A Curtsy To The Ladies
Article written by Evelyn Masaba
I sat up the other morning and looked at my laptop trying to formalize the words to an article that I wanted to send to our editor to publish. I told myself “this time we can do it”. I couldn’t do it at all, but I did get to stare at the keyboard and wondered what Kye Makyeli would say if she saw me feeling sorry for myself. She would probably laugh it off and tell me to put my laptop away but try again tomorrow or hand me a bottle of beer.
Due to writers block, my last article for ElleAfrique was published in 2012. I was 22 and fresh out of university. I was excited about life and the possibilities that it could offer. I love writing and I remember the excitement I felt after writing that first piece, which I have to acknowledge had so many errors but being the delightful lady that Salha Kaitesi is, she went ahead and corrected all my written mistakes, edited and eventually published it. She also reminded me why ElleAfrique was created. It was for people like me. An african girl with a passion for writing but no platform to elevate this skill. The biggest shocker of all this, was the response I received from the readers and how many times it was shared on social media sites.
They say to many cooks spoil the broth but this is not the case for ElleAfrique. This platform comprises of a group of african ladies from different corners of the world who are using their creative minds, to make a difference in lives of people they have never met. This article is about Kye and the rest of the ladies at ElleAfrique who have continiously taken time out of their busy schedules to keep this platform going so that people like myself and others, could get courage and inspiration from their work. Ladies who have been doing what I have been too afraid to do.
Writers block is fear and fear affects us all more than we care to admit. Reading all the other articles published on this platform made me more and more afraid to write because I did not feel that anything I wrote after my first piece was good enough to be published besides these wonderful other pieces of literature. Writing online didnt help either because you are really putting work out there, and the critics are always waiting to criticise. Like a hunter looking for his next prey, they search the World Wide Web.
If you are reading this article, it means I have finally put words down by overcoming my fear. This would not have been possible if it wasn’t for you ladies at ElleAfrique. From the sidelines I watched you keep the light burning and eventually every piece I read brought me closer to this day. No one should ever wake up in the morning and tell themselves that they have no purpose in this life. If you ever feel like that, look around you because there is inspiration in everything. This platform has nurtured me in ways I did not know it ever would. My full gratitude goes to you Salha for this creation and the entire ElleAfrique team. Your inspiration has awoken me.
We have grown. I have grown.
I curtsy to you ladies.
Atiyya Karodia / 23 March 2015
All of us have experienced a similar feeling, where you type and backspace endlessly just floating between ideas for the next piece. Sometimes the weight of the creative block is what worsens over time, but for anyone suffering from writers block, I’d like to share one tip. Free write without purpose, put your fingers to the keyboard and if you type out gibberish, appreciate it for being writing in the purist sense. Free writing opens up the mind to issues that you would want to tackle, that’s why so many of us change topics halfway through a piece. Be patient with your mind, inspiration can’t be forced.