Tuesday, July 07, 2009

TRANSITION: Off to Butterfly Blogs

Every day we are changing. I am changing. This blog is changing. Over the last couple of years this blog has taken a life of its own. Many times I have found myself wondering if this blog is relevant, nay, necessary, any more. The truth is that it is not.

I started out looking at life through the eyes of a mid twenties Kenyan guy trying to afford his next measure of alcohol. In the Kenyan blogosphere circa 2006, filled with diaspora Kenyans with too much free bandwidth and Nairobi based yuppies, A Kenyan Urban Narrative was not only a unique voice but one set to rise above the din. And it did.

Within a few months, the laudatory clapping of literary admirers in its wake, the blog catapulted me into the warm embrace of the new generation of Kenyan writers. In the circles of writers, my name was mentioned. But praise doesn't make writers. And thus, he that was hailed as the next best thing in Kenyan writing, came and went... and, alas, there is no writing to show for it all. Sad.

All this while, my style was changing, my voice, my world-view even. Most important of all, beyond the fact of being distanced from the realities that I used to write about, I stopped being angry. The truth I can never deny is that my early blogging fed off the anger drawn from not being recognised as a writer. Without the anger there was nothing to express in texts. I was, in a word, irrelevant. I was now just another Kenyan with a blog.

In between times, I was exploring opportunities for collaboration. Well, mainly, being dragged into them. And I took them. I had a couple of things republished in cool places, others I had people rework them into stronger pieces through their more trained voices. And, because I now had access to publishers, I started on The Book. The Book that has long stalled and whose characters sound like pieces of wood.

In the end, I was tending towards the realisation that a blogger is the best I could ever hope to be. A couple of offers were on the table. There were still people willing to pay for my lazy writing and occasional musings. Most important of all, I was broke and contrary to popular belief, writing does not pay as well roundabout these shores. Which is to say that three or so years of passing for a 'celebrated writer' had not translated into money. I was as poor as when I started out but at least I knew I had the chance to buy my alcohol easier by selling words rather than as a grave digger or such thing.

Finally, I thinned everything down to two offers: The Black Campaign and Butterfly Blogs. Evidently, I have chosen Butterfly Blogs because at least they put in a cash incentive of some sort, in both the short and long term. As for the Black Campaign, well they are the biggest winners because through a deal with N.M they have full rights to more of my work than I imagined existed. Once again that fucker mercenary writer N.M, who cannot even write to save his life, has played me. And all I have left is this new problogging deal deal with Butterfly. A lifeline if ever there was one. A chance to go back to being relevant.

Y'all will be hearing from me, here, at least twice a week. Just because the contract says so.


Shiko-Msa said...

Cool Potash. We're so in the same boat.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, I'll be looking forward to read you bi-weekly!

kahawaMoto said...

Twice a week? Nice...
All the best with the butterfly blog thingy!