It’s Official! I’m A Writer…

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At 5:15pm, on the 21st day of March 2014, I have come to the realization that; I’m a writer. You are probably saying, “duh”, in your minds and I know why, you have every reason to not be shocked or impressed or  find it new.

Writing has always been my safe place, I didn’t see it as a chosen profession or career path that I could follow, until I started my masters program. Every project I have been involved in has one or two or even three pieces of writing in it,  75% of my portfolio is  creative writing products. Whenever we have to produce a film, my colleagues automatically assign me the script writing, and I don’t mind it, I really do enjoy it. But I am on a course called Creative Media Practice, I didn’t think that developing my writing skills would be a big deal for such a course, it just made sense to me that I should pursue something that was in film or TV , because I also like that part of the media and I want my Oprah couch.

In a week, we are going to present to our peers and tutors our M.A projects, and I thought I was going make a documentary and focus on my mum, because my mum is such an interesting character who has had(still having) a very colourful life and I wanted to capture that, but I’m not a filmmaker,No. I am merely a writer with a very vivid imagination and on paper the plan for my project sounds awesome but, can I make it? This involves shooting and editing and all of that, if I had a production team of camera men, editors, graphic designers, sound people, and an assisstant(of course) this documentary will be the best thing ever made(I’m not even kidding). The problem is that, I AM A PERFECTIONIST, and the perfection I would require to make a good documentary is not in my skills set; lighting, sound, music, graphics, footage, editing. I don’t have all of that, the only thing that I know I would do perfectly is the interviews and bringing the emotional story out of my subjects.

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There is also the research portfolio that we have to hand in, which is 6000 thousand words, not a very easy essay to write when you are not as interested in the technical as you are in the finished product. I started getting books from the library on the history of documentaries and how to shoot them and market it, then it dawned on me, “WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING IN MAKING A DOCUMENTARY?” This is not me! Let me use this analogy: when a girl has to fake orgasms to make her man happy, but eventually gives up out of sexual frustration and breaks up with him. That is exactly what I have been doing, I am ashamed to admit that I have been faking it. I do want the couch, I do want to have my own show, I want my name in flashing lights, I want to see”Amyn” on TV, I do want all of that but i can survive without it, if I don’t write I think I might die of depression. It’s the best way to express myself, I write better than I talk(I think) and when I have a topic or subject that I am passionate about I could keep writing for hours and if I have to tell a story, I’m like a basket maker, I just weave and weave until I make something incredible.

I was in the library earlier, and I was just looking through the literary theory books, and the art of creative writing and all those types of books and I started to laugh at my stupidity, all these months I have been slaving at Final Cut Pro, trying to work the white balance in a Canon XF100, looking for my identity as a “creative”, obssessing over being on TV or not, and it had already been formed. I feel at peace in the literature section of the library unlike other sections where it feels like I’m visiting, literature is home for me. I enjoyed my NYSC year because I was teaching literature to high school kids, it felt good!!! When I’m in the TV studio or shooting with my colleagues who clearly have experience in these things and totally enjoy it, there is this added pressure I feel to compete, not compete but to also know it because they know it, but when we talk about books and creating stories, I feel like royalty because they almost always turn to me at that point.

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“Employment process in Nigeria seems to be shrouded in one mystery or the other. Many Nigerians have since come to the conclusion that employment into the civil service is crucially based on “who-knows-who”. Merit, it seems, means little or nothing, as positions and vacant spots have already been bought by bribes, even before the vacancies are advertised.{ Full article available online at: http://www.premiumtimesng.com/opinion/157092-immigration-tragedy-employment-process-nigeria-integrity-organization.html } This one of the reason why I’m pushing myself to get involved in technical work, but it is not working, I’m a creative, I can’t help myself and I know that with patience, hard work and consistency, I’ll be okay.

A part of me feels like I am disappointing myself for not failing enough in digital media production, but I re-read an email from my mentor who said, “streamline your ideas and focus on which of these ideas will benefit most from your background. You can start with that as you enter the workforce and gradually grow to accommodate all the things you want to do. But select one first and focus on that.”( I love her,BTW) So, that is what I am going to do, I am a writer, and I am going to do what I’m good at(well, at least I think I am) . A lot of people would be disappointed probably but I have got to the stage where I now know, that it IS MY life, and I’m the one who is going to live it. I have a feeling I am going to be okay, it won’t be easy(nothing ever is)  but I will survive because Literature is Me and I am Literature.

In summary, It takes some time but eventually you will find out what you are, my name is Amyn, I love telling stories and I’m a friggin WRITER!!!!!

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