way.

4. Branching out

There is no limitation while working away from working sites. You could venture into other interests and make it work for you.

5. Free negotiating terms

With the availability of payoneer and paypal, it is possible to come up with proper payment arrangements without risking loss of money. This can be upfront payment or a deposit before a service is delivered. Whatever you chose, trust is what will move your off-working-site gigs.

If you chose to go this route, you must invest and understand the importance of Search Engine Optimization. Use key words to attract new leads to your site. You must have a strategy of making your site work for you.

I would love to hear from you, have you worked away from the renowned working sites? How is it working for you?

Andrew Neel on Unplush Articles

5 WORKING SITES FOR FREELANCE WRITERS

   When you are looking to hire a staff, either for your household or your office, you run to a job placement agent who vets and presents viable candidates to you. In the same way, if anyone was looking for a
job or had an issue with their employer, they would run to their job placement
agent to look for another job or bargain for new deals for themselves.

This is what working sites are to freelance writers, they are the middle man, the one who ensures that the client gets worth for their money and the worker gets paid. The role of a working site is to connect the
online worker and the client, but further than that, these working sites also
ensure that when a client places a job advertisement for its members, the
client has money to pay the member that they chose to work with. They ensure that the member gets paid and
that the job gets delivered to the client the way the client wants it.

The working site benefits by cutting out a fraction of the payment as a token for its services. It sounds fair, after all, they connect you with the client and ensure that the client does pay at the end of a good
business deal.

There are many working sites on the internet where you can join at no cost and start bidding for jobs and working for money.

Some of the things you need to consider while choosing a working site are your country of residence, the financial institutions in your country and your kind of professional expertise. The reason you need to consider these factors is that some sites work better with regions, based on the type of clients it attracts. Although many of these sites will have PayPal as a means of transaction, other sites will promote overseas banks and financial institutions making it difficult for other workers to transact their money or costing workers an expensive transaction fee. Some sites will promote only specific professions, for example, some sites encourage only Philippine workers who have the qualifications of Personal assistants, secretaries and cooperate aids online. This could be to protect their professional interest or the interest of the people of a specific region.

Having said that, here are 5 working sites that I would recommend for you.

  1. Kenyawriters.com

Now I have to admit, I am being biased starting with a local working site, mainly because I know better working sites, but I have to support my own, (being patriotic and all). This site does a lot to measure up to international standards. What stands out for me in this
site is the mentorship program, it’s not just a site for expert writers, but even the ones who are starting up can be trained within their systems to become better and to grow themselves. It is an easy site to join, but because of all the vetting and levels, it will take you a while to get to a point where you are making enough money to sustain yourself. Don’t get it twisted, it is not easy anywhere, you have to put in the work

 2. Freelancer.com

This working site has been there for a while, which means that the competition is very high to get jobs. It was difficult for me to join the site 10 years ago when I was still young and
learning, maybe the policies were different then because when I tried to join this time around, it was easy peasy. I don’t like that this site will send to your email a handful of notifications about jobs that you qualify for and which you can apply for. Freelancer is so competitive that you have to consistently keep sending proposals to get a job. In my experience clients will never get back to you unless you have qualified for the job. The majority of its people are of Asian origin, both the workers and the clients. This might explain why it takes forever to be noticed, but that’s just my assumption.

 3. Guru.com

Like freelancer, Guru has many people of Asian origin. It is very easy to join and based on your qualifications, it is very easy to identify clients that might need your services. It is also very easy to communicate with these clients if you write your proposal right and impress the clients; it’s easy to get a job. Guru will tell you how often a person posts their jobs, and if they pay their workers and how much they have paid so far. My favorite feature about Guru is how it allows its members to promote their businesses, for example, I can direct my potential
clients to my website by sharing a link, which is not acceptable in some other sites. I do not like that clients have the room to take advantage of workers, the policies of the site do not completely protect its members. Clients can reach you outside of Guru and if you are not careful you could be coned out of your hard-earned cash.

 4. Upwork.com

I will be honest here; this has got to be my favorite of them all. Maybe it is because of how difficult it is to join this up. I mean I am fairly qualified to work for this site but it has
taken ages for them to approve my membership. I had to put my best foot forward
when it came to making an application to join, there are a few tests you have to take, and then you have to wait. I have never been approved despite the number of times I have resubmitted my application, but that’s just what I like about them, I feel like they have the most qualified members. I have learned from fellow freelance workers that Upwork works like Guru. It has a more diverse people, very professional people. The competition to bid and get selected for a job is high, but competition is good, makes you up your game and
become better in your skills. When I eventually have a first-hand experience
with this, I promise I will update you if my feelings change about this site.

 5. Fiverr.com

Like Kenyan writers, I may be biased on how I speak about Fiverr. I have been a member since July last year. Since then, I have met many people, many have turned to be my clients, some we have long terms arrangements and others have become my friends. There are a few things that might not work for you on Fiverr if you are inpatient. The first is
that the clients hardly post their jobs for you to find and apply, it works the other way. You perfect your resume; you write your profile and then trust that you are good enough to be noticed by potential clients. It’s a waiting game. It took me two months to get my first client on Fiverr, but once I got his reviews, others kept coming and it’s been great since.

Anyone can join Fiverr, as the name suggests the list amount you can charge a client for a job is 5 USD, however depending on your qualification, profession, and area of expertise, good money can be made in Fiverr, ask me, I have been there for a while.

You got to understand though, that joining these sites does not guarantee you a job immediately, you have to be good at your job, you have to communicate right and pass the right energy to your clients, you have to put in the work if you want to succeed as a freelance worker. I think I have said enough for today, let me know what you think about
this.

Articles

5 simple ways to become creative

I must mention that I feel some level of confidence to speak about creativity, I have a stuck of certificates and awards on my mama’s wall that convince me that I must have something worth mentioning. For the majority part of my life I have composed, recited and worn poetry competitions. As I get older, I have learnt to explore more of my creativity. I have written shot skits for my church and recently I can proudly say that I have published a book. I know, I know, I have rubbed my book on your face a bit too much. Please understand that I am still very excited for my latest achievement.

While am still bragging about this satisfying but moneyless venture, let me also mention that creativity is not a one man show. It can’t be; you have to be exposed to the right environment, given the right motivation, gone through some pressure that will cause you to conform and have the curiosity that will cause you to become creative. So I must shout out to my folks, they gave me a pen and a paper, and life experience that made me conform.

 I must also mention that being creative does not really mean being accurate. Spelling errors and poor sentence construction does not rob you of your creativity. It does make me look shallow sometime, but it has never taken away from my creativity. 

Can you create a situation in your head and deliver it so well to an audience that it looks real? Can you shut your eyes and transport yourself to another body, another world, another time or another nation? Then clearly portray what you see in that world either through art, narrative, music or poetry? Now that is how you know your level of creativity.

Okay, let’s get to it, here is my 5 takes on becoming creative;

  1. Read
Schoolchildren at Nkasaulo Primary School in Machinga District of Malawi, read their textbooks. The Machinga District is one of several that are benefitting from a program that ensures textbook delivery.
Image courtesy of google

The more you read the more you learn. It’s like a game of chase, it expands your mind, causes you to reason and think out of the box. If you can think out of the box you can become creative, it’s a silent but very obvious rule. So trust the process of reading, I promise you it will open your imagination in ways you can’t possibly imagine.

2. Watch movies

Image courtesy of google

Not everyone is a book warm, actually majority of us are more of movie watchers than we are readers. Movies have a way of intriguing your creativity, cause you to think. Do you wonder why kids are usually afraid to sleep at night after watching a horror movie? Have you seen them act out or imitate what they have watched? Creativity works in the same way. It can cause you to question scenes, to imagine better situations. Then boom, just like that you become creative.

3. Practice

Tell a story, paint a picture or recite a poem. Do something to practice on your creativity. You will be far from perfect, but you will have taken a step and you will be moving. Consistency will become experience; it is experience that makes the gurus. So do practice, it does after all make perfect.

4. Tell stories

You don’t necessarily have to seat round a born fire and tell a story. Just break the ice in a matatu, talk to others, tell those stories. As I said in my previous point, it does make perfect.

5. Travel and seek new adventures

Image courtesy of Eastern vacation website (google)

The more experience you have, the more stories you can tell. So do seek for adventures, visit new places and meet new people. You will learn new things, you will have a story to tell in whatever form you choose.

The secret is out, it could be an in born skill, but it can also be acquired. So go yee and become creative

Articles

5 Blogs & Bloggers That Will Teach You Something


In the recent past, while working on my first book, my book editor made a comment that implied that I do not read enough. In my You Tube channel, I have delved more in to it, explaining what he meant by that and how I feel about it. In a world where books have become too weighty to be carried around and e books do not look as appealing as the real solid piece, majority of us are taking to bloggers.

Any form of reading is reading, right? Don’t I just love how short blog pieces can be, yet still packed with knowledge, wisdom and entertainment? Never once have I read a wonderful creative blog and felt that I was missing something, it’s like having a meal, you can’t be staffed and still ask for a mash of potatoes. Everything is well thought out, well explained and thoroughly entertaining. Re reading a piece teaches something new each time, the level of creativity is just extra ordinary.

Which is why I feel so intimidated to even write about this blogs, what if this experienced creative writers read this article? Will they print it out and with a red pen, mark my words and find enough mistakes? Will they find fault in my creativity or is it simply not in their league?

This is a world of entertainment, I have been more than entertained, majority of the times I have also been inspired.  To be honest my list of blogs that teach me something might be biased. Because as a writer, (it’s still intimidating to lay claim on an author’s title) how do you compare people’s form of expression? Everyone is right to think, feel and write what’s in their mind. Second, in a world where everyone is entitled to their opinion, who am I trying to face them against each other?    

I dare write, that there are creative spaces that intrigue me, that is my own opinion, and because they do, am feeling entitled to speak about them.  

Papa Were

 I swear he was here just now, how to disappear in a matter of days and leave no trace on the internet is something that bits my mind. But Papa Were has plaid one on me. I was introduced to this blog not long ago, ‘congratulations on your first book, you should seek papa were for mentorship’. 

Image from Papa Were Facebook page

Of course I looked him up, and was glued to his writing style. He is the kind of writer that gave you the feel that he is educated, he is elite and creative. He merged those two too well to keep you glued to the blog.  Reading Papa Were made me feel like I was home, seated under a mango tree sipping my turungi and sweet potatoes while swimming in words. It’s unfortunate his blog just disappeared. So now I cannot prove that I learnt something from him. I pray he finds his way back.

The Magunga

I love the Magunga for one reason, he is inclusive. I love that he is wonderful writer, yet he finds others worth enough to contribute in his space. How he sieves out through many young writers is a mystery only he can solve.

Image from
http://www.magunga.com/

The stories on Magunga sound like they came from the same brain. I love that he writes so well that we can rely on his blog to be introduced to other writers. I can’t wait to be such an expert one day

Dear Doris

 I was going to start my list with Dear Doris, you know, women supporting women. But I know so well that the blog was written by a man. Yet he represented women so well, fit so well in the shoes of one of us and wrote stories that we tell each other every day in a more captivating manner.

Image from https://mydeardoris.wordpress.com/doris-and-i/

Imagine the level of feminism in this man. So when I stopped receiving notifications from Dear Doris, I went searching about Ian Amunga. Had he fallen off planet earth and went away with his words?  So much to read about this man on google, so much must be keeping him away from Dear Doris, or maybe the books have become better than Doris, may be the paper work at the office is too much. Life must be moving fast, he might have thought, I am busy today, I will write to Doris  tomorrow, and tomorrow came, and he was busy again and days went by. Then months then years and it just seems like yesterday. Maybe he will write to us tomorrow.

Biko Zulu

Like Ian Amunga, I thought Jackson Biko will finally fall off planet blog after publishing his first book     ‘Drunk’ I know for sure that he is a busy man, I have read his stories and interviews in local newspapers. Biko Zulu is still here, entertaining us and telling us stories that we can relate with in such a blunt manner. He says it as it is, he speaks about relatable issues in their right manner, a manner that conservatives like myself will only think about and never speak of.

Image from https://bikozulu.co.ke/

We can call Biko Zulu the king of expression, if he means to say something, he will say it and make sure that while you read it, you understand it for what he is meaning it to be. This explains why like many others, I love Biko Zulu.

Humans of New York

I know, I know, everyone has spoken about this international blog. I will tell you for sure, I know very little about Brandon Stanton, the owner of the blog. Yet each time I look in his space, I find a new human featured, someone who through their life story, I learn something new.

Image from https://www.humansofnewyork.com/series

Sometimes it’s through very simple words, like ‘Life has got to move on’ or ‘tomorrow will come’ but of the many people featured on this blog, you will always learn a new look on life.

Articles

Happy Mother’s Day / The Budding Tree

Happy mother’s day to all mothers.

Mother’s days reminds me a lot about my childhood. I will tell you for sure I gave my mother some hard times. Sometimes she would cry with me when I threw a tantrum and other times she would be so strict and tough that I thought she didn’t care about me. I remember walking into Uchumi to do some shopping before I went to boarding school. Uchumi was the place to shop then. I remember my mother convincing my father that children in boarding school carry snacks and junk food, it was a necessity that my old man did not understand.

It is my mother that was first to know when I had my first period, it is she that had the grace to give me the birds and bees talk as we made chapo in the kitchen. Okay, maybe not birds and bees, in Africa they say it as it is. ‘If you have sex, you will be pregnant, and I do not want to be embarrassed’ she said.

It is my mother that has severally laid in hospital with me and the one that sat at the front row of any concert or any of my achievements to cheer me on.

They say the earth is a mother, you would understand why if you have leaved with a mother. There will be consequences for your wrong doings yet still be provided for no matter how difficult life may get

That aside, I have woken up to see everyone on social media wishing their female relatives a happy day. Some, like my mother are not on social media, and no one apart from she and I may ever know how much mother’s day means to us. Others are on social media alright, but they will never write this wishes because such days remind them of their long gone sons and daughters. They remember what would have been. It’s still a mother’s day for them and I feel if anything, they too should be celebrated for the courage to carry on after their losses.

I would like to wish all mothers a happy mother’s day. It is a perfect day to dedicate The Budding Tree to this women, a book that means a lot to me and which speaks about the struggles of becoming a mother

I hope you love it, you enjoy it and most importantly you learn from it.

Life does not come with a manual, it comes with a mother

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3 Lessons to make you a better writer

Dear Friend,

Long time no blog from me. I trust you have been as well as I have been. I am happy to report that this time around I did not abandon Jshare because I was unstable in any manner. In fact, no day has this blog skipped my mind. A wise man said that; just because you do not hear the clacking of the keyboard does not mean no one is writing.

I have been writing so much in the last few months that I have actually started noticing some repetitive mistakes that keep me away from being one of the best writers in this world.

I have also been interacting with some of the best writers in this nation and picking their minds on our similar interests.

I thank you for sticking around as the blog seemed dormant, I thank you for watching this space even as I evolve and grow by the day.

As I promised, I will continue being authentic and sharing with you issues that matter to you and I. I especially hope to share with you issues that I hold intimately in my heart and which I feel in my own little way will help us make a better place for ourselves.

I look forward to telling you all that I have been up to all these days that you’ve not heard from me.

In fact, let me start by telling you three lessons I have learned to make me a better writer

  1. It’s okay and necessary to be vulnerable

We all have that one talent or gift that we think we are good at, we
practice it but we never share it with others because we are afraid of judgment. For me, my secret talent is writing. I must confess that even though you have read some of my articles in this blog, there are many others which do not make it here. To be honest you have always been intimidating to me. I have been afraid of your opinion over my creativity. While I was writing in my secret chambers, while I was interacting with other writers and editors, I practiced being vulnerable.

By sharing my scripts, taking corrections and listening to criticism with an open mind, I am surprised at the lessons I have learned about writing. To structure my sentences better and to be more objective in my writing.  You will notice now that I am hardly beating around the bush.

  • Research and knowledge makes you a confident writer

If I am to write about anything, I have learned to write about something I am familiar with. I should do my research if I do not know the topic by heart. Just like public speaking, nothing makes you look smart and confident more than well-researched information. 

  • Writer’s block is not a “thing”

For a long time, I thought that truly there was a condition that causes my mind to stop creating a piece of written work. Sometimes I thought I was exhausted and other times I just didn’t have the energy. I have since learned that it is all the conditioning of the mind. I have learned to plan what I intend to say then word by word put it down on paper. I found one motivating sentence, that successful people are disciplined people. I will surprise you at how much I have been able to write under this new discovery.  

I hope these lessons make sense to you too. I am excited about the things I have learned so far. I hope that you will allow me to share them with you in my subsequent posts.

I have also been working on a secret project which I promised on Instagram that I will be sharing with you in the course of the week. Fret not, we still have a few days to go.

Until then, be vulnerable, know your staff and remember that writer’s block is not a thing. 

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