Posts tagged blogging

Blogging ^^ Readership

I just concluded a one-man interview with myself with the beam light on my blogging journey. 2013 till date. Precisely, 2013 and not 2014 – despite what’s on my About Me page.
It was quite an interview. We patiently traced the process of my discovering the blogosphere, my reading of blogs, my connection with other humans who blogged, my blogging, and why I still blog.


In all barefaced honesty, blogging is one of what I enjoy best. I would take breaks away from the discomfort I get out of social media-infiltrated blogging experience, or that from the gist-only readers experience. But when I return from the breaks, I still blog. What I need is to blog.

What do you need?

I made reference to the gist-only loving people. But people love gists! Some of most viewed posts are gist related. Debby is in love made the waves. Oh well.
I don’t blog for the views. I don’t blog for the traffic. Some people ask me about it. Its out of their good intentions so I answer them well enough.

But that’s not why I blog. That is not my goal. I would love if my messages reach a wider audience but the word ‘audience’ will first have to be defined. I would love if my words reach people who care enough to do better, an audience of people who are patient enough to learn, and of people who savour words.


One of the things I’ve loved most in blogging is the reach of countries my blog posts get to. I also love genuine feedbacks in form of comments on the blog (valued for all ages) and personal messages from those who can get in touch with me.

Every venture has its low moments, it vulnerable moments, exasperating moments and I’ve mentioned two of those triggering factors for me.

Its therefore in those moments when I get reminders of how people are helped by certain posts and enjoy certain posts that I jump-start my blogging engine.

I want to know – which has been your favourite post (or type of post) on the blog since you started reading? Even if you’re a gist-only-lover. What do you come expecting, if anything? What posts do you personally intend to see more of? What recommendations do you have for me? You can send this by entering it here, or in the comments below.

I hope you’re coping well. I’m about to start a series on my NYSC experience (or non-experience). Stay upbeat, guys.

Finally, I have three postscripts.


P.S 1:

These days, it takes a thick skin to maintain Christian practices which have their core grounded biblically. Society has made a living out of badly criticizing strict Christian principles. I think we need these encouragements from each other so we do not faint in our resolve. “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering” 1 Peter 5:9. Take a look at this passage to be sure Jesus promised we’ll go through this:

Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

John 15:20

P.S 2:

I think a number of people are fretting less about Corona Virus. But some still are. There are genuine reasons for concern and they differ from person to person. One thing to note though, is that all scripture passages telling us to be an example to others, or to not fear are passages that contain no caveat. Corona Virus is not a caveat to the passages. The trials biblical heroes of faith faced were not a caveat. If therefore your food supplies are out, do not worry. If your sibling has contracted the virus, do not worry. Whatever causes your heart to worry, keep buried in the word and prayers. Be a billboard of encouragement and not worry. Corona virus is too small to make me fret. Glory to God!

P.S 3: On a lighter note, have you all seen the movie ‘Five Feet Apart’? I teared up a little. Bwahhhh.

Don’t forget to get back to me on the questions I asked above. Truly, its a pleasure to write to you.

As always,

Much love.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

I appreciate that with my movie recommendations, I don’t have rules as I do for my book reviews. So prepare to read any and everything😊. (Long post alert).

After viewing Nelson Mandela’S LONG WALK TO FREEDOM :
Storyline and opinion
Nelson, is approached by the ANC to join the congress and he declines. He only accepts when his friend is beaten to death by white police officers one night. He agrees to politics knowing there is power in togetherness. Other than that, he is just someone who wants to do his family proud though prevented by his promiscuous nature. Mandela is now deeply involved in politics and his first marriage can’t withstand that pressure.
He organizes campaigns and protests against the discrimination of the blacks. He leads the people to burn their passports and refuse the authority of a state that hates them.
Winnie, the new love of his life and new wife shares the same political views as Mandela. She even becomes boundless when Nelson is locked away and she herself gets imprisoned. She is violent to a fault and instigates greater rebellion among the people who look up to her, she is devoted to this cause.
There is a portrayal of loss of the innocence of youth for them both as the battle with the state gets fiercer. The ANC employs violence to achieve its aims and they get labelled as terrorists. Mandela is locked up in a prison in Robben island with his three friends after being sentenced to life imprisonment.
More goes down.
How does a man go on from being labelled a terrorist to being the president of the same state and causing a radical change in the system?
It was a revolution he birthed.
When Winnie Mandela died on 2nd of April this year, someone tweeted something along the lines of Winnie and Nelson’s eventual fall out.
I genuinely wondered about that. I think on a whole Mandela had a poor relationship with women as reflected in the movie. Two marriages and both went sour?
Another angle is that, his thinking was advanced. Not only Mandela and his wife’s relationship grew a bit sour but his friends found it hard to believe him after he began dialoguing with the government. Something about this reminds me of pastor Sam Adeyemi’s teaching of how if you would be remembered 600 years from now, (if Jesus tarries,)the decisions you would be making today would be incomprehensible to the people around you because you’re factoring 600 years into the picture and they’re not.
Today, we still talk of Mandela, what if Winnie at that time and others, had some difficulties with him for a while? Perhaps because the cause he was pursuing was beyond their time; it would speak a lot in the coming years as we can now see.
Excerpts

My name is Nelson Mandela and I am the first accused. I do not deny that I have planned sabotage. I did not plan it in the spirit of recklessness or because I love violence. The hard fact is that fifty years of silence has brought the African people repressive legislations and fewer and fewer rights . Africans want a just share in the whole of south Africa. We want equal political rights. One man, one vote. I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination. I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a free democratic society where all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve but if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Interviewer:”Mr. Mandela, what is it that you personally want?
M: ”I want freedom. I have beautiful children and a beautiful wife. I want them to walk free in their own land.”

Likes
The national call at the beginning of the movie is very much appreciated. These days, I question unity in my country, I question allegiance. Are we really raised to be loyal, and patriotic? Are the primary and secondary schools teaching us that things may not be the best right now but we should respect, cherish and serve our country? Correct me please but I don’t think many are. I was at a judicial function some weeks ago*; a special court sitting, and as you are wont to in the midst of important figures, I was on my best behaviour and alert. When we sang the national anthem at the start and close of the court sitting, I reflected on the words of our anthem. It was one of the rare moments of my consciousness and resolved patriotism to my country. Perhaps this discussion is for another post. By way of summary, I admire the call made to the south African young ones at the start of the movie.
Dislikes
My dislike stems from the fact that Nelson didn’t have faith in Jesus. Of course that told on his family. Mandela is a deeply flawed human as reflected, even sometimes violent in his early years but with time, he aged with wisdom.
As regards the filming, I’d rather the romance part was done away with so the movie can be viewed at all circles but it isn’t so.

I’m very much interested in reading the book, his biography. How does a person walk that bravely? At the time he did that long and lonely walk, he didn’t know he would one day be celebrated, he only did each day, what he thought was right and stood by his decision.
I adore his conclusion in the movie:

no one is born hating another because of the colour of his skin…”

I think it’s a worthwhile movie. Worth-the- while. Worth the time. Made also to fuel ruggedness in your beliefs, and to encourage you to sacrifice, and to lead. It preaches perseverance and that a life worth living is one spent in a cause you believe in.
Disclaimer: this is a recap of what is portrayed in the movie and in no way an attempt to recap Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s autobiography.

  • I wrote this article long before this publication. It isn’t a few weeks ago I was at the court sitting.

Penny A thousand naira for your thoughts?
Love and Impact,
Debby.

Finance and perspective

Only self-discipline keeps you learning when there is no one marking your script. Only great managers of self become great leaders tommorow.”

-Excerpts from Engaging the power of self discipline.
We’re meant to improve on ourselves, as humans. When we stop, there is a problem.
We’re to constantly assess ourselves and make necessary improvement.
Any dimension of life you do not have a firm grip on, has room for improvement. It doesn’t matter if that dimension is oily, get good gloves, do something. You should have a grip on it. That’s discipline.
No one wants to get to that stage in their life when they wonder if it’s not too early to regret. Regrets are awful. Regrets are terrible.
For major matters however, it’s best to have a firm grasp pretty early in order to avoid regrets. Live consciously, live with an aim to get better.
Personally, finance has been an aspect I’ve not had full grasp on.
I’ve never entered debts nor had financial difficulties but I cannot categorically say that I can control my finances. Some months, it’s yaaay. Some months it’s naaaay. I wouldn’t even tell you which one surfaces more often.
I spend easily once I’m shopping. My shopping cart just gets fuller and fuller with pretty things, relevant things, yet all the same, things I can do without.
Just on wendnesday, I had an appointment with a natural hair stylist. As the high-maintenance lady that I can sometimes be, I agreed to spend some amount of money. This agreement was over three times what I budgeted to spend before we had our meeting. I was won over by my love for my hair and by my satisfaction that she was quite knowledgable in her field. It took some holy-spirit inspired thinking at night for me to change my resolve. Yes, I still love my hair. No, I don’t like breaking agreements. However, we need wisdom to make wise decisions. We’re people of integrity and we stand by our words, yet wisdom is pivotal.
In the bible, Proverbs6:1-3 says

“My son,
if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake,
2 you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise.
3 Do the following things, my son, so that you may free yourself,
because you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Humble yourself,
and pester your neighbor.
4 Don’t let your eyes rest or your eyelids close.
5 Free yourself like a gazelle from the hand of a hunter and like a bird from the hand of a hunter.

Are you currently taking a decision financially or otherwise which you need to back away from, carefully consider that passage.
Financially, work towards savings and investment, it never hurts.
Work towards discipline. Have a grasp on your finances.
I took another step by following @clevergirlfinance on Instagram. I’m assured those constant tips on the page, would go a long way.
I’ve also subscibed by e-mail to newsletters on their website and I advise you do too. It’s a really helpful platform. I feel richer by simply having discovered their website.
You may not be earning your own money yet ( probably as a student) but why wait till then to get a grip on financial management?
A man is not yet old until regrets take the place of dreams.
-John Barrymore

Do you have plans for your finances? Do you always live by your budget? Share your defeats and achievements in the comment box, let us learn from them.

Write-A-Day

The problem


There is such a thing as literary depression.
I have refused to Google search this. I do not care to produce researched facts at the moment. I could do that later- present facts and figures.
Right now, I say from experience that there is such a thing as literary depression. As content creation anxiety.
There is such a thing as reading too much good work on the internet and telling yourself to shut up.
Just how many literary voices have to exist before the world starts to scream?! Just how many writers and bloggers must the world endure before it breaks?! It won’t break? Oh, you’re sure?
Help
What can help? I’m no certified blog consultant, I needn’t remind you. However, you must always return to the reason why you began blogging in the first place – why you began writing too.
You must also starve yourself of unnecessary reading. If you must, starve yourself of all reading for a while. Just write based on your current literary sense. Just write.
I’m going on a personal challenge and you’re invited to join me any time you diagnose yourself of the above named illness. I’ve never gone on any write-a-day challenge, but there is a first time for everything. Network at home is poor but I will write a day. I hope to blog a day but I can’t tell if publishing will work due to the network.
This is impulsive. But when you’re drowning, I believe everything you do to save yourself is always impulsive.

Life and books!

​There is a place that gives me hope. That makes me certain that’s where I belong. Isn’t it time to reconsider some things? To write?” 

This was my thought which I penned down after re-reading purple hibiscus. I felt I was in the inner caucus of literally conscious people. Those who read, recognize and respect brilliant statements and plots. There are times I read genius pieces of work or simply a profound sentence and all I can wonder on is, if other people would understand what I just read to be exclusively brilliant. 
For some people, a story is a story. Shame. For some people, an overly dramatic dialogue is a story( all those episodes of ‘stories’ that run on whatsapp as broadcast messages). Ignorance ( I’m not disputing that those write-ups have their place in the world but a good story, fiction is a whole lot more than that). For some people, story is a waste of time. In response to that, I’ll hold my peace. Or perhaps answer you by saying, Jesus told stories.
Welfare.
I’ve been well. Pushing through the days with more knowledge. A few moments of precious and incomparable exclusiveness with God. Times of combing through books too. 
I recently completed Frank Peretti’s the visitation ( quite lengthy) and I’m reading 26A by Diana Evans, for fiction. 
In terms of Christian literature, I’m in between a million books. What I often do is read necessary chapters from them. My holiday has been cut short and that has destabilized my reading plans. These are the ones I’ve focused on however: I’ve read from E.M Bounds on Prayer (this is the combination of all seven books he has written on the subject matter of prayer). I’ve read from Phillip Yancey’s The Jesus I never knew ( I got propelled to return to this book after completing the visitation ). I’ve also been reading Watchman Nee’s secret to spiritual power .
I’m constantly reading articles from around the web.
I’m enjoying Afoma’s book’d series.
I recently got intrigued by Uche Okonkwo‘s simplicity in writing. 
By the way, I feel I should  pursue knowledge on the art of being an editor.
☺okay, this is a simple way of letting you know I’ve resumed blogging again. Exams got nothing on me. Before I say bye, I enjoyed this two quotes this week and I think you would too:

If Jesus had never lived we would not have been able to invent him                                 -Walter Wink
When i saw you, I fell in love and you smiled because you knew                                                                                                     -Aerigo Boito

Okay, have a wonderful week. Come back to read some more posts!
As always, love, 
Debby.

Shopping list v world order


Hiii.
Before I tender a formal apology for my absence, I’ll let you know that I think you’re more dignified than to recieve a quick apology. Not the commonly seen “I’m sorry I’ve been away, thanks for being faithful… Life happens…” sort of apology before the post begins in earnest. I believe you deserve a whole post dedicated to apologizing for my unfaithfulness.
😐
Life really did happen. Remember my post trigger words? I spoke of some trigger blogs which help me gain my writing mojo. I’m not the only one who does this neither am I the only one who watches Chimamanda on YouTube once in a while before writing a story (Tope Owolabi of eclectictope.com confessed same in this interview. Oh the joy). Yeah, the signs that I had to put up a new post were glaring.
One of my oldies who had stopped blogging for some months came back, rebranded. I’ve been following Afoma’s blog since back in the days. The old posts of life and living etc have resonated with me even to the modern day photography posts etc. She’s back. Check her out here.
I also read Kacheetee’s blog and she had some posts about blogging. Certain posts on blogging myths etc.  What really helped the most was this post on quotes.
Turns out the first quote is the deal. In an earlier post, she mentioned how blogging is a whole lot more than writing, which is super true. How blogging is demanding, whereas most people think it’s not. They think it’s randomly done, casually done but if you have a blog with a vision, it’s definitely not casual.
Two of the quotes there also speak to me because I understand a great blog is a combination of well written posts not one great post.

“Doing well with blogging is not about writing one key post. It is about performing day after day and helping a few people at a time”
” 99.9 percent of bloggers are not awesome on Day 1. Their awesomeness is the accumulation of the value they create over time – Darren Roswe”

Now, to the first quote I called the real deal, here it goes:

“a blog is merely a tool that let’s you do anything, from changing the world to sharing your shopping list “

Non bloggers may miss out the relief in that quote but it is a relief. It’s a break from the mini-anxiety that sometimes grips your chest.
It’s an affirmation that there are days I could write my shopping list as a blog post, and it would be cool. A blog is a tool. Tool. Tool. I can change the world with it (oh the revolution!) and I can relax my mind with it. It’s a tool that let’s me do anything.
Well there.
A tool. I use it.
So, in as much as this post in its entirety is an apology, it’s also the practicality of what I just learnt: that my blog is a tool(to be used) for my expression. 
Last of all, this post is an encouragement to all bloggers. Keep at it, even when you find it hard to keep at it, because you have a million responsibilities following you upandan* or because you lost a blog post which you worked on tirelessly and efficiently (as are examples for my three weeks silence). I want you to understand then, that there are other bloggers like you going through the same thing.
Remember your blog is a tool. *Use* it. Change the world with a post today. Write out a weird food recipe tommorow, rant about your day the next time, change the world with the next post.
 I give you the license:)

Don’t focus on having a great blog, focus on producing a blog that is great for your readers – Brian Clark

And I remain Debby,
Love, peace, shopping lists and world revolution
*upandan: slang to mean being everywhere. Literally “up and down”
Oh ye bloggers, get in here and share your experiences. What do you think? Non-bloggers, air your view.

The boy must Know Book!

So, my mum steps out of the car at the market to buy some items.
I’m in the car, I stare at her back.
Every time she gets down from the car without a second thought in order to buy foodstuff regardless of the fact that we’re (my sisters and I) in the car and she could as well send us to buy whatever it is, I’m awed. And she does that sooo often.
I even feel guilty. Grown as I am, I sit in the car. Sighs.
image
She walks to where the mallam had set up his stand for the fried rice ingredients.
Another woman at the same spot looks away seemingly uninterested while my mom prices the items. From here, I can tell my mum bargains in Hausa language.
When my mum shifts slightly such that her back is turned to the other woman, the seemingly uninterested woman resumes admiring her.
I smirk.
That’s not my focus Today. I only want to capture details.
image
From this vantage point where I sit in the car,
I see a market woman perched on a bench, her legs on either side of it, as a man would sit.
I take notice of her when my mom, on whom my gaze is fixed, asks “who is crying?” while she gazes lovingly at a young toddler wailing badly. Wailing badly!
It is then I notice the market woman, and I see another boy of about four years of age with her. She leans over a flimsy note book that is spread open on the bench.
Then I begin to hear her when I pay attention “oya, write four, write four!”
The boy, I assume her son, looks at her, no defiance on his face. No expression. He just looks at her.
She hits him.
“write four! ” she says as she raises and keeps her right hand hanging in a position set to hit him. She does hit him again.
” oloshi alabukun omo-ale”
And I gasp.
I know, I know, children are insulted everyday but really what has this boy done?
The boy is now crying. The toddler is also crying. But it’s a market, noise is allowed.
She threatens the four year old that if his tears drop, she would beat him even more.
He keeps crying.
What I see next as I picture an intervention in tones of sepia, is my mum walking up and explaining to the mother why she should cuddle him a bit and tell him to write the number she desires. Maybe teach him again.
We know after rain, comes sunshine right? Surely there must be another way to tackle this crying child.
Yorubas in Nigeria say “ta ba if owo osi na omode, a fi owo otun fa morawhen we use the right hand to discipline a child, we use the left hand to pull him close
As I imagine my mum explaining to the boy’s mother, I imagine the woman flaring up, fed up.
This is Nigeria. To this market woman, her son must “know book” he must become literate. He must drive cars and care for her. He must become more influential than anyone she knows.
This is the way of hope.
So I can imagine the good intentions with which this market woman now orders her son to kneel down.
Without the imagined scenes and tones of sepia, the boy doesn’t kneel down and she doesn’t beat him any longer either. I’m not in the market for much longer to see her(a market woman howbeit a mother)  train her son in the way she thinks best.
This one thing I know, the boy must “know book”.
This brings to mind the words “motherhood”, “education”, and the phrases “financial privilege”, “developing countries”, “a means to an end”.
The boy must know book!
Share your thoughts…

Consistency game in 2017

image
Hiiiiiii this new year! Glad to be here again. I’ve been everywhere except here and I thought I was fine with that until about a week ago, I started feeling really stuffy. Like the air outside of this blog wasn’t enough. The only way the world would be right again, was with this blog. As I began typing this, the first emotion I registered was relief. I’m back.
I’m back. Whew. I’m back. So it’s a new year. For the first time, I can emphatically (emphatically I stress) say I heard God tell me somethings about the year. It wasn’t even like I waited and waited. It was his mercy that made it come easy.
I know it’s just a few days but I’ve been getting so much from this year already. It feels foreign; the amount of courage and vision I have. Even for this blog. I reject laziness. I reject comfortable complacency. So I’m here.
I’m here and I’m sorry for my ups and downs. For leaving you whom I enjoyed being with, for leaving you hanging.
I remember reading once on Cassie Daves‘s blog that

“If content is king, then consistency is queen”

It stuck with me.
In the period I was actively away from this blog, I began to believe it was the reverse. Consistency works wonders. My absence has told it’s tale on the blog but it’s a new year and I’m ready to work with everyone. Express myself better and make this an open platform for expression.
The beauty in us is too much to be closed up. Good news: I really am relieved and joyful and I’m typing fast.
Happy new year guys. 2017 is a year of triumph. I love you. I await your comments.
Content and consistency,
Debby

Hey Beggar.

image
“Kneeling there in deep contrition”,
That’s what a line from an hymn we sing in church says
Today, I see you folded by the streets
It’s a Sunday morning
I’m not feeling up for church
You’re kneeling by the road too
Regardless of whether you’re up for it or not
We’re both ready to get what we need
Poor as we are
You, poor materially,
I,  poor in spirit
In desperate need of what only Jesus can give
Whether I feel up to it that day or not