CYNICS OR CRITICS by Godwin Inyang
Are you a budding writer; have this mind that grasps things and can keep them so vivid you can copy and paste them on pages for others to see the images too? You have this compelling urge to pass on messages to positively mould others; to tell them life isn’t vain (this is the school of writers I cherish to be in) and yet cynics who disguised as critics have been trying so hard to derail you from the right track? Well, first look at what they’re saying. Some people, even in their crude ways of correcting you, could have a good point or two to say but filled with venom which stems from their own failures, they may seem to come at you with an axe to hack you down.
Personally, I’ve had my own dire moments with this bitter set of critics (I call them cynics) and I witnessed the harshest criticisms in my writing life when I started penning my long poem,
#Dr_Fixit (Africa’s Longest Poem). When I was doing what everyone else was doing, everyone seemed to be comfortable with that. But immediately I stepped out of line (as others deemed it), the cynics with their criticisms were trying to hew me down. Have you checked: are those harsh comments you’re getting coming because you’re acting unusual?
Now, an editor told me one thing in the beginning of my writing life. At age nineteen, just fresh from secondary school and no hope of pursuing further education, I’d travelled from the south-eastern part of the country (Nigeria) to the west, a one-day journey, armed with three manuscripts – a collection of poems for children, another collection of poems targeted at mature audience (some pieces written in pidgin English) and my very first novel (based on the Nigeria-Biafra war – I was born right at the beginning of it). That happened after the magazine, ‘Monthly Life’ (now defunct but was published by Academy Press, Ilupeju, Lagos) published my poem for children, ‘Plea To A Bud’ …
#POSTSCRIPT: I wanted to just pen a small piece of advice to young writers but the piece has turned to a bigger memoir-cum-essay. I would be posting the segments on my blog beginning in the next few hours. Also, watch out for my piece on Biafra.