If you having been following me by now you know that I have a soft spot for books. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of talking about them and if you have stuck around I figure we atleast have that in common. My books are my gems and they have gotten me through some pretty tough times. Each book has a special place: Year of Yes is how I started experiencing new things, we owe Big Magic a lot for without it I wouldn’t have started this blog, The Power of Now has me trying to live in the present (which is something you have to constantly work on) and the list goes on and on. I guess what I am trying to say is that do not just read for the sake of it, do it to live out what you learn.
My latest read is The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. It shows how the formula to success and that of failure are one and the same. The secret lies in doing the things that would lead to success consistently and vise versa. We have all had our peaks and if you look back you can pinpoint to what you did to get there. It’s that simple, do the things that got you to the top consistently and over time you will see the results.
This has made be very conscious of how I spend my time. I decided to work it out backwards, look at the goals I set and note down all the daily habits I have to work on. One of my goals is to become a better writer and with that become a better storyteller. That’s why I joined Amka Literature forum which is a monthly forum for upcoming writers, authors and poets and literature critics. Up to this point I had only attended the January meet up but after reading the The Slight Edge I knew it was things like choosing to or not to attend that would make all the difference.
I had purposed to attend the March one but on that Saturday morning I didn’t hear my alarm ring and I woke up with a bad hangover. Instead of rushing out of bed I got in to an internal monologue. I tried to talk myself out of it using the excuse that I was late but I figured that even if I learnt one thing it was something new that I did not know.
This is how it goes down at Amka, people submit their literary work mostly short stories and poems anonymously before the meet up and the selected ones are read out and the floor is open for critics to do their thing. It’s at times brutal but from the testimonies that I have heard, those who are criticized harshly and even told not to write again are the ones that come out stronger. This makes me appreciate critics more because they help to show your weakness and identify your strengths.
Being in that room makes me feel like a rookie every time. Half the time my mind is blown by some of the comments made and the other half am in my head picturing myself making those kinds of remarks.
There is this guy in particular whose the “Simon Cowell” of Amka.
He is one of those people we love to hate, the villain that we enjoy more so because he is willing to say out loud what most of us are afraid to. Tony Mochama has one of those minds that I’d like to pick that’s why I had to turn to google to learn more about him. His creative journey began in 2003 so that means he didn’t get to where he is overnight. It has taken him 16 years to hone his craft and coming to that discovery took me back to THE SLIGHT EDGE. I am so sure during those 16 years he has put in work be it small or big that has compounded over time. I resonated with that a lot in that if I want to be the kind of writer that I envision to be it will take attending Amka every month without fail, putting out at least one post, interacting with other literary enthusiasts, anything that will help me get better at it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so do not disregard those small daily steps.
Don’t rush the process.
Put in the work
Be consistent in what you do.
At the end of The Slight Edge lies success or failure. The ball is in your court.