We both know my writing is flawless. There are absolutely no mistakes — grammatical, punctuation-wise, or otherwise. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I cast modesty aside and called it perfect.
It thus came as a surprise when I came across this comment on my faultless article The Jinn by someone called Mememe, here reproduced verbatim:
So many things wrong with this story i dont know wgere to begin. i must say though it is well written however, you have got your facts wrong.
First: human beings cannot see jinns
second: the names: fair enough he is Tuareg and named abdullahi but Harun is used by the Arabs. Tuaregs use Haruna.
Third: people in this region do not Say “by Allah”
Fourth: A muslim cannot pray right after sex without a shower – even in the desert.
Fifth: “Hajiyah” is only used in nigeria. The global word is Hajja.
Sixth: In th Sahara, only the high class and noble have swords. the peasants and commoners only use daggers.
Understandably, I was miffed. What the hell was this! What the hell was this?! Someone dared to find so many faults in my writing!
Let’s cast the sarcasm aside for a bit 😀 .
Every time I write something, I love to share it with others — I wouldn’t be blogging otherwise — and I’ve always encouraged everyone to critique my work as ‘brutally’ as possible. Looking back now, I realize no one had ever done that — until Mememe came along.
I thought I was impervious to any faults being pointed out — then again, the only faults readers ever found (or dared to point out) were punctuation errors, misspelled words, incorrect phrasing (or clausing) and the like — but this one hurt like crazy, especially because it showed I hadn’t done any research. I can be very proud — stubborn as well — and I did the writing equivalent of sulking for quite a while.
The date the comment was made was sometime in September 2007. If you’re observant (hint: look at the months listed on my sidebar), you’ll notice I didn’t make any posts after that until January 2008, but before that, I posted every month.
While in Nigeria and going through my work from years and years ago, I wondered where my enthusiasm for writing had gone. Back then, I was either reading or writing — if you look through my secondary school notebooks, you’ll find most of them have been converted into novellas and short story collections. Time was when I couldn’t be far — for survival reasons — from the traditional pen and paper.
I had a lot of time to compare the me from before and my present self. I realized I wasn’t who I used to be, and yes, I wanted to return to the good old days.
I’ve started to write more, and would probably have blogged more (if I’d had better Internet access in Nigeria). Thanks to everyone for reading…
…And thank you, Mememe.
P.S.: Does anyone know where Idemili is?