Writing my first book was tough.
I had always had this dream of being a writer. From as early as I can remember, I read anything I could lay my hands on: comics, magazines, novels, books, newspapers, the Bible. Anything I could read was game. Thanks to the books my mom and dad were gracious enough to bring into our home. My dad was also an avid read of Time magazine. 40 years later, I still read it. This was the foundation for my voracious appetite for information and knowledge.
After at the age of 10, I focused mainly on novels. I read huge, monstrous novels that seemed too big for my age and my head. I remember in secondary school, my friends spent their money buying clothes and shoes. I spent my money on books. If a thief rummaged my suitcase, he would be totally disappointed because all he would find would be books and drab clothes. I had very little interest in fashion although that changed after I realized the importance of looking good in attracting members of the opposite sex!
All those books I read and the millions of words I devoured began to percolate in my young mind and I began to see myself as a writer. I tried my hands on writing short stories but nothing ever came out of it. A short course in writing at the age of 17 laid the foundation for the next 3 decades of my life. It gave me the tools I needed to put my ideas on paper, although that didn’t happen until about 10 years later.
I had a mis-adventure in the university, having no idea why I was there. I kind of floated through the system until I decided to set myself free before it drove me completely crazy. One day, I got up and left without a degree. I can talk about it now, but back then, I felt so much pain because I didn’t have a degree. Thank God for guys like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Richard Branson and very recently, Mark Zuckerberg who redeemed the image of restless, entrepreneurial, leave-school-before-degree-types like me.
All I ever wanted to do was write and speak to large groups of people. The university gave me no direction towards my goal. I wish I knew someone like me, a Praise George who could talk to me and give me clarity; someone who could show me the Power of my talent, and set me on my course with Drive. But alas,(in the words of my wife, Abiola,) I was alone, there was no one to give me guidance. I struggled along my path, then I began to use one of my talents: singing.
I sang for so many Churches that I lost count. I made a living with my voice. But somewhere in my soul, the words I had ingested for years just wouldn’t let me rest. They demanded for expression and I discovered that singing couldn’t bring me to my destiny. Then I decided to write a book . That was the beginning of change in my life.
Like I said in the opening words of this article, my first book was tough. I had never done it before. All I had was my singing skill and my gift of words. I will never forget the day the ‘land lady’ of the one bedroom flat I lived in showed up and found me at home writing.
‘What are you doing at home at this hour of the day’? she asked.
‘I am writing, working on a book’, I replied.
‘You are writing? Writing what?’, she laughed with derision. ‘Why don’t you get a job like everybody else and stop deceiving yourself that you are a writer?’
I was devastated by her words. I felt shame. I felt my old pain haunting me again. But I ignored her and kept on writing because I had no choice. I was broke. I was desperate. And my only hope for survival was the completion of that book. If I didn’t complete it, I was sure to starve or experience some form of pain worse than it.
I completed that book and it sold it like crazy. That book freed me from the tyranny of a job. It freed me from poverty. It freed me from the tyranny of crooked men in religious disguise who wanted to exploit my singing ability for self aggrandizement. It freed me to live my dream.
One thing that made the difference for me was my ability to sell. I learned to sell to survive. My selling skills served me well when I released my first book. I went to places no writer had gone before. I was not ashamed to talk to people about my product, so I sold like crazy. When I tell people that I am a writer, some of them look at me like I am crazy until I tell them how many books I have sold. Some of them still don’t get it, until I put it in figures, then their eyes light up like a Christmas tree! I write, I sell, I make enough money to live a good life and I do it effortlessly.
After Successful Singing, other books found expression through me: Action, Releasing The Success within. Then I wrote Rules For Single Ladies. After that, it seemed as if I tapped into an ocean of wisdom. The ideas just kept on coming. It was effortless. I had found the fountain of Grace. Over 60 books later, I am still writing. The dream of that 17 year old writer has come to pass and has even been surpassed because I stayed true to my calling.
Why do I keep writing? Simple.
It thrills my soul when a young man walks up to me and tells me that “I read your books since I was a teenager and it has made the difference in my life.” I feel honoured when a young lady walks up to me and says,” 8 years ago, I started reading your books and today I am married with children. Thanks.”
Writing these words bring tears of gratitude to my eyes. I am grateful to the Lord for using my Talent to change lives, to be a blessing to millions of people in many parts of the world. I can’t imagine where I would have been if it wasn’t for the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Mercies of the Lord Jesus Christ who kept me on the right path.
To all who have bought and read my books, to all who have bought my CDs and VCDs, to all who have attended my seminars and programs, I am eternally grateful for honouring me, for honouring my talents by allowing me be a part of your life, a part of your history, a part of your destiny. You are the reason I do what I do. I make a commitment to stay true to my calling, to my talents, to my path, and to be a blessing to all those to whom the Lord would grant me access.