Writers in the Afflatus of Writing Ambience (WAWA): An Introduction

"Writers in the Afflatus of the Writing Ambience" is an upcoming article piece from our Literature Editor Babajide Michael, in the much-awaited March edition of Bravearts Africa PDF Magazine - the #Travel Issue. It is one creative engagement on the subject of writing the manuscript away from home and all - that is, when you leave or travel away from your immediate environment into another setting that is of interest to your inspirational processs in the writing engagement. Quite a number of writers and songwriters, that have taken art beyond the stage of a hobby, may have had this experience before in writing those admired novels or poetry books we take from the bookstore. And some of those that have shared this experiences are, even, emergent writers in your immediate neighbourhood. Then why ever can't you... can't we? Then, there is the in-thing about writing away from home and all; and that's what's called Writer's Residency? Ever come across that yet, as a literary fan or emergent writer? Babajide Michael's article coming out in the upcoming #Travel Issue of Bravearts Africa Magazine in PDF - engages this with interesting profoundity. Enjoy the brief Introduction...

By Babajide Michael Olusegun

You have been with it for weeks, or maybe months—perhaps, years. Maybe yours came today; almost running you mad. You have just been staring into space as if you kept something there, yet you can’t just bring it out. Your fingers have counted figures for the right syllabic numbers; perhaps yours is the duty of getting the right ratio 5:7:5 in three lines or chiseling the neck of flamingo words into one stressed and unstressed syllable using apocope and syncope to condense the hapax legomenon of Shakespeare’s honorificabilistudinitatibus! (See Act 5, Scene 1 of Love’s Labour Lost.)

You have refused to progress because you can’t just go ahead. You are still on chapter one. Not even the smuggling of flash short fictions into the original storyline has helped matters. With all the interpolations, you can’t boast of a plot; you have exhausted all the characters in your head but you haven’t cast one. You have just been piling up words with little voice.

You have borrowed from all the experiences you’ve had from childhood up to adulthood, yet it seems you aren’t being original. All the images to you seem familiar; the metaphors sound to your ears overused, the puns and rhymes are making no sense and sound. The workshops you have attended, the festivals you partook of, the cinemas you have visited, the interviews you have read… but for a remedy in the witch’s fecundity, she “continues to birth female children.”

• Babajide Michael

• Babajide Michael Olusegun

You are now empty. It is obvious. And to make matters worse, family demands, extended family demands, domestic demands, social demands, political demands, emotional demands, mental demands, environmental demands are all on your trail while that tiny thought, that stranded subject matter, that fresh story, that new experience roam in your head abandoning you in Plato’s World of Form. Literature suffers in your head; that magnum opus strands in your mind.

Perhaps, you need to leave that place, remove your eyes from that scenery, leave those people; abandon that style. Perhaps, you need to write it away from home, away from that environment, away from that climate. Perhaps, you need new words, new vocabularies, new ditties, new accents, new smell, and new flavour.

Perhaps you need to see new people, hear new songs, enjoy the music in a strange dialect, breed different air, see new cloths, see new soils, feel a different weather, witness new quarrels, wear new cloths.

Perhaps you need a Writer’s retreat or a Writer’s Escape into a Writers Residency…

MICHAEL BABAJIDE is a poet and spoken word performer. He is a graduate of Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and was long-listed for the Uganda-based BabishaiNiwe (BN) Poetry Prize in 2015. He is the Associate Editor for Literature Segment on the Bravearts Africa Team.

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