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Red Ink


Red Ink X. Red Ink X. Red Ink X. All i kept picturing in my head, from the voices i hear, like i just failed the biggest test of my life…


Have you ever written a piece or done something that people so criticise it made you felt very bad about yourself? I just deleted my first piece of writing from Facebook. I don’t think I will ever write again.


I have always loved literature from my primary school days. There is this special feeling I get whenever I read a story. One that tells me that I could create stories myself and impact lives like the authors I read. I did nothing about it until a week back when I summed up courage to pick up a pen and tell a story about my experience on a night bus. I titled it ‘Night Journey.’


It was about an experienced i had on Christmas Eve trevelling from Warri to Portharcourt that got me and other passengers on board spending Christmas at a police station. It took me a week to compose and develope the 1680 words piece on a 60 leaves notebook, with a red pen. The only pen on site when the inspiration hit me to put my experience to pen. You know what they say about ideas, inspiration and a jotter. “Jot them down soon as it hits you, or you will forget it, or better still never get the inspiration to put it to pen again.” I decided to review it soon as i hit the last full stop with my pen.


Reviewing it made me felt like a Nobel Laurette. I decided to share it on my Facebook wall as a note so my friends there could read and tell me what they think about it, if possible learn a lesson or two from my travel experience. “Wole Soyinka, and Chinua Achebe, I am coming.” I praised myself after publishing the note on my Facebook wall.


”Guy, the story is sweet but your English kill the beauty.”


“Did you finish primary school at all? You murdered English language in this story.”


“Didnt read pass the first paragraph. Poor use of English.”


“Funny narration. Your Narration entertained me more than the story. Go back to the basics of English language before you write again.”


“I know if you wrote this story in your native language, it will make more sense.”


“Take this story down . You are disgracing your family.”


“You forced yourself speak English .”


“Its a nice story. I have always hated night journeys for the danger of being attacked by armed robbers like you guys. Thank God the man that was attacked with cutlass by the robbers made it to the hospital on time. Thanks to you and others that didnt mind getting stained by blood even though you wore a white T-shirt. The police patrol team showed up on time as well. The driver of the coaster Bus is very experienced, had he hit the break immediately he saw the armed robbers, the story would have been different. But you still need to work on your gramner and sentence construction. I had to ignore your errors to get the message.”


Comments I got on the post some hours after publishing it. The last one was the only positive comment. It came from my best female pal. Negative comments kept coming. It made me feel bad about myself and my writing to the extent that i almost gave in to depression. Thanks to my parents who had taken their time to educate myself and my younger siblings about failures and the best way to react to it. Which is learning from the experience and using it to become better at that same task.


I resolved to delete the post for the good of everyone, but then i took the positive comment from my friend. A day after I deleted the post, I got this message on my inbox:


“Hello Tanrose, I saw your story ‘Night Journey.’ Your friend Francisca sent it to me via email. I think it is a great story. You just need a little polishing and you will be good to go as a writer. It reminded me of my first story. We all had that experience. Every great writer you hear about today started like you. What you should do to become better is to read, read, read, and keep reading and studying the writing style of the writers you read. Another thing, never be afraid to make mistakes as a writer. It is part of the process. Just let your pen flow. The more you write and put what you learn from reading established writers to use in your writing, the better you become. I look forward to reading more stories from you.”


It was from Wole Soyinka.

I woke up from my sleep and wished that dream was a reality.


My name is Tanrose Anomuogharan. I am a Nigerian whose goal is to impact people positively with my pen, one story at a time.


Facebook — Tanrose Busy-brain Godwin Anomuogharan .

Twitter — @tanrose247champ

Instagram — @tanrose247champion


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