Tuesday, July 11, 2017

James Murua's advice on trying diverse forms of writing

It all started from a Facebook chat I had with the fine gentleman…

Me: By the way, the facilitators of the Nigeria Cameroon Literary Exchange programme I attended in Limbe, Dami Ajayi and Dzekashu Macviban, thought I wrote a wonderful review of a little known Fela Kuti song without vocals which Dami played during one of the workshop sessions and asked us to review. When the song started playing, it had been so weird we started laughing, not to mention reviewing it. But I pulled it off. So I think I'll become a music critic too. I’ve reviewed music before mainly on social media anyway. But I want to be more serious with it now.

James Murua: It doesn't hurt, do different kinds of writing. Even reviews of different forms of art help your writing in ways you can't imagine. One of the things I learnt later in my career was that, writing isn't just one thing. There are many forms. The more forms you explore, the best you become overall at the whole thing. It informs your fiction and it informs everything. My blogs are usually very simple. I went somewhere and saw this. But if you look at them you notice that they have something more. That's from working in the writing industry, from TV to Radio to print to web for many different people with different needs. It all adds up. Unfortunately, no one told me these things when I was starting out. In fact, family and friends thought I was flaky, changing spaces of writing all the time. The having to write for different people forced me to have a unique style that informed how I write even now.

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