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Going for it

When I was in high school I always thought I wanted to be a writer but I never allowed myself to actually believe that I could be one. Why would this random Zimbabwean girl become a global bestseller? Not to make a grand, all-encompassing statement but it seemed to me that the global audience was only interested in a certain type of African novel. Either something deeply rooted in the 'traditional' African setting or full of struggle. And I’m not saying those stories aren’t valuable, only that I didn’t particularly want to write something like that. I didn’t have a traditional African upbringing and, while I had my struggles, I don’t particularly want to write about them.

I want to write epic fantasy stories, love stories, stories of young adults dating and figuring life out. I want to write creepy stories and mysteries and fun, light-hearted children’s stories. I don’t want to HAVE to write books aimed to teach the reader about Zimbabwe or share easily googleable information in fiction form.

The journey to get to this point has been more than just writing and querying for two and half years, it was believing that I could be an author in the first place. Me, a working-class, brown Zimbabwean girl can write stories about love, heartbreak, epic battles and an occasional cosy mystery and find success.

Getting to the place where I believed my stories were more than good enough to be published took time and I stumbled a lot along the way. There’s a vulnerability in deciding, firmly and without question, what your dreams are and then going after them. Gosh, the fear of failing! The fear would keep me up all night. Coming to terms with 'it takes how long it takes' was huge for me. I worked as hard as I could and kept pushing because I just had to. I had to try with every little bit of myself. I had to make myself tough enough to try with every little bit of myself.

I didn’t even tell people I was writing because I made my support and dedication enough. I don’t need anyone else’s approval. I don’t need anyone to tell me this writer thing is a good idea because it doesn’t even matter if it is or isn’t. It is simply what I’m doing.

Wish me luck :)


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