Why do you write? Finding your writing mojo

I'm fascinated by cultures, the ways of life of groups of people who showcase their identities by what they say and do - the way they practice life. I'm fascinated by cultures because I believe that within them lie keys that open doors to human understanding, our understanding of each other's hopes, dreams and motivation. I believe that if we truly make it our business to learn about the cultures of people who differ from us in so many ways, and if we truly try to understand the custodians of these cultures, we will begin to break down the walls of misunderstanding which sometimes lead to conflict among us. Pie in the sky? Probably. But, I continue to hold on to this belief which simply put is:

Learning about cultures fosters understanding, strengthens communication and reduces conflict among people.


One way to begin this process, I think, is by reading because reading allows us to vicariously travel the world, mingle with people whose way of life is totally different from ours, listen to what they have to say, listen to what other people say about them, take part in their daily activities - learn about cultures.

After taking each journey that an author takes us on in his/her work, we're furnished with some tools to make our own judgements - judgements about places; judgements about people and their ways of life, their motivations, their idiosyncrasies... This glimpse into the lives of others to which authors treat us is one of the starting points, I believe, to our understanding of a "new" way of being, of doing - new because it's different from the norm that we've accepted. We may not choose to pattern our lives on the "new" but we do now understand that there are others who choose to live their lives in ways other than we do. "Kudos to them!" we say. Or, probably not!

I must confess that I'm an indiscriminate reader. I've read books that we now deem to be classics and I've read everything else in between. I've read books in every genre, at least once. And I have many books yet to read!

I remember just going to the library, picking a title from the shelf that interested me, taking a seat and reading until close to the time when the last bus would leave for my community, marking the page at which I stopped reading, hiding the book behind a stack of books, returning to the library the next day, retrieving my book that was almost always where I left it, continuing to read where I left off...this process continued for years. But in addition to reading books in the library, I would borrow the maximum number of books allowed which I read at home.

I read because I enjoyed, for the most part, learning about the worlds to which the many authors of my favourite books introduced me. Alas, while I remember many of the stories and bits of others, the names of the authors, except for a few, elude me today. Then, I was interested in the stories. The names and lives of the authors were secondary.

I remember reading a book about two friends, one Jewish (at the time I had no knowledge of Judaism) and the other Christian who lived in the same community, but whose worlds were foreign to each other. The Jewish friend invited the other to her home during the celebration of one of the Jewish festivals. There was trepidation all around - from the parents' of these children who worried about what their children had got themselves into, from the children themselves, one wondering about what she was going to witness, the other about her friend's reaction to what she would see. The visit went well. The Christian girl learnt much about her friend's way of life from that visit, and I, the awed reader, also learnt much. This visit brought this family closer than before.

The book exposed me to a way of life that was different from mine. But, it was all good. I learnt much from that book whose author and title I cannot now remember.

Since I believe that when we read books, we are learning about others and that this learning has the potential to foster understanding among groups, and that it has the potential to enhance learning and so reduce conflict, I've decided to help to further this process by writing books for an audience who is interested in learning about cultures - peoples and their ways of life - and be entertained while they do so.

I've published the first of my, hopefully, many books, Investing in our success: A glimpse into our world, in which I showcase the Jamaican/Caribbean culture by sharing some of the stories of the lives of the people who hail from this region. This book is creative non-fiction as I've used my literary background to tell these stories.

The Caribbean region is a tiny region of the world,  but from this region has come great achievements in education, sports, music, science - among every other sphere of life. These achievements are grounded in and have their starting points in the culture of the region.

From this book, you'll learn about the making of the Jamaica/Caribbean person, our motivations, our joys, our sorrows - our way of life. I hope that after you've read it, your understanding of us will be enhanced and you'll revise some of the stereotypes that you may hold about us, because we all hold onto stereotypes about others.

For readers from my culture,  the stories in this book will take you down memory lane and back, a pleasant journey for some, a not so pleasant journey for others.

For readers from other cultures, I'm sharing my culture with you through this book because I believe that if you learn about my culture, you'll start the process of understanding "people like me". And this understanding will surely enhance our relationships.

I intend to travel across the world of non-fiction and fiction in my writing.  My next book is non-fiction. It's set in the world of education and should be available before the end of August 2015. I'll tell you more about it, soon. My third book is fiction, set somewhere in the Caribbean, which I hope to complete by December of this year. In these works, I draw heavily on my knowledge of and my experiences in the Jamaica/Caribbean culture. In subsequent works, my knowledge of and experiences in other cultures will make an appearance.

Why do I write? I write to share with readers the essence of my culture in the hope that we'll grow in understanding and appreciation of each other. I write to share with readers ideas and invite them to join me in thinking about them. I write to keep the readers thinking, but also to get them to experience the gamut of emotions that my characters experience. I write to keep my readers entertained. I write to keep my readers reading.

Why do you write? Leave your comment below.

Photo credit: pixabay.com













Comments

  1. I write in part to give a voice to ordinary Bangladeshis who are not often featured in a positive light in the country's English newspapers (ideally they could do this themselves of course). I write because I love to travel, see new places and learn about cultures. I write to inspire and inform.

    Nice blog by the way.

    Mine here: http://villageflute.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Andrew! You're doing a great job of sharing stories to a wide audience that may have remained just the stories of particular groups of people. It's great to get a glimpse into the lives of others for the reasons that I've cited above and many others. Keep on sharing the stories from your travels.

    By the way, I visited your blog. Interested blog! I'll visit again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Norma Osborne- Brown11 August 2015 at 23:17

    Norma Osborne- Brown
    I must say how happy I am to have read your book.Many years ago I started writing poems. My reason for writing was express how I felt about nature These poems never left the pages of my note book and unfortunately my book got lost.
    Growing up in our small community, I have experienced many places through reading.and on a quiet night I would put my pen to paper and write. I never shared them, One day in the near future I will.
    I must say that learning about different cultures have enabled me to have a better understanding of different races and provide me with tools to appreciate, respect, and love people who are different .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Norma. I am sure I responded to you way back when but am not seeing my response here. Thank you for reading my book. I look forward to reading your writings one day so keep on writing.

      Delete

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