A good friend of mine, who is a billionaire – in all senses- worthy several millions of US dollars, usually gives me several pieces of advice including on health, fashion, beauty, fitness, etc & career (I often wonder why am I not yet a billionaire like him). He does not have a university education, he tells me. And it has been hard to believe it but because I know and trust his honesty and confidence, I know he doesn’t lie and so he didn’t lie. However, he has learnt much more than many people, who I know, with university certificates. His skills- in particular cognitive are of highest levels. The soft skills are a challenge- depending on how you define them- but if you consider confidence and presentation skills – his are unbeatable. If there’s one person who has defined “Disruption” for me, it’s him. He always reminds me to remove the “Oxford” thinking and let my brain operates properly outside the academic structured thinking framework.
So whenever I’d share with him my blog entries- and in particular book reviews– he tells me “stop promoting other peoples’ work, write your own book. You can become the best seller and earn millions. Stop sharing with me peoples’ work. I want yours”. That and many other responses from him on our constant chats get me so mad. In many things- his responses are always sharp and painful. Luckily, he knows how to soothe them pains. Well, upon reflection, the immediate sharpness of them have helped me to be a stronger person. In building confidence towards confronting life puzzles. Confidence in going for what I want. Confidence in being humble. Confidence in being aggressive in a subtle way. Confidence in sidelining what does not matter and/or not productive. Confidence in being confident about my self. I am still learning, and am still being disrupted. The disruption has been, I won’t lie, mostly confusing. But I guess that’s the way.
I’ve not stopped reading. I still do.But even in my reading, I mostly think of how I can be published.
So in 2017, I finally finished a manuscript- for a fiction novel- ooh my!! I took it to a potential publisher. Mmmmh, the feedback was horrible.!!! Luckily, the many such horrible feedbacks I received for my academic papers from journal publishers came in as a shock absorber to this one. So I braced myself and thought, alright I need to work harder. It’s the writing journey. My brother comforted me saying, “even Chinua Achebe’s manuscript for Things Fall Apart was declined by many publishers, so don’t give up- look for other publishers”.
I was also lucky to meet another disruptor- a PhD (Environment) holder, who also makes movies and has written a novel and he now does all sorts of things- so I shared with him the horrible feedback- and he told “never mind that -if your manuscript doesn’t fit into the standard genre, start your own genre”. Wow an eye opening. I then remembered how in 2012, when I realized that publishing academic papers in peer reviewed journey will be a difficult journey, so I thought of starting a blog– which has been a priceless blessing. It has enabled me to share much of my wild and often unprocessed thinking/ideas to a wider audience than a sweaty heartburning academic journey would ever go.
So, I will continue posting book reviews (rather reflections) because that’s what conventional academic world requires- but will not be my main priority- my priority in 2018- is to keep walking, more strategically with readiness for disruptions, towards a publishable fiction – it can end up being a new genre altogether. I wonder how long the journey will take, but I will reach….
So…this year, am not going to join my fellow Tanzanians who have been posting list of books read in 2017. If you want you can read some of my favourites reflections of books I read over the year here (funny in 2015 I read a book on dealing with a Billionaire- but in a different context) and here. I have started a new journey which will, hopefully, leads towards mine being shared and posted in the near future….
Wishing you all the best…and yeah, #LetsRead and most important #LetsLearn