Maya Angelou famed for her seminal novel I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing once avowed: ‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maybe this is what stirred her to tell her sobbing tale in this tear-jerking autobiography.
James Baldwin writes on the blurb of this magnum opus paperback: ‘I Know Why The Caged Birds Sings’ liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity’.
Sometimes a legion would ask why writers always bother themselves with the unending headache of crafting words into storylines.
At times I get overwhelmed with such queries. Nonetheless, as Angelou affirmed, when we fail to recount some of our experiences, specially, those that move us into tears, we’re endlessly enslaved.It is apparent that most writers are somehow free from this “slavery” of the untold story when they write about it. This accords us the irresistible vigour to write as someone must hear our side of the tale.
One Senegalese novelist, Mariama Ba, wrote her second novel, Scarlet Song with crusading vigour in defense of women yet she was aware that she was dying. To me, the energy of riveting writing lies not in the words. It certainly flows furtively through the words. This is our greatest charm as writers.I have on several occasions applauded budding writers to write in order to share with us their innermost hearty feelings. In one of my recent literary talks, I implored upon the literature students to always love creative writing. Lately, an acquaintance asked me why I was forever eager to be part of any unfolding event within my midst and in my shrewdly crafted retort; I told her that most times I gawk at events in order to pick up something to write about.Louis L’Amour unfolds to us some writing tit-bits when she tells us to start writing no matter what. She further drives this point home by using an illustration of water that does not flow until the faucet is turned on.This is usually the prime guardian angel to begin writing – starting to write something.Veteran writers such as Austin Bukenya and Laban Erapu for the umpteenth time have always drummed this analogy into our ears. To be a writer you must begin to write, period!When you start writing, sometimes the words may fail to flow, nonetheless; you must indefatigably continue to write.With time, the words become restless bundles of energy that everlastingly is ready to explode off our minds like a time bomb. Finally, they often blossom like a banquet of rose flowers – this is when we are ready to truly tell our story!Certainly, writing lifts the burden of untold stories off our heavy laden chests.