DEDICATION MUST MEET PASSION: An Introduction to Creative Writing by Eketi Ette

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Writing means many things to many people. For some, it is a way to birth the stories inside their heads. For others, writing is the only way they can get themselves heard, the only form of expression through which they can coherently pass along their message. It’s also a form of catharsis, of healing that comes when words are written on a page. For many people, it is all of the above.

Millions of people are born with the innate ability to tell stories. However, no matter how brilliant your talent is, if you don’t have the skill to go with that talent, someone without the gift, who practices every day will be a better writer than you are.

No one can ever become a writer by doing nothing, except wish to be one. To be a writer, you must pick up a pen, paper or laptop, and begin to write.

Whichever tool works for you. Just write.

Quite often, people get told that writing, especially fiction, isn’t hard work at all but an enjoyable hobby if one is truly a writer. This is a huge myth. Writing is fun, but it also involves a lot of hard work. Sometimes, you begin a story with fiery zeal, get to the middle and become stuck. It takes real, hard work to create characters and plots that are believable.

Passion is good. But passion without work is nothing. It takes dedication to write and write well.

So, here’s a question for you. Why do you want to write?

Whenever I ask this question, I get all sorts of interesting answers.

“I feel driven to write. I believe I was born to do this.”
“It’s avenue to release my pent-up emotions and frustrations at the end of the day.”
“I want to share my story with people out there.”
“I believe I have come up with a different perspective to a story that’s been told several times before.”

And lastly, the funniest answer I’ve ever gotten, “Ma’am, does it matter? Your question seems a bit harsh. Are you trying to discourage me from fulfilling my dream of writing?”

No, I’m not. This question is very necessary. I know you’ve got these stories to tell and you’re raring to go.


Ask yourself, “What makes my story different? Why do I think people should hear what I’ve got say? Why, do I want to write?

Exercise A:

In not more than 200 words, share why you want to write.

Exercise B:

Have you written anything before? If yes, what was your writing impulse, that one thing—whether a person, incident, place, or object—that started you on the path to writing?

Eketi is a Nigerian author, content creator and writing coach. Author of Chinda Ella and May My Village People Not Disgrace Me.

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