Yes, you read that right!
I was an accomplice in a murder that happened several years ago. Precisely in 2005 and whenever I think about it, I feel deep shame and regret. I wish I can turn back the hands of time. I wish someone had told me or encouraged me not to do it. I wish I knew better than to do what I did.
I’ve always known that it’s the reason I struggle but somehow, I never found the courage to make amends. Not even when I got the opportunity to back in 2014. Not until now.
I’ve decided to do what is right. To do that which I should have done a long time ago. And I want to start by coming clean with the story. To tell you what happened and why it happened. Besides, I heard CNN has gotten the dirt and is planning on breaking the news. So I better beat them to it before they blow the deets out of proportion or exaggerate about any part of it like they always do:-)
I love writing but it has never come easy to me. I started writing in junior secondary school. I had several notebooks (manuscripts if you like) that I filled with my own authentic stories. I even kept a journal that held all of my deepest secrets. Back then I had no idea what it takes to be a writer and published author but I knew I wanted to be one.
Then something happened and I stopped writing.
One day in school, one mischievous classmate of mine stole my notebook and after reading through, she made a mockery of me and my work. She had better command of the English language and stood in front of our entire class to pinpointed all my mistakes and spelling errors. It was ignominious!
It might have seemed like a joke but it was insufferable. It was as if she cut my heart out and trampled on it. And in a way she did. Because that day a girl died. It was the girl in me that loved to write and wanted to be a writer. She was brutally murdered and thinking about her death — especially knowing what I know now makes me feel like an accomplice to her murder.
I could have allowed her to continue living and continue writing seeing that she loved it much. Instead, I turned off her ventilator and watched as she took her last breath. And then I buried her when I burned all her notebooks and journal. And I moved on like she never existed. How stupid and cruel!
Fast forward to 2014, after my ND, I went to Lagos for my one-year industrial training. I was employed as a news writer at a Newspaper publishing outlet but the problem was: I couldn’t write proficiently. Every article I wrote was flawed with embarrassing avoidable grammatical and spelling errors. My boss was constantly on my case. It was embarrassing having him complain about an error in my work, all the time. Then one day, he fired me (not because of my flawed writing by the way, but for something else).
Then I started writing for my blog — which I created while working at the newspaper outlet. I wrote and published news stories and other articles for a couple of months but after a few goodwill people told me about all the grammatical and spelling errors flying all over my blog… You guess right. I quit. I ran away from writing as far as I could. Talk about double murder!
I was convinced that writing wasn’t for me and never will. The only thing I managed to write was my school works which I know had its own fair share of errors.
Fast forward to last year, after my HND, I began asking myself a very personal question: what do you want to do with your life? What’s your life’s purpose? By this time I have been self-employed for over two years, working and making money (not as much as I want to but money nonetheless) online as a social media manager. I even managed a few pages for others. I still do. But I knew this isn’t all I wanted to do. I knew something was missing. I so desperately wanted to be more!
So I began reading articles and books about finding your life’s purpose and one of the writers I read said: “if you are reading this, chances are, you already have an idea what your life’s purpose is but you are just too scared to accept it or you’re hoping to find something else because you think you are incapable of doing that which you already know.”
At first, I thought the writer was talking BS but then it hit me: writing is what I have always wanted to do but too scared to. Scared that there will always be something wrong with whatever I put down. That I’ll be mocked. That I will embarrass myself, again. Or that no one will care about what I have to say.
But somehow I knew that’s what I wanted to do. It always has been. I’ve come to realize that my writing never improved over the years because I failed to make conscious and deliberate effort to improve. And instead of burning all my books in 2005 I should have learned to be a better writer and a better person. Instead of abandoning my blog in 2015 I should have learned the rules and grammar of the English language. I should have learned to spell correctly and I should have practice and practice and practice until I become better than I was. Then practice some more.
I can only imagine what would have been and how my life could have been different. I am two months away from turning 30, and although, I am still struggling with writing, I’m learning how to get better at it. And I invite you to come on this journey with me. Maybe one day I will get the chance to be published or be paid for my work. Maybe that may never happen. But if all I ended up being is a proficient writer — even an unpublished one, then that’s more than enough!
I created this blog because I needed a place to share my work — flaws and all — that is exclusively mine. If there is something I have learned from this whole experience, it’s that growth can only be achieved through deliberate and conscious effort. I am ready to do all that it takes to be a better writer. You can count on my going the extra mile every day to be just where I want to be in my writing career. You can encourage me by sharing this post with a friend or two. And by telling a friend to tell a friend about my brand new blog. You can tell them that: “one stupid girl that did not know she was supposed to learn how to write to be better at it for 15 years has finally given herself brain… do check out her blog, it’s www.atufelydia.com“ and I promise to love you forever.
Yaaaayyyy the writer is back from the dead. And she is back for good!!!