Saturday, 5 August 2017

"Writers are born and made...Writing is a job..." with okhuoya Godwin Temitope

Good morning friends. I'm so excited this weekend to bring a friend on this platform who is a writer and whose writing is a motivation to me personally. He is such a hardworking and passionate writer and I truly love his work. You'd enjoy this interview. Remember there are principles that works for every field and career, so read through, you'd surely see something to hold unto.

Precious HLG: Can we meet you?

Okhuoya Godwin:  I am Godwin Okhuoya. I am from Edo State, and among thousands of things that I do. I write.

Precious HLG: hmm, yeah you do write and you write pretty well. How did it all start being a writer?

Okhuoya Godwin: hmmm, that's a thick question, could have said I started from birth, but that would be odd.

Precious HLG: (Smiles) You have brought in the comedy part of you, ride on.

Okhuoya Godwin: But all long as I can remember doing a mock English text book when I was in primary 4. I can remember translating few of my languages with the help of my friends, one who was good at French and another good Yoruba friend. It's just been in the blood. I can still remember writing fables way back in Primary 2.

Tried something crazy in Jss2. When I began doing comic and I began multi writing stories with a dupicator so I could give more readers at a time. And at jss3, I started public story speaking. Yeah!  Told stories to an audience of 15 at a time.  Then seniors won't let me sleep and they would force me to compose more episodes. You could ask anyone from my secondary school. I was good at the idea creating thing. I amazed crazy readers for my comic. That I had a team. Had fan base. Did mock calendars. Hosted q/a time and give out free gifts to readers.

Precious HLG: Then I'd say you are not wrong if you say you've been writing since birth. Who knows how many books you've written in mama's stomach before you were forced out to write them in real life(smiles). So Tope, what motivates your writing. You've written hundreds of stories and all, your series TEXTER is still hot, BLOOD AND OIL, ALIM. What's your motivation/inspiration?

Godwin Okhuoya:  Motivation for me is God. You know I'm a science student. My book bio genesis would prove that, story about a man who had his p21 gene removed. And I have not read as much book even as you.  Not to talk of learning the writing tricks of reading. I've not even read up to 30 books all my life. But I have read those 30 books over 200 times each. Could remember when I dropped writing and I forgot about everything. I was just sleeping that night, I had a dream and in it I was told a story and I was instructed to write. That was 2015 my rebirth. I stopped writing 2010 and I lost all my works.

At times I walk the street as early as 4am when a lot of flocks are asleep, at times 3am  Doing my morning walk, just getting my head into the heavens in search of stories. 
That on the spiritual, but on the physical. I tend to score everything, I tend to think behind everything.  But I can say I   am just a bit different from everyone I have known.  I write at time with just one fore idea and I own down all my stories out of my head wiithout an extensive thought.

Precious HLG: Hmmmm, Writing for you is like drinking water.

Okhuoya Godwin: Yeah, it's my life. Only reason I can do a word count of 5,000 words in an hour.

Precious HLG: Have you had difficult times writing, like trying to get something down?

Godwin Okhuoya: Once in a year. That happens..

Precious HLG: Wow, that's great.

Godwin Okhuoya: And not even the writers block.  The only thing is for me to flow well, I have to sleep. At times emotions and all. All that was then. I got myself positioned and I took writing as a job not an hobby.  That makes me write anytime, any day, any moment. Same reason I can't deny my night for the ink.

Precious HLG: Hmmm Tope De Writer. That's a great one. Keep the ball rolling. One thing that amazes me is you're everywhere, you will write, you'll dish us funny pics, you're an editor, you're this and that. How have you been managing all these put together and I know you don't sleep that much, don't you usually fall sick or breakdown?

Okhuoya Godwin: Let me take it one at a time.
Management is just this. I've met with great men, great people. I have successful mentors and one thing I have learnt from them is this: Take time out of non important activities and fix them in important activities. So I don't have the time to watch movie except I am on work break. Which I give myself at times or I am scoring the movie.  No time for games except there is nothing else to do.

And man, I write in the toilet, edit in the bank. I just work at every free time. Just time management.

 And about the no sleep thing. The night is the only time I have 6 hours and more to myself. I can think, write and do everything then.
No neighbor to knock, no friend I have to visit, no one is calling, every other unserious element on earth are snoring with their sound away from my window and the other serious folks are busy working(laughs)                                                                                                                            

Like every serious person on earth must be either awake between 3-6 am or 12-3 am or stay all night. It's just a principle. I have learnt by Labour to keep the night watch. Same way I can eat 39 wraps of hard Eba with only spit, no water.

But I do sleep just that no one notices. And the key is no one noticing. I can't sleep 4hours or 6 hours straight so I get things divided. 
2 hours or 3 hours in the morning. That's between 9-12 and another 2- 3 hours between 2-6 Or another 2 to 3 hours between 7 pm- 12am

Precious HLG:
Oh oh! Awesome, 39 wraps of Eba, I fear you o, EFCC is looking for you (laughs). With all these you know I'm just your younger sister In writing, and I can see now that I'm the laziest writer on earth, thanks for the eye-opening (laughs)

Let's talk about, recently ballspedia released a book Flunctus Quintus, and seriously I was impressed. How did you come about this?

Okhuoya Godwin:

That was the laziest project ever. For real(laughs)
Met with one of the writers back then, a great brother.  So I noticed he had a lot of readers. But I could stop flaws in his works from afar, you know you can't just overlook some flaws. So I spoke with him and one day he  messaged about a plot for one of his episodes, he said he had never been in that setting before and he wanted me to help. So I did help without a credit and it was cool.

He was a science drop out due to so many things so I tried my best to help and this brother did grow. One day, he just busted me with the programme and he was like, dude; I want us to work on an anthology together.  Then he brought in the Indian writer and he locked the other guy. So he said my organization was going to do the  e-publishing and on and on.

We fixed it, then I had a little issue with my laptop.  I had to redraft the whole story on my phone. Then I sent it out for editing. Men it came out bad! But the thing was this; Timing, We had to publish on that day. So I had to mock up the bad work out, to do fronting and promotions. I had to take care of sales and delivery and I had  to seat down the next song and spend 7 hours re-editing. I would scream that seven hours again because it was a whole lot of time.

Precious HLG: Hmmm, great. So, Flunctus Quintus, what's the meaning, what does it have to do with the contents in the book?

Okhuoya Godwin:That means Fifth wave. Fifth is a random number and it could be summed up to perfection or prime.

We trusted the content to be wavy so the wave was a go.  So we lumped it up with commercials in mind. We needed a name that would be good for commercials. And again an anthology licensed us to do that.
Precious HLG: Yeah, you mentioned something earlier about having not read up to 30 books but you've read them over and over. It's often said that a writer is a reader, is that really true?
Okhuoya Godwin: Yeah I advice every flock on my angle to read.We could just be different. But the thing is me not reading for fun. I grind those few books of mine and I go over it again. I patch the scenes and I do counter scenes. I mark why the writer went that way and not this way, take note of  dialogues. I check narratives and check assents. And now, I am just trying to read more but one at a time. I have e-books enough for anyone to read a year long nonstop but I have just few times to read.

Precious HLG: Alright. From your experience, what makes a good writer?

  Okhuoya Godwin:
What makes one a good writer:                                                                     

1. Ability to create...

Very important, a writer must be very gifted at this. He must be able to create scenes, ability to create characters, ability to flow and aline with the pen. Just that one is important..  Because it comes of the natural, the rest can be learnt.

And I tell folks new into the game.  Writing is not about grammatical accuracy, that is a bit important, you can fix that.You can adjust that. But, Ogar!!!  When you write good grammar and your content is junk...

Precious HLG:

Sre you saying writers are born and not made?

  Okhuoya Godwin:

Good writers are born, Great writers were born and made.You will know those who have it in their DNA. Is it not surprising that James Hadley Chase was born of a brown mother, man never made it to America but he plotted all his scenes in the US. God bless him of good memories. Lord Shakes never made it to France, he wrote crazily well about places he had never been. How? He studied the works of other people who have been there .

You need to read to write more, I repeat you have to read to write more. Why? You have to read those who have experienced what you have not. You have to read those who have seen what you have not. You have to read those who have been to places you have not and you might never be.

 Precious HLG:

Your philosophies are genuine. I'm serious. Thanks.

Have you published a book of your own, hard publishing??

  Okhuoya Godwin:

 I could have, but you don't sell water in a land when no one gets thirsty. Your company will crash like the Twin Towers.

This I mean: You don't write when you have no market, only hungry writers do that. Right now I am just trying to get enough readers.  Right now I am just selling my name enough into the heart of people. When that is fixed, boy goes north for a seed.

  Then we can do hard publishing and invest thousands of Naira. I can only do kiddies publishing for now.  Why?  Schools can pick that up. But I don't have the kids at heart for now. The thing is just the market down here. Just want to write enough and pitch my tent to a wagon like berrkey jams books and the likes.

  Precious HLG:

Hmm I understand you. It's a very good idea. Lot of books have been written with few to read just in a bid to make money, instead of giving it out free first and when people see something that answer their question or satisfy them they will be more than willing to buy.

   Okhuoya Godwin:

Yeah..and you know the few who read in Nigeria read authors not books.

   Precious HLG:(laughs) true talk.

Thanks so so much. Do you mind telling us how many episode remaining for TEXTER?

  Okhuoya Godwin:
I am trying all my best to compress all my ideas and not go beyond episode 70. I could make it episode 150 if I want to, I will just make Timmy sick, Fake kill Mary and put Jimmy in power. Then Felix would get back and just to thank Timmy for never giving up, try to get Jimmy up with the help of Martin. Then I will kill Shade for real.

  Precious HLG:

That's what writers do, they kill, they resurrect, me I don't know you o incase police come looking for you. You can make it 1000 episodes, me I will just be counting the episodes for you(Laughs)

  Okhuoya Godwin:(laughs) I have a licence.

  Precious HLG:
Finally finally, this has really been interesting. What do you have for writers out there, may be an advice or something?

 Okhuoya Godwin: Just one advice: Learn!  Stick with people who write better, they can save you the stress of scoring to know why you should use a comma before the word And if you are not enlisting. Read more, think...take writing as a work not a hobby. Learn the twist and tweak to writing and stop being lazy.      

Precious HLG:
Thanks so much Tope. I hope next time you'd honour our IV. Thanks

Okhuoya Godwin: Sure, I enjoyed it.

It sure was a long interview, but it was amazing all through. Are you a writer? funny enough, I should answer YES too. Let us be hardworking, like Tope had said, let's stop being lazy, there are thousands of books in our belly. You ain't a writer? It's OK, but you are into something else? let me answer for you: YES. Be hardworking, do your best and learn to be creative. See you next weekend.

Drop your comments for feedback and what you feel about this.



  1. Thanks for this opportunity THEHOSTLG

  2. Thanks a lot Temitope, it was really nice having you here.

  3. Wow, this is mind elevating, & i'm glad i read it. "Good TALENTS were born, Great TALENTS were born & made." Keep soaring, C.E.O TMB... Kudos to THLG. God bless you