Must the writer’s topic tell his story?

A writer launched a book in Tarkwa last week and he was heavily dismayed to see not more than twenty people, out of the million family and friends he had invited, turn up for the event. I was a mere passer-by who happened to pass through for the purposes of solidarity.

To respect common sense and secrecy, I won’t mention the title of the book but I can recollect it has something to do with financial emancipation. Though I lacked the luxury of time to do a background check of the writer’s home and finances, I could deduce from all indications and happenings that the writer was still under financial slavery. He came to the event with a chattered taxi. Half of his shoes had been eaten by mice. His belt was a century-old and had lost vim to old age. His shirt? The least said.

Not to forecast doom and gloom for this writer who may have travelled through thick and thin to produce this book, I get the feeling and impression that the book won’t sell because the writer is not a living example of the topic he is preaching.

If my prediction and fear are in line with logic, it then begs the question, SHOULD OUR STORIES AND WRITE-UPS BE A REFLECTION OF OUR LIVES? Do I have the financial justification to write about financial growth when my life has known no luxury but has seen financial misery throughout? Do I have the moral licence to write about bleaching while I bleach?

For a writer to write about such a topic as financial emancipation when he himself is still in the wicked arms of financial captivity leaves his readers with more questions than answers. Where lies the practicality of the message he’s preaching? It should be every writer’s goal and priority to be the first and best example of whatever topic he chooses to write about. This makes it quite possible and easy for his readers, most especially the immediate ones, to relate and come to live with him in his story.

Jet Alan.

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