Until 2010, I’d never worked in a position that overwhelmingly became how the world sees and defines me. Having worked in multiple industries and companies, (for myself and in family business), working as Destiny Man editor was the first real time that people introduced me by my job title first. For the first time, it wasn’t difficult to answer the question that Johannesburg seems to love so much: “so what do you do?”
Before that, I was seen as a poet, businessperson, TV producer, writer, etc but that was never all that people saw me as. It is interesting, for me, how, in just over four years, I became, simply, the editor of a men’s business and lifestyle magazine.
During those four years, I continued to, with lesser intensity, do a number of things I have always done, including blogging (erratically) and randomly sharing my thoughts. One of the ways I did this was through the magazine’s weekly mailer that went out via email.
To be honest, I started off a little half-heartedly and then discovered that people actually read my part of the mailer. Strangely enough, now that I am not doing it, it is one of the things that I miss – the opportunity to share thoughts around whatever it is I am grappling with at the time of writing. It forced me, in articulating those thoughts and emotions, to find clarity for myself. And, often, if you are trying to make sense of something in your life, there will be others trying to do the same and your vocalising the struggle can provide direction, whether you are doing it consciously or not.
I am now at the point where I am relooking at my blog and other content platforms to figure out what they will be as I evolve and transition into other things. Just under a decade ago, I used to have a weekly email that went out to about 150 people called ramblings, where I shared random thoughts, as well as what was going on in the poetry scene, which I was relatively active in at the time. Before that, I had a weekly column, From The Mind’s Eye, in my family’s newspaper, Southern Star, in Lesotho. Later I was also a columnist for City Press’ mag, previously called City Pulse.
The question I am asking myself now is, do I write a weekly ‘column’ here, or do I create a weekly mailer to go out to interested subscribers, or do I look at contributing to other publications? The answer shall reveal itself, as the weeks go by.
Dear Mr. Baffoe,
Writing is a very personal experience that often appears to be triggered by an inspirational moment, thought person, event etc. So what tends to happen is one can go for months without writing a thing, either becauseyou’ve been uuninspired or simply haven’t had the time.
Perhaps the trick is to make time to indulge in those things that either inspire you or you simply enjoy -with a pen & notepad at hand. The interview you had with Gareth Cliff recently seems to suggest that you agree with this approach.
At the end of the day one thing seems certain, some of the best pieces of writing are those that come from the heart or a place of passion & inspiration.
Mr Baffoe, I come upon this list on internet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_South_Africans and your name is listed as one of five top South African editors. Which means that people would be interested to read your work and I would think online is a good medium. I think it is an honour to be listed here and it would probably be here for future generations. (my humble opinion.) All the best P. Nhlapo
Hi Petro, it is indeed an honour to be listed there. Thank you for sharing it with me.