JOHN CHIZOBA VINCENT - NON-FICTION
WRITER’S MISERIES AND NIGHTMARES: EMOTIONAL BREAKDOWN
The most electrifying and interesting part of a writer's life is to hold his or her hardcopy published book on his or her hand, to read or to show some friends and family members and relations. This means a lot to many writers out there. Some have not gotten to this level while some have. Some dream day and night to make sure that their works are published; in a situation where a write has gone far and wide to make sure his or her work is published but to no avail, he or she is broken and emotionally disturbed. Emotional breakdown is not a good thing for any writer of any such. We all fight to make money through what we do, we strive and thrive to be better than who we were yesterday and when all these things are not forth coming or when they are not paying off, it makes a writer weary of writing, it breaks him or her. They become discouraged; they become disturbed, broken and dejected. Emotional breakdown is real, it is not a myth; writers encounter it.
Works rejected by magazines can break down a writer. He has in one way or the other put more efforts and time to make sure that the work comes out fine but at the end of the day, it is rejected by magazines, publishers and many others who cannot in one way or the other encourage them as a writers. You see, your poems and stories, even articles all have a source. They come from somewhere; somewhere that you don’t really know. Your muse directly knows how to make you feel. Nothing you write or comes out from your head is entirely fictitious. The characters and subject of your story might be out of the blue, you might wake up to ideas in your head but they are being aided by your life experiences: Situations you have been through, places you have been to, people you have met, books you have read, the lyrical content of the songs you listen to every day, movies you have watched, the kind of things you observe while walking down the road and so on. These things work together to formulate and create new ideas inside you. And that is what, after completion, you regard to as fiction. However, after spending much of your time creating all these things, someone somewhere would reject it
but the truth of the matter is that, it is not their fault; they have their lay down standard, their rules and regulation guiding them.
We’ve all heard stories of authors who arrive at writing conferences in their personal helicopters, who own multiple vacation homes, and who get million-dollar book deals; who made it big through their writing career, who are world changers. But realistically, what are the chances that you as a creative writer will join the ranks of writers who are making a ton of money? What are the chances that you stand to make money from what you write or from the book you sell? This is the one of those things that breaks a writer as he dreams and hopes that one day, he would stand to become something in life through what he writes.
Some critics break a writer also. They make him or her feels like a worthless being; they critique unconstructively leaving writers or their work at the mercy of their own. It is not really easy to write. Although these writers’ critics make writers but someway somehow, some of these critics should be frank with what they do. They should be tender with their words. They have made some writers and destroyed some. In Africa, We know most writers don’t become zillionaires. Some are able to make a comfortable living as a writer, but others are not. Today we’re to take a hard look at not just how much money a creative writer can expect to make over the course of his or her career but what messages he or she is able to pass down to his or her readers and how he can be able to change the narrative through what he or she writes.
Writers do break down too. They are emotional too. They feel pains and loss control over some things. They are not strong all the times. They are weak people with emotional instability. Sometimes not all they write is what they represent. There are some distinguish characteristics between what they write and their personalities; they are humans just like you. Their brokenness is as real as HIV and AIDS. And of course it’s a disease too, to them. The only difference is that it’s unpreventable and unprintable. At some points in your career as a writer, you will feel empty, blank and uninterested about a lot of things. This is probably a proof that you haven’t kept the balance of your input and output system.
Now the more you exhaust this brokenness as a writer, the more your mind becomes disordered, and the weaker the signal strength of your creative imaginations. You can’t produce anything reasonable if you are empty.
So it is better to find a way or an outline of means to overcome these brokenness- Make a useful outline when you are inspired that you cannot be broken no matter what comes on your way, not even money or comments on your work by novice or Elite writers would break you or mare you. Just ignore and move on with your style. Keep your mind afresh always, never allow things which don’t worth a thing to break you- you need your mind for your work, you don’t need to be broken always.
Basically, there are things you just have to ignore or let go. As a beginner or as professional writer; I recommend you keep your mind void of any weird and unnecessary words. Focus mostly on the area that you continually concentrate on, those areas you need to improve and those you need to maintain. This way you can recycle old posts with a new spin that will keep you alive until you get back in the saddle of who you are. Don’t allow anything break you for too long.
THE YOUTH AND THE COUNTRY: UNEMPLOYMENT
The problem of unemployment has gone viral over the years in our country. It has been one of the major problems that this country has suffered over the years. No work for the youths and those who are supposed to resign from their various departments in the government sector has failed to do so because they believe that there are blank spaces in the world beyond where they work. They are afraid of the payment of their pension by the government, so therefore, they occupy the space made for the youths. They fail to resign rather they employ P. As who will be doing the work while they relax collecting the money then they pay peanuts to the P.A. It heart breaking seeing a full grown man and a graduate for that matter, roaming the street of Lagos, Abuja, PH and some other major cities in Nigeria. They roam about with their certificates, properly dressed with their designer shirts moving from one firm to another seeking for employment. they could be offered a job of fifty thousand naira which cannot hold their body and soul together but they have no option but to manage it.
It is disheartening to see a graduate in the street searching for this dream job without knowing that all those jobs opportunities promised are illusion and mirage. They don’t exist in this side of the world and the world to come. Firms will still abuse young graduates, they will still look for people with 10 years’ experiences and those with 20 years’ experiences to employ. And this come to mind: if they seek for only those that have these experiences, what happens to those fresh graduate from our universities? Where would they fit in in the labour market? How would they get their own experiences after the so called NYSC service and those abnormal theories taught in our schools? Where? The fact that the government could not generate or build a number of films that could help for these issues of unemployment, how could we combat these issues of unemployment in our society?
I was a victim of this hunt for job when I just graduated from the university so as my brothers and sisters and, some of my friends. I trekked from Oshodi to Ikotun searching for jobs, from Ikotun to Ikeja under the hot blazing sun submitting CV. After submitting your credentials to these firms, they would promise to get back to you but at the end of the day, you won’t see their calls and Your C.V remain on their desks. These are the plights of our brothers in the street of Lagos and other part of Nigeria. You won’t blame these firms because they might be trying to balance their paper work minding the number of people could pay. How would they pay you if they employ you? How would they restrict or lay off those old women and men on their list?
I have worked in a factory owned by Indians where Nigerians are beaten. They don’t correct you your mistake, make any mistake and you are beaten by the supervisor who happens to be an Indian. He would hit you with an iron steel and nobody will talk. Other Nigerians would keep quiet because no one wants to be sacked. I worked there for just a month and I left because of the beatings and the way they treat us in our own country. I believed that those things can and would never happen in India no matter how much you’re paying to their government as a tax. You won’t dare your hand on any of their citizens without them fighting you back but here in Nigeria, the government won’t do anything even if the issue is reported to the appropriate head; they won’t. you spent four years in the university, you spend another one year serving your father’s land and the rest of other years you spend it hunting for job in the street of Nigeria. The government of the day end up calling you lazy. Saying you have no future or dream. When will things get better?
Many of these problems have made many to think that the easiest way to make it in life is the so called Yahoo and Betting. And some others think that going abroad is the best place to make money and live a better life. They learn to break themselves, cure themselves and dream beyond a faithless investment which will later hurt them in life. We tried to find some reasonable facts to back it up. If the composite issues remain the order of the day this shows that our government has failed us entirely. We have lost all we stand for as a country. If these little things cannot be handled by the government of the day, I wonder what the future of this country will look like in days to come. Our ultimate goal as people should be how to savage these situations. Create a nation whose motivate is to generate and uplift its youths because they are the future and the leaders of tomorrow.
Nigerian youths are faced with the identical dilemma of surmounting many hurdles of growing up to be responsible citizens, and leaving up to the billing of being ‘leaders of tomorrow’ as constantly mouthed by successive governments. The former may be termed natural, while the latter can easily be classified as man made.
if we as people fail to retract our footsteps as to show these youths the right routes to follow, it would be extremely difficult to convince any right-thinking member of the youth in the society that the resolution is not a ploy to encourage government to get away with molesting the pride and future of these youths. Arguably, we are globally aware that we own the world as leaders of tomorrow. We should find a way of giving confidence to those who look up to us as their leaders not abandoning them to rot in misconception of the future. We failed to understand that life without the youths is as useless as a life without breath. How we manage the consequences that implies in this fate remained our ultimate goal that should be driven with a ultimate believe. We should let our lives reflects our actions. Let’s create a position for these young ones that would stand in our possible when tomorrow comes and we are no more on the surface of the earth to bear witnesses to those things that we did, these younger ones would be here on earth to follow our leads or rather stand to defend those legacies we have built. The youths are our tomorrow, the curators of our blueprints. Neglecting of those plantation of thoughts are the instruments of destruction that might end up face country if care is not take. We should be strong in win, battle these issues of unemployment in the land by creating or building more factories, firms that could provide job opportunities to the job.
DEAR UCHE NJIE, FROM MY LIFE I WRITE TO YOU THE MEMORIES OF A LONGING LIFE.
I am going to be honest with my tale. On the tree opposite me are two birds looking at us. They look like those you see in Nkwo Ngwa market. One boy chased them away before but they didn't go. I asked him to leave the birds alone when they returned but he reluctantly left for his mother's house. I don't know why he left but some boys here said he has trouble looking at the eyes of others. By the right side of my house, Some people are celebrating Birthday. I can see the celebrant in a red rosy gown. She is wearing black shoes. She paints her lips red to match the Red gown she's wearing. Her boyfriend is around her. He looks like those kind of boys that didn't suck their mother's breasts for nine months. He looks shy and calm. He looks at us seated. His eyes are inviting but this party isn't my call.i am telling these boys of mine how this country has failed us. I am telling them how our mistakes have made us who we are. From my life, I write you the memories of today holding what is left of what is good. We can say goodbye because we've met in rickety vehicles of chaos transporting dreams to different places. I am standing here digging a shallow grave, a dog had died last night in our compound. The boys dug a fatal grave last night but I covered it this morning before we gathered. I am standing here right now, praying and hoping the weather comes with a different kind of free rain to wash down these tears of ours. These tears that have forever be ceremonial to culture — I am here doing many things at the same time. I am half way to doom.
You know what the Ancestors once said about spirits? They said spirits arrived in great numbers, with great personalities, in honour and nobilities with contradictory notions; and they treat us with many potions of faith and trust, subject us to diverse incantations, sacrifices, thoughts, massages, and libation. Our Ancestors said spirits are nightwalkers that in the midnight, they expose us to special spirits evoked in the sacred forest of life, but nothing they do ever help us get better as humans. They are fond of holding us into their incantations and prayers but don't know how to send forth goodness to us. Even the herbalists that stand between us and the gods and the spirits, they don't find their ways into our dreams anymore. They dont attempt to do battle with the shadow forms that lurked in our mind; but all they have succeeded in doing was making our nightmares worse and exaggerating, and exacerbating our illness, till it became so bad that we longer speak or even try to long for each other.
No one gets a mouthful of food by picking in between another person’s teeth. I have not come to wish our morning to keep wallowing in engulfing darkness. I have come for this longings and memories of our own. After a decade, I stopped planning those trips of coming with this longing of self worth and for five years I did not pack a weekend bag or tell my mind to prepare for a trip down south. I was always frozen in place, unable to get out of bed, certain that any movement would shatter me into a million tiny pieces. You know I have not come to wrestle with fate with my fists of faith but to keep this longing in the soul of tomorrow for the perfection of the boys in the streets of Nigeria and Africa.
WHAT IS SUCCESS TO YOU?
Success mean different things to different people. Different race, tribes, school of thoughts and scholars have different definitions to what success is. Therefore, there is relatively no one way approach to what success is to different people from different walks of life. To Mr Chima, success may be when he built a house for his mother. To Femi, his success may be getting that degree from the University to Prepare him for the future. To Musa, his success may be getting married to that girl in his dream. He may not have any other thing that he prays for than asking God to convince that girl to say yes. To David in the USA, his definition of success is when he gets that dream job he has been fighting for for years.
A certain man may want to travel to London. He'll dream about it. He'll pray about it. He'll sing about it everyday until when that day will come, he has succeeded in that a area of his life. A sister in his Environment may see that London as nothing because she goes to London every Thursday in a week for business meeting. So therefore, success is the definition you give to it by yourself at a given period of your life. It could be defined as getting married. It could be defined as getting a new job. It could be defined as getting a house. It could be defined as buying a car. It could be defined as having children of your own. It could be defined as passing your exams. It could be defined as changing your Environment. Success is what you name it!
The late Zig Ziglar was one of the most respected modern day experts on success, motivation, and leading a balanced life. In his book Born to Win!, he argues that success cannot be defined in one sentence, but instead it is comprised of many things. One could argue that the definition depends on the individual and one size does not fit all. However, you need to find your own success definition and create meaning for your life. Concentrate on what makes you who you are and what your targeted goals are and work towards them and success comes to you.
Many world great leaders have written different books about Success but they all come from different approach and experiences, the dimensions to which the success happened to them. Argubly, this is to show that there is no particular approach to success like every other thing. What works for Mr A may not work for Mr B. Probably, what made Mr C succeed in his business may not work for Mr E. What is success to you is left with what you seem to understand what success is in your pursuit of a successful life. For example, Brendon Burchard, a best selling Author, high performance coach, Podcaster and self-help Youtube star once said that in other to know how far we have gone with our drives to succeed we should ask ourselves these questions:
And John Addison ,The author of Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practice For Leading And Living With Purpose and SUCCESS Leadership Editor, has these three of his lessons from 2016:
Let's bring this back home. Take a look at a graduate and an apprentice with a business man in Onitsha main market. Take a look at them. Let's assume that the apprentice left home to serve his Oga the same time the other person gained admission to study Economics in the university. Four years later, the graduate came back home to discover that the apprentice he knew is no longer the person he came back to see. He has opened multiple businesses and properties around Onitsha and other places. He has money while him as a graduate has nothing to show but his certificates and knowledge. This is a different sphere of success. Do you know that?
The truth is that each of them have their merits : arguably, Financial intelligence is the major education that an apprenticeship offers over formal University education. But formal education will help for strategic planning and deployment of plans , analytical predictions, and in an ideal case will fly further than just common sense and past experience. In an ideal society, educated people should rank first and should be wealthier than their contemporary. But In today's Nigeria, an apprentice seem to have a brighter future because once they're done serving, they're been settled and they start their own business. Meanwhile a graduate will be looking for job after graduation and he would remain at home, wasting. Since they do not have so much money to start a business. Money is the denominator here. That's the difference. Once you have money people forget whether you went to school or not. No wonder all these settled apprentices end up marrying the girlfriends of University graduate. And this is another success from a different angle.
This country is not conducive for new business to thrive. The old ones are struggling, some have even resulted to crooked means just to succeed in whatever ways they understand success. Nigeria for instance, is a dream killer. Do you know that it's easier for a Nigerian graduate to succeed in Nigeria than an abroad graduate (even with all the sophisticated training)?Reasons being that we're used to the struggle but they're not. That's why once UK sends back Nigerian who studied there they just come home being suicidal knowing that nobody will employ them . Except for the selected few that are "connected" in the country. I think education is still the best legacy no matter how we see it. Although it does not guarantee success but it can give an edge over others.
The problems we most face here is: Nigerians don't value education. Maybe because of our corrupt nature. There are less opportunities for people that went to school in Nigeria than people who learnt trade. If you learn trade. You can start your own business almost immediately after learning the trade. I dare say that regardless of all opportunities available for the apprentice, formal education is still one of the most important ingredient in making wealth and happiness. But if you go to school you will spend years searching for a job that may never come. You'll now end up learning a trade haphazardly. You'll start posting wares on your status for people to come and buy. And you be scammed by people who write books on "how to make 6 digits in a month from selling a product".
In conclusion, your definition about success is dependent of your view about what success it. Success has no definition, it is to everyone what they think it is to them trying to achieve their set goals and plan for a certain thing.