A surgical needle that writes: 3 Minutes with Kimathi Makini
By Juliet Mwangi
You’ve obviously heard before how interesting writers can be right? Now we get to have a little fun with some of our writers as they share their experiences during and after the Write Your Passion Course that we offer. This should be fun, so dive in!
Today I enjoy talking to Kimathi Makini, an energetic young man pursuing Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nairobi.
Apart from reading and writing, Kimathi enjoys swimming and taking nature walks. He confesses that presently he is just limited to wander-lusting.
We have an intriguing conversation with Kimathi who was one of the graduates of the Write Your Passion Course, a course by Writers Guild Kenya meant to ignite your writing.
- What’s your writing and reading journey?
My reading journey began at a young age. I grew up reading all the books I could land my hands on. I count myself lucky to have studied in schools that had libraries hence providing me with a wide variety of books.
The idea of writing came to me in my first year in university late in 2014. I attended two Writers Guild cocktail sessions in 2015 and a few more Friday afternoon sessions at I&M building in 2016.It is through these platforms that the desire of writing was ignited in me. While I enjoyed reading, the idea of writing was distant to me. I was ignorant why I needed to write in the first place. I thought reading was enough. With the inspiration from Writers Guild Kenya, I thought I was good to go. I started and closed two blogs over that period. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I got so involved with other activities hence abandoned my writing till late in 2018 when I opened a new blog (www.youngdocnet.wordpress.com) which was a good way to put my thoughts out there. Writers Guild Kenya was in my face, in Facebook and other platforms. As much as I was consumed in other things, the reminder of writing kept coming.
I started attending the Friday Ekklesia sessions among other literary opportunities around town. Over my continued interactions with other writers, thoughts of writing beyond my blog and possible publishing were sowed and I am now working to improve my craft. Soon enough, you will be holding my book.
- What are some of the challenges you have faced in this journey?
That has to do with my inconsistency and giving up too early and too easily. I have also had a challenge with getting peer review; getting reviews from friends has proved quite difficult.
- Why did you decide to register for Write Your Passion Class?
It was a course geared towards helping Non-fiction writers intending to publish to actualize their goals. This was in line with the budding publishing thoughts I already had.
It was offered as a scholarship to a few members of Writers Guild and decided to give it a shot and luckily, I got the chance.
- How did it answer some of the questions or addressed some of the challenges that you had?
I always wondered whether I could earn from writing. This was answered over the main sessions and interactions with the available participants and facilitators; opening up my mind to the range of possibilities for one to earn from.
We also went beyond the craft of creative writing to the business side of it- marketing oneself and how to get oneself known in the market place.
The publishing process and industry in the country- The “Publishing Laboratory” session had the facilitators guide us step by step through the industry processes, with all the options available to us. This gave me the nudge to keep going with my writing with the hope of being published in future.
Moreover, patience and resilience were drummed into me and I’m certain I’ll need these two attributes through life’s milestones. I also enjoyed greatly the culture of reading other writers and sharing with them on different areas in which they can improve in.
- What has changed in your writing and reading since you graduated?
First off, confidence on my craft has really grown. I am part of wider networks of writers and other individuals in the writing and publishing industry, giving me exposure to more opportunities shared across these networks.
I also get the much desired peer reviews and criticism to my written works with appropriate re-writing and editing. This was one of my major take-away from the course. I was always in a hurry to write and just get the work out there but I learnt to be patient and take my time to polish my work.
- If you had a chance to address an audience of 2000 aspiring writers in Kenya, what would the first paragraph of your speech look like?
“Fellow writers…” (haha. Just kidding) “There is nothing new I will be telling you today. You have heard it all before- reading widely and wildly. Writing- the only way to write better is to write and write more. Discipline, consistency- name them all. What I would say is that we just need to write. Then we will become better at what we do and …”
- What should we expect from you soon?
For now, keep reading my blog. Then from that, I will get a chance to surprise you.
All the best in your writing and should you need any help, you know for sure that Writers Guild Kenya is here for you.
Kimathi Makini is reacheable through- firstname.lastname@example.org