Greetings once again, Avid Conquest readers! December 2020 is here with us finally. The year that everyone dreaded was going to last twice as longer is slowly approaching its curtain call. The show is almost over and I am happy that I get to see it out with you guys.
A lot – and I mean a lot – has happened during this year and you can catch up on my previous writing updates over the course of the year. The last quarter of 2020 has provided laughs and tears aplenty. Opportunities have availed themselves while some doors have remained stubbornly shut. I have lost and I have found and in all things I am grateful that I got the chance to learn.
Allow me to take you through the highlights of what has been a quarter-year of grace, love and light. Stick around for a Christmas present from me to you as I had promised in my Instagram account.
I am a Christian. But despite this, I had not been staunch in my Bible reading and my prayer life was slowing to a grinding halt. It felt like I was only a Christian in name and not in practice. My contentment lacked fullness even when I was able to publish posts regularly and revive this blog. My spirit, I figured out, was lacking.
The year has handed me a lot of great opportunities and I cannot understate the importance that growing in the knowledge of my Christian faith has had in that respect. As much as I was journaling about my life and my milestones, I was not making the time for biblical journaling. Now I have. And I can confidently say it is paying off greatly.
Honestly it has taken the efforts of my fellow Christian buddies, reminders on my Bible App and open, thought-provoking and spiritual talks with my pastor. Every day is a step closer to learning the Word, opening my heart to receive from our Father and uniting those around me in peace and love.
Reading and studying the Bible are two different things as I have found out: studying involves an in-depth pursuit of understanding the Word while reading is simply perusing and scanning. How do I study the Word? This TikTok video sent by an Instagram friend of mine will explain the S.O.A.P technique I use to effectively study the Bible. It has made it so much easier to understand Scripture that I wonder whether there’s really any other way of doing it!
CONGOLOMERATE PUBLISHING DEAL
I have talked previously in another post about how important it is to create a community around art and how this sense of unity brings purpose and a deliberate striving for excellence. Nonetheless, I did not have any like-minded community groups to be able to participate with in this manner. Sometimes I would bump into sketchy nondescript Facebook groups that would only end up being troll hubs or hit a dead end in trying to find relevant Reddit forums.
It so happened one day that I was busy going through my LinkedIn that I got a job alert for content writing. As it turned out, it was an organization that deals with young, creative and innovative Kenyan writers that had posted an alert for freelance writers! This was definitely what I needed. When Fortune House Publishing introduced themselves, they mentioned their conglomerate publishing deal which, basically, meant that the proceeds from the publications would be shared among the content writers who had pitched in to make the said publications possible.
Talk about strength in numbers!
It has now been two weeks since I joined the Fortune House team and I am glad that I took this opportunity. Not only am I excited about the possibility of growing an audience for my work but I also endeavor to learn and hone my skills among the many writers and poets writing for Fortune House. Yes, it may not be glamorous as the New York Times or Jalada Africa but you have to start somewhere, right?
The Fortune House team will be releasing a collective known as The Oracle of the Sun and my work will be featured amongst creative pieces from other talented writers. I will be sure to update you through Avid Conquest’s Instagram page on matters unfolding.
JALADA ANTHOLOGY AND LEARNING FROM GREATS
Finally, Jalada Africa released their Nostalgia Anthology this December and the good news is that there are two issues being churned out. The first issue is already out while the second issue will grace us January 2021. This follows the theme of forging a sense of community in art where I got to attend the online launch of the anthology.
The platform was filled with writers, novelists and poets from all over the African continent. I was amazed by the number of talented people I had an opportunity of interacting with and learning from as well. You would be surprised at the adeptness of language that African writers possess, the richness of storylines and plots and the similarity in culture and heritage that unites Africans in solidarity that cannot – and should not – be shattered. As various writers narrated their stories and explained them, I could not help but relate to the direness of a crippling economy, the corrupt and inglorious leadership or the pursuit of a sturdier, all-inclusive nation. It made me realize, fortunately, that the African writer’s role is not sourly overstated in trying to expose these aspects and be trailblazers in ensuring a better tomorrow.
Being exposed to different writers through the Jalada Africa platform has also challenged me to continue improving my writing skills and my form of delivery. This has led me to appreciate poems, anthologies, short stories, conversational articles and free-form writing. Genuinely speaking, I felt that I was not there yet when it comes to delivering hard-hitting and soul-jarring writings that can inspire generations. Perhaps by reading a myriad of works from writers all over Africa I will be able to gain a broader and fresher perspective and stop limiting my writing to the Kenyan dilemma.
Jalada Africa have been kind enough to avail the first Nostalgia Anthology issue online in e-book format and at a fair price. I would advise you to spare some shillings from your saving pot and grab yourself a copy. I have read through it twice and I can assure you it is worth your time – and money.
2020 has been the year when I revived this blog and I cannot explain how fulfilling it has felt ever since. So much has happened in my personal life, some of which I have yet to bring myself to write about, and I am grateful that besides it all I was able to discipline myself to commit to this blog. And this was in the middle of a pandemic and my undergrad studies!
I do not yet have a wish list for the year 2021 but I am hoping I can carry on the motivation and drive to continue releasing posts for you guys. I do not want to trail off as I did before this year because picking yourself up is usually the harder part of recovering and healing.
I am optimistic that next year I will also exploit other avenues in expressing my thoughts, opinions and ideas. I have noticed the peerless growth in podcasting and I am touting myself for a chance to start my own and experience the joys and pains of audio journalism.
Before then, anyway, as I promised, I have a Christmas gift for you in the form of a heartfelt piece of writing that explores loss and grace and how I have experienced both. You can download it here and read through it. When a writer gives you a raw drafted article, its definitely an expression of love so there you go.
Have a Merry Christmas and a far kinder 2021.
Comment and tell me what the year 2020 has taught you! I wanna hear from you, no matter how small or insignificant it was!