Blogging

My 2016 In Perspective

Happy New Year Readers!

I have been MIA for a while. Well, I’m back now and I decided to do a recap of how my just ended 2016 unfolded.

Favorite song of the year:

My favorite song of the year 2016 definitely had to be Yemi Alade’s feat Sauti Sol’s Africa. I loved and still love everything about this song from the video to the musical arrangement to the Nigerian meets Kenyan fusion. This is a song I will listen to for a long time.

Career:

My career decided to play tricks on me for the better part of 2016. Let’s just say I tended to make some decisions regarding my career that were not very wise as I would eventually discover. That’s definitely something that’s going to change this 2017.

Blogging and Writing:

Well, I have been doing these two for the longest time possible and 2016 continued to prove to me that I should keep up with it. I got opportunities to contribute to a Kenyan digital magazine twice for the October and December/January issues.

Earlier on in the year, I also got an opportunity to meet with a popular columnist on one of our dailies, who gave me a wealth of ideas as well as advice concerning the direction my writing should take. He actually inspired some of the changes I made on the blog. My most favorite posts that I did for the year 2016 had to be;

http://www.definitelylorna.wordpress.com/african-women-and-sexism

and

http://www.definitelylorna.wordpress.com/the-day-we-decided-black-lives-dont-matter

I’m hoping to do many more insightful and interesting posts this year so watch this space 🙂

Love Life:

2016 was pretty interesting on that front. No knight in shining armor yet. Lots of sifting through guys who are just not ready for committed relationships yet. I had a lot to write about relationships in 2016 on the blog plus valuable lessons were learnt. So let’s just see how 2017 unfolds in that department.

Family:

Thank God for family! How would we survive without that? Family came through this year for me every step of the way. The best feeling is knowing there are blood relatives, who have your back even when things might seem not to be going right.

 

For my fans who have kept up with me do drop suggestions on the comment section below, on topics you would like me to tackle this year on the blog falling under the categories;

feminist ramblings, banter, musings and relationships

 

 

Next Month I Celebrate 3 Years Of Active Blogging

pic courtesy of crummymedia.com

pic courtesy of crummymedia.com

Next month I celebrate 3 years of active blogging.

I realized recently that I’m quite happy about it. I haven’t yet made it to print media in all that duration. I haven’t earned a dime from my blogging efforts. I doubt 100 Kenyans who are total strangers to me know me as a blogger. None of my posts has ever gone viral. And I still doubt my blogging abilities despite being in the industry that long.

Funnily enough is that I keep on blogging. I still keep on entertaining the handful of fans I have who actively keep up with my posts. Some choose to read quietly. Others let me know that they follow up on my posts and others leave insightful comments and likes behind to alert me of their visits.

I started blogging at the advice of a friend 3 years ago in early September. I fumbled at first trying to find my footing in the blogging world. I created blogs that I ended up deleting after realizing I had really drifted from the initial purpose of creating the blogs. Gradually, I found my blogging niche which resulted in this particular blog in March last year.

In my blogging life, I have been lucky enough (or not so lucky sometimes) to meet with renowned writers, editors and columnists. One gave me awesome advice in the comfort of his home which I began incorporating in my work.

Another made me feel like the dumbest human being for trying to get a columnist slot in a magazine where she happens to be the editor. Others ignored my attempts at trying to get into print media or gave me false hopes only for me to realize that I wasn’t going to be given any writing opportunity.

Sometimes I felt like quitting this blogging thing but my passion kept me going. I posted stuff even when I wasn’t feeling like it or was suffering bad days or the all too famous writers block. I endured friends who thought I wasn’t doing enough to put myself out there for my popularity to increase. Some were insensitive enough (or in good nature) to question why I wasn’t earning from blogging and what I was doing toward that.

I forgave them despite their comments stinging for I know that breaking out in the blogging world is pretty much the same as breaking out in the music industry or arts industry. It is the passion that keeps you going even when your blog hits remain a bare minimum months after embarking on an active blogging journey.

3 years later, I tell people I’m a blogger and they raise their eyebrows trying to connect the human being they are seeing in front of them, with anything close to writing and I can tell they do not believe me.

However, I nowadays care less what they think because I will keep on doing this for as long as I can. I no longer seek opinions from individuals about what they think about my blog. I let my blog speak for itself. Occasionally, I will get someone who decides to point out the flaws in some of my posts and rather than take it personal, I appreciate that they spotted the flaw and were gracious enough to point it out.

I no longer have time for negativity when it comes to my written work. Mind you, I have done fiction for 19 years and I take everyday as a learning process. I know I still have a long way to improve myself as a Writer/Blogger and if I focus on negativity, other people’s perspectives and disappointments now, I will never be able to successfully achieve that.

So today, I take the time out to appreciate myself for these awesome 3 years of blogging, that have opened my eyes to so many things that I would never have found out about, if I never took the blogging chance head on. I believe I’m more stronger, factual and opinionated than I was when I started out.

Cheers to definitely lorna!

 

A Feminist’s View On Writing In General

My blog has been thrust into the spotlight twice. By choice, really.

The first time was earlier in the year when it was about two or three months old. A friend told me about an advertising company she worked for that was hiring. She thought that since the job description was more of blogger like,then I could definitely do it. I got called for the interview. Interestingly, one of the interviewers had printed out a page of one of my posts as a reference point for the interview.She was a pleasant lady who gave me a few more helpful tips on blogging that I use till date. Though I didn’t get the job, I can say I came out a little stronger as a blogger.

Before I talk about the second time, let me give a little history about my writing life. I know this is an entirely different topic from what I normally do here but I thought I should do it nonetheless. Being an African, my first language was of course Swahili. I commenced learning in English in nursery school. By primary school, I already knew that English was my forte. I was excellent at it.

At around age 7, I discovered my passion for writing fiction. My childhood years were spent holed up in the house writing short stories. I carried on with my penchant for short stories all through high school. And though I have never been a published writer, my mother’s house is an archive of the short stories I wrote from early childhood and a horde of unfinished manuscripts from my older years. For some reason, I never got round to finishing my longer stories.

My first completed manuscript which I finally sent to a publishing house came into being in May of 2014. It was a book I managed to pen from November 2013 to May of 2014. Unfortunately, it did not meet the publisher’s standards and the hard copy is currently with my best friend, a literature graduate and enthusiast while the soft copy is somewhere in my mail.

Luckily, by then I had discovered blogging through a friend. I started blogging in September 2013 through wordpress. At the time, I was running a blog called LIFE’S MUSINGS BY LORNA: the things that make a delightful read. I was fumbling in the blogging world which meant that I blogged on so many different topics. I ended up changing the blog title to LORNA’S DELIGHTS which took me completely off track.

Over time as a blogger, I had realized that women’s issues and relationship topics appealed to me. I had pretty strong views on those two topics which I decided to pursue. I did away with the previous blogs and started this particular one in March of this year. So far, I can say that this blog has been way successful than the other two blogs. Not in a recognition way but in a way where I can feel like my words, impact most of my readers and that more people are reading and following my blog because of the substance it has. Not because they just stumbled upon it.

I have been asked by so many people who come across my blog if I’m a feminist. Of course I am. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be blogging on a feminist view. My title says it all. There’s this idea out there that a feminist is someone who can easily be spotted. I’m not that kind of feminist. I also know that many women who subscribe to feminism are equally not that kind of bashful feminists as is expected.

I’m your average person. I seem timid. Unsure of myself even in person. I have always been very secretive of my writing and only became open about it when I began blogging. My manuscripts from my younger years were always hidden. Stashed in a drawer where nobody could find them. But my incessant need to write made sure that my elder sister’s school exercise books were not spared either. I would scribble in all of her books with writing space which meant that inevitably, she would stumble upon my fiction stories mostly, when I was away in boarding school.

Which brings me to the second time my blog has been thrust into the spotlight. Last week.

For a while now, I have been trying to get a columnist slot in the newspapers or magazines. I have tried a couple. Maybe I’m not that aggressive in trying because so far, none has yielded fruit. Last week, one of the magazines finally responded. I was surprised that they actually had. I got called for an interview. Funnily enough, I have never been to an interview concerning writing for a magazine meaning, I was unsure of what exactly I was supposed to do in preparation for it.

I’m the type of blogger who incorporates blogging into her life. If I get a blogging idea during the day, if there’s time, I will put it down on my blog. Most of my readers do not know that I was working a sometimes fast paced job these past couple of months yet, I managed a record 12 posts in the month of November. The highest I have ever posted in a month on this blog. I had to create time for that.

Sometimes I may be walking on the streets in town on totally different errands then suddenly pop into a cyber and do a post in the middle of the day or at the end of the day. That’s just how I manage this whole blogging thing.

Anyways, I turned up for the interview and it didn’t go the way I had expected. I knew of the magazine. I had pored through it sometime back but it had been quite a while back. I hadn’t factored in the fact that I was supposed to pitch ideas or rate myself on how much I should be paid per column. I always thought that my blog spoke for itself and if I was to do a column, it had to be feminist based or relationship based.

I could deviate a little and do a muse or a travel based one or a beauty based one. See, I’m already pitching ideas on my blog. And since I have done this for so long as a hobby that is not a salary earning thing, I totally forgot that with columns in newspapers and magazines, you get paid. My bad.

I’m more of an expressive person through written work. Not so in person. I can be terribly shy. I panic on a whole lot of other levels. Some of my job interviews which backfired were mainly because I got a panic attack. My palms were sweaty, I couldn’t express myself, my throat was dry. It’s hilarious really. I take it in my stride. Perhaps I had expected to be cut some bit of slack in this said interview which rarely happens in interviews.

But the disappointment was all too real for me. It bothered me for days that I hadn’t been prepared for this interview or felt like I had been taken seriously. That’s the worst feeling for a writer or blogger. I may sound like a defeatist but I’m not applying for columnist slots in the near future. Don’t get me wrong, writing is in my blood.

I have plans for published books. I need a lot of time on my hands and concentration for that. I have absolute admiration for successful writers, magazine editors and publishers, newspaper columnists and amazing bloggers.

All the same, I think I love this blog too much and I hope it continues to speak for itself. When I feel ready again to do a column or article on a newspaper or magazine, I shall be prepared for it then.

Feminist Ramblings

I have been missing in action for the past one month.

Not by choice but by unavoidable circumstances.

During my absence from the blogging scene, I couldn’t quite resist the urge to take a peek on whatever activity was taking place on my blog in particular, whenever I could sneak in a chance. Things seemed relatively quiet. People were still stumbling on my blog and reading previous posts. The stats were OK. But of course there was bound to be that one person, who would want to express his or her feelings concerning something I had posted in the past in a not so flattering,  demeaning way.

Good news is, I don’t really pay much attention to someone of the idea that feminists are stupid creatures, who have no mandate whatsoever to be existing in this world. Trust me, I can tell constructive criticism from nonconstructive criticism from miles away. And yeah, this is a bit of a feminist ramble and with good reason. Today I want to talk of some things that don’t quite concern feminism per se but the society in general.

If anyone who is in a position to do something about these issues happens to stumble upon this particular post of mine, kindly know that this is more of an appeal coming out as a ramble.

If you have been keeping up with the news off late, you probably know by now that one Alex Madaga passed away on Friday afternoon. After an unfortunate hit and run accident along Waiyaki Way, Alex had to spend 18 hrs in an ambulance due to inadequate beds at the ICU wing of the KNH (Kenyatta National Hospital). I believe that had we thought in the past as a country of investing in adequate health facilities, Alex’s life would have been saved. It is disheartening enough to learn that certain private hospitals turned him away, because his family could not afford at least 200,000 Kshs cash payment in order to receive medical attention.

Since when did we turn into such money minded individuals, who can easily place money matters ahead of someone’s life? Well, we may never have an adequate answer for that and since I steer clear from pointing fingers sometimes, I leave the judgment to you, my readers.

Yet another unfortunate incident happened just this past week and hit closer home to me. I lost a former campus mate and classmate due to the madness that is the trademark of the matatu industry.

Cecilia Njeri Gicheha- Photo courtesy of nairobinews.nation.co.ke

My former campus mate Cecilia Njeri Gicheha- Photo courtesy of nairobinews.nation.co.ke

If you reside in Nairobi, you might already be aware that the CBD gradually transformed into a bus station and market place of sorts. Don’t get me wrong, I find it highly convenient getting buses plying my route from certain vantage points within the CBD. I mean we all lead highly hectic lives and sometimes having to walk to Muthurwa or the bus station to get a matatu can only mean an additional unnecessary hustle. And while I will forever be grateful for the reduced hustle, my only concern is why the touts and drivers choose to act savagely while parking and driving these matatus. Who said that for you to be a successful matatu driver or tout, you had to be highly reckless, obnoxious and unconcerned about the lives of the pedestrians, passengers and people on the street??

Fondly known as Bianca, Cecilia had her life cut short at only 23 when two buses squashed her as I believe she was walking across. The drivers, were jostling for a small place to park their buses in order to pick commuters. Well, as a witness to how chaotic these matatus drive into town and how recklessly they are driven on the roads, my only appeal is for a little more order within the CBD and much more order in the matatu industry as a whole. We may tend to ignore certain issues affecting us directly or indirectly, in the hope that all will be well when in the real sense it will only worsen.

According to my knowledge, Cecilia is not the first person to be killed by two vehicles that were parked in close proximity to each other and the drivers suddenly decided to reverse and move forward in succession. Alex is not the first person to die due to inadequate health facilities in our public hospitals. How many more people are we going to lose before we can finally decide that enough is enough and do something about it??

Celebrating Proudly Feminist’s 3rd Month Anniversary!

So my blog has just hit the 3 month mark. Aint I proud??

To celebrate my blog’s 3rd month anniversary, I decided to pick a few of the search terms from my blog summary, that of course land readers to certain posts here and with a light touch:

Ethiopian girls sex

Ethiopian women sex

Ethiopian man sex

http://www.ethiopian sex.com

Now either this particular reader is a porn addict, obsessed with sex from Ethiopia or my blog is full of sex 😛

I keep getting these particular related search terms on my blog’s stats page which left me kinda horrified, the first time, baffled the second, then amused at all the bad English used to type something similar to the above, afterward.

Hahaha, dear man or woman, who is desperately in need of such information, you will get the tag Sex, yes, on Proudly Feminist but not specifically Ethiopian sex material. I would suggest you consult on other similar related sites, lol!

Nigeria black girls on tight mini skirts

Hilarious! Just hilarious, whatever people search on the Internet. If such a term can land a reader on my blog, then I guess i’m a versatile blogger 😀

Supporting wife career choice maternity

Phew, at least I would like to believe that this is a concerned hubby. Serves to prove that it’s not all about sex in here.

 

As for all my sober minded readers who’ve been reading, liking, following and commenting, a big thank you to all of you!

Proudly Feminist continues….