Understanding The Power In Your Writing

January 3, 2019 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER

Patrick Tomasso photo



John Chizoba Vincent



It is only passion, dreams, aspiration and wit that makes life worth living. Even if you find your passion late in life, don’t let it go, pursue it with all your being. I have looked for many excuses to live in a world others made for me but writing said no yesterday. It said no today and will still be saying no to that world until cinematography and writing cinematically create a balance in my craving life.


The best person you could be is that person within you. Discover this person that has unique talent, this person that can dream and make a common dream uncommon reality; that one person that won’t give up on you no matter how hard the journey seems. Discover this one person and never let go of him. Dare not become a common writer that nobody will employ. Be an influential writer, that force that people will not but reckon with. That force that takes you beyond the lights of the day. Just remember that success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.


The first two stories I ever wrote were in 2003 before the death of my father. I wrote those stories with the hope of publishing them. It was the passion imbibed in the power of writing that pushed me out from my house to the streets of Aba to seek publishers. I was very little then. I knew not what I was doing but I kept the fire in me burning. I never told my mother about what I had in mind because she wouldn’t understand. I told nobody in the house. I packaged the typed manuscripts into an envelope and marched down the street with some numbers I copied from books.


The first day was frustrating because none of them gave me an audience. The second was worse than the first. On these days, I met one of my neighbours. I greeted him and when he asked me what I was looking for, I explained to him. I never knew he went home to tell my mother about my adventurous hunt in the city of Aba. I never knew how he told her but mother was angry when I came back home that day. She scolded me for going out alone as a small boy. Aba then was a den of kidnappers, ritualists and thieves.


Mother was afraid that bad things might happen to me. So on the third day I went out to seek publishers with some numbers I got from yet more new books. When I got to the place at St Michaels Road, the then manager told me that I had to go to Lagos because they don’t collect manuscripts in the Aba branch. I was devastated. I could not think of going to Lagos at that time because I was still in primary school and my mother wouldn’t allow that to happen. I was like a treasured egg to her then.


As I came back home that afternoon, her anger was heavy on me. The only thing she thought that could take my eyes out from roaming the streets of Aba was to burn the manuscripts, which is what she did. To date, I didn’t blame her for that because she was afraid as a mother, she wanted to protect me as a son. I would never blame her for that incident.


The story of the burnt manuscripts came with a fusion of indescribable tears, sorrow, misery, frustration, pain, wilful determination, survival, heaviness, triumph and joy, all at the same time. Looking at what I have spent days and night writing and the money I spent typing turned into ashes I swallowed hard. Dreams do fade but not my kind of dream. My passion for writing is resilient because nothing seems real in life any more. It’s all lies. You have to live that lie to get everyone to applaud you. Nobody cares about what you really want in life. Even if they do, they want you to live according to their own definition, principles and ideology of what life should be and what it shouldn’t, not what you really want as a person; that is why I won’t blame mother.


Know what works for you. Don’t follow the crowd. These powers bound in writing are mysterious in many ways which you may not understand. Sometimes, you don’t know who you are talking to through your writing. Your words heal so many souls. They travel farther than you yourself. They bring people closer to you, they give hope to the dying and to those who are weak and desperate. You see yourself traveling beyond your imagination, going to read your works to people in workshops, going to speak in conferences, having people stand up for your sake. And these words remain after you are gone.


You don’t just write, there are purposes to which you write. You don’t just think, there are reasons why you think. Take your writing serious, it is either changing something out there or creating something out there. Understand these powers in your writing that you are not just writing but healing, impacting, creating, repairing, amending and rebuking something out there which you don’t know.


And this writing connects you to dignitaries. And these dignitaries spend much of their time studying you. They consume a lot of their time getting to know who you are. The more people read you, the more they communicate with you mentally, physically and spiritually, and are impacted in one way or another. It doesn’t matter how far you are away from them, once you bail out your words to them and help them discover who they are your mission is accomplished.


One of the books that influenced me greatly in life is a book from Buchi Emecheta “Joy of Motherhood“. This book had a great effect in me as a boy. I never met Buchi until her death but I read her and she greatly left a spot in my life. This is what books can do to you as a human. Others were: The Native Son, Purple Hibiscus, Things Fall Apart and many others I cannot remember their titles. They affected my life positively and I live by some of the principles imbibed in them.


There are powers in what we write every day, there are many powers in what we put out there every day. You may not see it but it is visible to your readers and your followers. Just write.





John Chizoba Vincent

John Chizoba Vincent is a cinematographer, filmmaker, music video director, poet and a writer. A graduate of mass communication, he believes in life and the substances that life is made of. He has three books published to his credit which includes Hard Times, Good Mama, Letter from Home. For boys of tomorrow is his first offering to poetry. He lives in Lagos.

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