UPDATE ON 2022 WRITING PROJECTS
After months of planning, interspersed with late-night Zoom meetings and round-table discussions, the Association of Construction Managers of Kenya (ACMK) finally published the fifth issue of the informative Building Today magazine. The theme is centered around the resilience of the industry post-pandemic and divulges into other important industry-related content. I have to admit the process was exhausting and it begged a lot of commitment from me (given my schedule) – nonetheless, it was rewarding to contribute to what has grown to be a must-have publication for those in the construction industry.
My vision for the year as regards this project was to find an ideal niche where my writing skills would be put to the test and my knowledge of construction expanded too. Being in the magazine committee for Building Today helped me accomplish both! I intend to be involved more in future projects with the ACMK and I will obviously keep you updated in the next writing update.
Copies of the magazine have been selling with impressive pace but I reserved a draft of my submission just for the Avid Conquest readers. Feel free to download it here and read it at your own free time.
As I explained in my last update, there will definitely be more fictional content from me next year to build upon my maiden book in the F.R.E.D Teen Detective series, Missing In Action. Rigorous planning and extensive meetings with my publisher have swamped my calendar, but I have taken some time to improve upon my writing skills.
It’s so easy for a writer to deceive themselves that the form and content of their writing is up-to-standard based on a few untested samples. I have been a victim of relying too much on the skills I employed to write most of my juvenilia from almost nine years ago. Times are changing, discussions are mutating and minds are expanding; it becomes imperative consequently for a writer to be accustomed to the trends of modern writing.
Having said this, I took advantage of my free Skillshare subscription to learn more about different forms of writing and methods of spicing my own unique style.
Skillshare has really helped me connect with a vast network of tutors and gain access to helpful material for study and trial. Classes on Character Building have enabled me to learn about the vital steps in bringing clarity to a character, making the character more personable, humane and able to drive the story. Not only have I learned more about defining context and conflict, I have received guidance on how to become a more responsible writer through different toolkits.
Most impactful have been the lessons on character study and conducting character interviews. With the assistance of printable guides and other online material, I can assuredly posit that I am on the right path in honing my skills in creating characters that resonate with my readers.
I will link some of the classes I have taken below for any interested writers to check them out.
- How to Build a Believable Character by Sabaa Tahir.
- Writing a Character Study by Lindsey Summers.
- 6 Steps to a Successful Writing Habit by Simon van Booy.
- Storytelling 101: Character, Conflict, Context and Craft by Daniel Jose Older.
END OF YEAR REVIEW
Finally, as the year 2022 wraps up, the importance of taking stock is not lost on me. It is advisable to review one’s objectives and motivations as a creative because the mark seems to always shift each passing day. Being able to step back and analyze trends, mistakes and targets is primarily what sets apart a committed craftsperson from the crowd. I have the Almighty God to thank bountifully because I could barely have gotten anything done this year bar his strength and inspiration.
This sort of review is essentially meaningful when done in private and uninterrupted, being honest and vulnerable. I may not share my own review but I will leave you with six areas of your personal life that you can review. It does not require extensive research and pompous writing; just a pen and paper and an open mind is enough.
- Financial Review: review your savings and expenditure plans and track how responsible you have been with your financial resources. My mother, Esther, tells me, ‘Resources are pegged on an assignment, without an assignment there is no need for resource planning or spending.’
- Career and Educational Review: review your career goals and objectives, for the employed, and educational goals for the students. It is always helpful to bear in mind the next step of advancement in either arenas.
- Physical Health Review: review your physical activity levels and assess the fitness and wellness goals that you have in place.
- Relationship Review: review your familial, filial and marital relationships and rate how each has performed depending on the actions you have taken. No man is an island and for this reason we all have people that affect our daily lives and this impact should be assessed carefully.
- Mental Health Review: review your mental health and assess the choices you have made to actively support an optimal level of mental acuity.
- Spiritual and Ethical Review: review your spiritual state and the ethics that you subscribe to.
In order to make it easy for you, I will share the material I use to conduct these reviews. It is fondly referred to as The Wheel of Life, a concept I learned during a Sunday sermon. You can download the free PDF here.
A big thank you to all the Avid Conquest readers, commenters, and sharers who have stuck with me throughout this year. I am grateful for each and every one of you and I wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year 2023.