As a child,I always scribbled new words and was very eager to practise using new words. In primary school, our English language holiday project was almost always to write an essay about our holidays or write a letter to a friend, telling her what you loved most about your holiday. I looked forward to writing those, as I would often sit down and scribble down experiences I wanted to capture in the essay. I can’t say if I did well or not because I can’t recall if those essays were scored. The teacher would make comments like “seen” and that was it.
Fast forward to my second year in secondary school when we were asked to write an essay on a day we would never forget. I wrote about the day our house caught fire due to a mosquito coil that burnt out and started burning our mattress.
I was lying on the mattress with my siblings. All of us, sleeping peacefully inside the smoke. That’s how people pass out and die from carbon monoxide poisoning. First the high carbon monoxide levels in blood makes the person pass out and as the levels build up, they eventually give up the ghost. People die faster from carbon monoxide poisoning than from the burns sustained in a fire. Fortunately my aunt came in and got us all out of the room before we were able to put out the fire. I digress.
Anyway, I ended up writing about this incident.As soon as I put my pen to paper, I kept writing until it filled up almost 3 pages. I felt I had written too many words but I didn’t have time to go through the essay again before the time for submission, so I just had to submit. It ended with the sentence: I never knew that something as little as a mosquito coil could cause such havoc.
The English teacher came to class with all our scripts. He had shared every paper but I was yet to get mine. I was beginning to get worried when he called my name. I thought I had gotten into trouble, then he said he wanted to put a face to the name that wrote the best essay. He explained how he scored it before he gave me my script. He then encouraged all my classmates to read it and use it as a guide for subsequent essays. I had the highest score.
That essay brought me to the limelight. For the first time, I was proud of my writing. The validation from my teacher boosted my confidence. That was the first time I knew I was good at writing. Subsequently I did well with essay writing. I never really enjoyed reading novels till I got to high school and saw people reading novels, so I picked interest. I realised that the more stories I read, the better my power of imagination. I learned many new descriptive words and started forming a lot of stories in my mind.
I started writing down my thoughts and found I could express myself better on paper than when speaking. I articulate better when I had written down my thoughts earlier before speaking. Till I left high school, I had classmates coming to me for help with essay and letter writing.
I attempted writing a novel in university but lost interest after I lost my manuscript. Then I got into medical school where I had to concentrate on anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. I stopped writing but I kept a journal sometimes. When I got into clinical classes and started interacting with patients, I would write my experiences in my journal once in a while. I pretty much wrote on anything that came to mind till I discovered my passion for medical writing.
Writing educational articles, posts and copies lights me up. It gives me an inexplicable level of satisfaction. A friend got me to write for her health blog which I totally loved. Apparently I had done some medical writing before I got to know it was a huge writing niche. Then I took some writing courses. And here we are. Now I write on my social media handles, blog posts, a magazine column and I’ve written 2 ebooks.