Three Years On

three

The first time I met Lanre, I told him about my blog. He says it must be my passion, the subject of my blog snakes into every conversation. He wonders, as others do, why I do not monetize my blog. I sigh. As if money is everything; as if money isn’t everything.

I asked a friend to write an article for my blog. His article although well-written lacked that something I look for before I publish a post, but he did not think so, he being an accomplished writer. We reasoned back and forth, threatening our friendship, as when friends mistakenly become lovers, solid lines become indistinct; the ease of communication replaced by silent awkwardness.

It should have been easy to reject a submission that did not meet my criteria except that doing so felt like losing a friend. In the end, I chose my blog and after weeks of reaching out won a version of my friend back. The subject of writing for my blog is taboo. We do not speak of it. Maybe one day we will.

If I did not monetize my blog, I at least learnt what it means to be human. This is what it means to write a blog every Sunday for three years—you become aware of your strengths and limitations; how far you will go for what you believe in.

Three years ago, Maurice, Mayura, and I waited at Holendrecht Station for the metro, cold air whipping through our hair and slapping our coats while trains sped by. I recited a list of possible blog names. When Mayura said Livelytwist reminded her of lemons, my sign-off was born: Take lemons, make life! I can recount incidents like this for every stage of the life of my blog; the people whose input helped me along the way.

Friends sometimes ask about the number of stories I’ve written ostensibly to check if I have a collection large enough for a book. Some days I want to write a book. Some days I do not. Three years on, the relationships, I have forged because of my writing matter more. Each article I’ve published has a behind-the-scenes story—where I was, my state of mind at the time, and who helped make it happen.

I have evolved since my tentative beginning in April 2013. The stories I did not write the way I had wanted to tell me so. You see, when you keep friends up until 1 a.m., seeking their opinions, it seems unfair to discard their recommendations at 2 a.m., when you realize your story no longer resembles you.

I’ve been tempted to revisit the stories, you know, to remove this, and to add that, to make them fully my own. But I leave them as they are, wincing every time I read through, as reminders of a time when although I knew what I wanted I did not have sufficient courage to articulate and execute. I leave the stories on my blog to remind me how people-pleasing distorts what I sound like.

Writing consistently for three years has made me a better writer; I am more skillful with my pen. But skills do not keep you warm, people do. At the heart of every story on this blog is a person or group of people who believed in me. None more so than you who read this blog Sunday after Sunday; you who I fight for with my pen, jeopardizing friendships. If I make it to a fourth year, it will be because of you.

Thank you!

© Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

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88 thoughts on “Three Years On

  1. Congrats Timi! Of course, with this uncommon zeal and consistency, you sure would make it to the fourth year and beyond. You really do inspire me. “…when friends mistakenly become lovers…”,that got my utmost attention, couldn’t help but scribble down a few incoherent lines…
    “When friends mistakenly become lovers,
    Then words become more unexpressed,
    Feelings left unuttered,
    Actions more actuated,
    Heart beats increase sporadically,
    Eye contacts more unconsciously made,
    Handshakes more uncomfortable…”
    But as always, I didn’t finish it. I hope I have the courage to finish up my lines like you do. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an incredible milestone! Congrats is certainly in order and you have inspired me to keep going!!! I read a blog article that gave advice on why bloggers fail. One was they give up too soon before the magic happens. It takes time and persistence. Awesome work my friend for standing the test of time.😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Chanel! True, any venture that’s worthwhile requires persistence. I can’t take the credit though. Readers like you encourage me to not give up.

      All the best with your inspirational blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on your three years, Timi. I’m glad you made the time investment in your blog. I’ve enjoyed blogging this past three years and hope to return to it, now that I’m back online!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome back! You’ve touched on one of the secrets of longevity, enjoying what you do. Here’s wishing you as many more fulfilling years of blogging as you desire. Thanks for your support.

      Like

  4. Congratulations on three years Timi! I admire your integrity for not wanting to monetize your blog, recognizing that the discipline involved, the improvement in writing skills, and the friendships acquired are all things worth more than manna. Woman shall not live by bread alone. If, however, you ever do decide to monetize your blog I will certainly not think any the less of you for it. For now I know your blog is a labor of love. If you have learned what it is like to be human that is a valuable lesson indeed.

    I am so happy I stumbled across your blog a year or so ago. Just when I was getting started with my own blog and looking around for other blogs to follow. It was a case of pure serendipity! I find great inspiration in your writing and it is the one blog I always do my best to keep up with. Wonderful story about the naming of your blog and the sign off. Always wondered. I have seen the evolution in the short time I have known you and you have made continuous progress!

    I always like your wring style and your way with words. You always surprise me! If I may make a few comments about some of your words here. “…when friends mistakenly become lovers.” Wow! That packed a punch (right in the gut) and is something I can relate to. “I reached out and won a version of my friend back.” I liked this line because it reminded me of getting a version of a blog post back during the editing process. Very clever.

    My very best to you! Keep blogging and I will keep reading. I am proud to call you friend.

    Benn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Benn, I am richer for having known you and I have begun to count on your support. Thank you for endorsing me!

      Thank you also for your feedback. So far, the platform or avenues for monetizing my blog have seemed more like distractions. Since my day job puts food on the table, I do not feel the pressure to monetize my blog. Relationships and honing my skills are paramount now. I intend to make money off my writing. The channel is undefined as at yet.

      I’m glad that the metaphor hit home. Although I put my blog first, I am yet to lose a relationship on account of it. I continue to work on being diplomatic…

      Ah, the editing process… frustrating, fun, and rewarding, wouldn’t you agree? Two good heads are better than one!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My feelings were that this was your blog and I was going to give you what you wanted. My main concern was that I wanted my writing to be in my own voice and you were always very respectful in that regard.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Debby.

      My friends admire my discipline but grumble about being my guinea pigs and impromptu editors and unavailability to hangout and me burying my nose in my iPad when we hangout! Lol!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. 3 years …wow…. hang on mine will be three in September Yey…. lol
    I get questions like that too, the when will you. monetize your blog questions..
    I rather like my blog as it is…. thank you very much (for now. …I was asked where I saw my blog in five years…. oh boy )

    ~B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A few months to go for you. Congrats in advance!

      Ah, the monetizing question and the blog goal question … I think the people who ask it generally mean well. They want to know where we’re going with this blogging business. And since making money is one of the indices of success, they want to know or want us to know how viable this venture is.

      Like you said, some of us are happy to leave things as they are 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations Timi, on the 3 years of your engaging blog. I always go away enriched in some way after reading each of your posts. I haven’t gone back to read your earliest blogs and maybe its’ about time I did 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Unathi. I can’t tell you how much it thrills me to hear that you take something away each time you read. That’s my purpose in writing.

      Feel free to dig in. The tags will help you narrow your selection.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You know in my journey of discovering myself and what I’m meant to be doing, I’ve come to realize that accomplishment without people, without meaningful relationships, is hollow.

      Even Heaven counts its riches in people.

      Thanks for your support through the years!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. hi timi, congrats pls keep writing. As I glance every now and then at your post in between my crowded work station it always remind me of how genuine story telling with a sincere twist makes you stand out….you will go far. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If you stop now, I will repost your every other blogs every weekend to make it another 3yrs. Pls don’t stop now, about monetizing when you feel like it then go bcos certain things only gets into some areas of life when payment is made for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha@ reposting old blog articles! 🙂

      You’ve been one of my ardent supporters and I appreciate you so.

      I think about taking my writing/ blogging to another level. One of the things I need to do is to keep writing so I get better. What better platform than this?

      Like

  9. From the moment I found your blog, I’ve been in awe of your consistence and ability to produce work that inspires every week; three years on, I still am. This blog has meant a lot to me growing as a writer, and it’s encouraging to see you also go back to your old posts and feel the need to change the weak parts of your work. I’ve contemplated shutting down my blog a lot this year for many reasons, one of them being how much I cringe at my past blogposts. Maybe I’ll stick with it for a little bit longer now that I’ve read this.

    Have you found a solution to the issue of jeopardising friendships for the pen? Do you still show your work to them before publishing or just fly solo now?

    Thank you for these three years of writing Timi. Here’s to more graceful years of making life out of Lemons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ife, I wanted to take my time to respond.
      One day when I felt especially low, I stumbled on an interview you’d given on a blog. You mentioned Livelytwist serving as something of an inspiration for your writing life. I made a printscreen of that portion of your interview and saved it on my phone. I looked at it several times for many days and began to feel as tall as your six-foot frame!

      If you did not read my posts, I wouldn’t write them. Your consistency is my consistency too.

      I guess one must revisit the reasons for blogging in the first place. Past blogposts can be rewritten or deleted. I hope you stick around a bit longer. Maybe we’ll talk offline …

      @jeopardizing friendships for the pen, several measures help. Diplomacy and reaching out to the ‘offended’ party again and again, supporting them however I can to show that we may disagree over a piece of writing but life goes on. This is unsustainable as one grows bigger and invites more people to write guest posts. House rules that define expectations and procedures as clearly as possible are a better and less emotional way to go. More objective too.

      I always have someone ‘edit’ my work before publishing. I’m too involved in my writing and I’m easily blindsided. I need an independent review, so I don’t fly solo. I’ll show my writing to anyone who’s available. A friend’s 14-year-old did an excellent job on an article weeks ago. Over time, I know what I’m looking for in an ‘edit’ so it’s easy for me to convince just about anyone to ‘edit’ for me. I still keep a few friends up until late but I’m bolder now. I tell them what works about their opinions and what doesn’t.

      Thank you for flying with me and the wonderful shout outs on social media. I write for people like you!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your blog is always different and always interesting, You write extremely well. Since my husband and I have both been having health problems I have a backlog of almost 700 blog posts I want to read and comment on. But I always read yours as soon as I grab some time. I also enjoy your readers’ comments and have connected with some of them. I am so very glad I found you and have been encouraged to keep on keeping on by your support. You mean more than you realize to a lot of very diverse people. Persevere in writing and being true to yourself. Both you and your writing are blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eileen, your comment is one I’ll return to in those times when I’m tempted to give up and when I wonder if I’m making a difference in anyone’s life with my writing. Thank you for being so generous with your words.

      I pray that you and your husband enjoy better health and the health problems you are experiencing subside. You have so much to give to your family and the world, we need you healthy!

      Like

  11. Congratulations. It takes DISCIPLINE to consistently show up, write and post! Blogging is so good this way for writers, reflectors and well, people, in general 😉

    Unlike you I haven’t taken the leap into guest posting. I certainly get my fair share of offers, but I like that it’s just me, for me and by me. So selfish, no? 😛

    And the money bit, ug. I think it’s very challenging to monitize your blog if you are a storyteller and even if I could figure out a way, I’m not sure if I’d want to…authenticity is important to me. Others can do it, but I’m not sure if I have it in me. Maybe one day I’ll figure out a way to marry the two. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know there are different indices of success. Some people look at money alone. I look at discipline also. The discipline of writing consistently has made me a better writer and spilled over into other areas of my life. I know that I can generate staying power if I commit to something.

      It’s interesting what you say about storytellers and monetizing one’s blog and I see where you’re coming from. Just the other day a friend mentioned having someone else take care of that aspect for storytellers so they can focus on their craft. Today, writers are expected to participate in sales and marketing of their books so we have to come out of our shells and marry the two a little, at least.

      Writing a guest post for another writer showed me that I have a writer’s ego and I’m sensitive, ouch! It was good for me to have my work ‘slashed’ the way I take a knife to articles guest writers submit for my blog. In the end my submission was much better written and received. But you’ve written a book and know all about editing, etc.

      No, I don’t think your – for you, by you, through you – is selfish. I think, you know what you want.

      Thanks Lani!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My blog is about the same age as yours. On August 7, 2016, it will be three years old. And like you, I write every Sunday. I’ve never thought of monetizing it. Given the kind of blog I write, it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes I consider quitting so I can spend more time working on my novel. But I like blogging too much. I like examining ideas and pulling them together, and I enjoy the long-distance discussions and friendship with readers and other bloggers.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Congratulations are almost in order! I salute your Sunday-Sunday consistency. I admire your ability to ‘book’ and blog. For me it seems as though it would have to be either or. May I ask how you find the time and where your strength lies?

      You make blogging sound like fun, and it is. Yours is one of the long distance blog-relationships I’ve come to enjoy as I learn bits about a world different from mine.

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You write a great blog, Timi. I’m really glad I found you. Congratulations on your three-year anniversary.

        In answer to your question, finding time is always a challenge. Every week there’s exercise to fit in, laundry, cooking, shopping, doctor, dentist, hair cuts, spending time with friends and family. Plus, I seem to need a lot of sleep. So the days always seem too short. Where do I find the time? I don’t know. But I do set a high priority on writing. I’m a slow writer, so it’s hard to do both blogging and novel writing–not only because of the time it takes to write a post, but also because of the way it occupies my mind, trying to come up with a subject for my next post. And then when I go back to the novel, for a while I find it hard to remember where I was going and maintain the momentum I previously had. Still, blogging and the world of fellow bloggers holds a fascination and satisfaction that I’m not ready to give up.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you! And thanks for sharing about how you combine writing a novel and blogging.

          I identify with finding it hard to get the novel-writing groove back.

          One of the satisfying things about blogging to me, is the engagement and community, as you hinted. You talk to readers who share your interest. If you have it good, it can be difficult to let go indeed.

          Like

  13. 3 years??? When i first encountered your blog, I went to the archives and practically read all past articles. Your consistency is overwhelming. Of course, you will make and surpass 4th year, and yes your book, we look forward to…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m humbled to hear you raided the archives!

      It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. You undergird my consistency. Thank you for believing … even when I haven’t fully believed in a 4th year. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. “We reasoned back and forth, threatening our friendship, as when friends mistakenly become lovers, solid lines become indistinct; the ease of communication replaced by silent awkwardness.”

    I smiled when I read this, and will be sending it someone’s way.

    Timi, how fateful that, after a dry spell, I come to read this Sunday’s offering only to find that I am coming to celebrate your blog turning three! Wow! Congratulations!

    I smiled when I read this beautiful blog post because it speaks to me and touches on an important friendship.

    Great writing as usual. Someday, the world will discover you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope the lines will put a smile on the face of the friend you send the lines to! I hope you woo the person back 🙂

      I’m so glad you dropped by today and that I get to share my blog anniversary with you. Samuel, you have put up with my brand of writer’s perfectionist madness, edited my articles at short notice, written articles for my blog at even shorter notice, and on and on.

      Thank you. You’re a gem. I wish you would write more.

      Like

  15. I hop on this train once in a while,
    I dance to this twist when melody calls;
    For a dance on this train, I’ll dine and wine
    To smile at lovelytwist, I’ll run to its walls.

    To Timi, who taught me to write;
    I’ll endeavor to “show, not tell”
    To Timi’s three years train ride;
    I’ll shout and ring the praise bell.

    Thank you.
    Tekena Ikoko.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Well done Timi, You are a big inspiration, I sincerely admire what you do and how you do it so excellently. You remind me that whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. Your writing truly shines.

    XD @ “when you keep friends up until 1 a.m., seeking their opinions, it seems unfair to discard their recommendations at 2 a.m., when you realize your story no longer resembles you.”

    The only person who sees my posts before I publish is my mother, she uses a schoolmistress approach and we disagree quite a bit on my grammar. Lol

    Best wishes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the picture in my head of you and your mother poring over your blog posts. It sounds as though you have fun together. How do you reach compromise?

      Thanks Nedu for your consistent support. It bolsters my own consistency and pushes me to strive for excellence. I’m not joking when I say if you and the others don’t read my blog articles, I wouldn’t write them.

      Thanks for writing a guest blog post and promoting it too. I see Marilyn’s photo in my mind’s eye and smile!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We learn from each other, I correct my grammatical errors and teach her the “cool” English of my generation.

        Lol… @ “Marilyn’s photo”. Thank you Timi. 🙂

        Have a lovely weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy blogday, Timi. I tell you every year how inspiring your blog and writing is, so I’ll keep a cap on the praises this time 🙂
    Just keep doing what you’ve done and I look forward to seeing greater things yet from you.

    🎶 *wine* ?

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Congratulations my beautiful Sister-in-Law, Timi. Your blogging has inspired, empowered and entertained me. Like a master craftsman, you have helped me articulate and express my thoughts and emotions so eloquently. I have learnt to let go of my past stories as I have danced and twerked to the rhythm of your stories. You have urged me to dig deeper and laugh out loud with the findings that “I am human” after allI capable of extraordinary behaviors. I have been challenged to choose my words carefully and not say “I am sorry” carelessly. Whenever I say, I am sorry , I hear your voice say “Sorry for what?”. I have posed as one of your pictures, complete with high heels, purse and hat with head swung back as life has taken me one step backward, one step forward. I have been challenged by your posts to laugh again when painful emotions have left me curled in foetal position. From the power of your pen, you are impacting lives in a very positive way. Laughter is good Medicine. You are just what the doctor ordered. The best is yet to come for you, Timi. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I did not realize that apart from Oil, PortHarcourt could birth such Literary Giants. Keep on shining bright. I hope you are having as much fun as your readers. Happy blogging..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your feedback. It is like a burst of sunshine on a rainy day. It makes writing this blog, especially on days when my enthusiasm wanes, worthwhile. Your encouragement means a lot to me. Thanks for believing sis! And yes, I’m having fun. Lets cha-cha together, no more ‘sorries’ 🙂

      Like

  19. Congratulations on your three year journey through the mind, heart and all the mundane things that surrounds you, inspiring and encouraging many. I am very optimistic that soon, this weekly engagement of mental faculty will translate into a book in print. When that day comes, I hope I will be invited for the launching and if its a literary genre, I look forward to doing the review…..as much as you appreciate us, we do acknowledge your contributions to making our Sunday blissful…… More wisdom, gracias

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Write on!

    You say, “I leave the stories on my blog to remind me how people-pleasing distorts what I sound like.” I add: Imagine how much more “people pleasing” would seep into the mix if you were to monetize your blog.

    When we focus on the connection with readers, it is “easier” to be ourselves because, if we don’t, the connection is based on something other than the truth. In contrast, when we are focused on the sale, it is “easier” to sell ourselves short.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Derrick. I like your guest post on my blog and thinking about it still brings a smile to my face. A dear friend of mine also enjoyed it very much. Thank you for honouring my invitation… in style!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Timi, your blog is deep, meaningful and often beautiful in subject matter. It makes me think!
    I lost probably ten to twenty commenters over time. I am unsure of followers, though. I have blogged for four years, since 2012. It has evolved, my focus changed. My youngest daughter said I needed photos, so I added them. I limit my number of words to under 300 and sometimes less. In the past, my essays covered a lot of territory and I feel my blog is a lighter place. It is also true where my time is more limited, so I feel the blog stretches my free time. It has been nice being part of blogging, not ready to give u quite yet.
    Happy blogging and hope to stay in touch. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Robin. I’m glad to know you find my blog posts relevant.
      Four years and counting, way to go Robin. I noticed that you’re sharing more pictures on your blog, a lovely addition. I like how blogging allows us to experiment and stretch ourselves.

      Happy blogging to you too!

      Like

  22. So sweet of you to value your readers as much as this. Heartwarming! Feel like giving you a big hug.
    I pray you continue to get better and better and may you stand before kings and queens.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. ‘Writing consistently for three years has made me a better writer; I am more skillful with my pen. But skills do not keep you warm, people do. At the heart of every story on this blog is a person or group of people who believed in me’

    Well said, diligent work pays and relationships are as important as skills. Congratulations and many more years of good writing!

    Liked by 3 people

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