Re.Think CULTURE is written to talk on the untold aspects of Culture and because of this, it is focused on three themes; Community, Conformity, and Continuity.
The idea is that each community must serve as a solution to its problem but it must start from individuals trying to live above challenges and also making sure their communities are affected positively as well.
Afterward, the community members must come together to agree to a standard of life and conform to it to chart the development of the community towards a preferred destination.
Then, this standard of life must be passed to the next generation for continuity and they must leave it open for dynamic changes that make life better without endangering the ethics.
What inspired you to write this book?
Three things interest me: Education, Community, and Development.
So while I was thinking about what made so many African countries or other underdeveloped countries so poor and helpless despite all the aids and interventions is because they have failed to develop and promote their own culture.
My definition of culture is how our designed way or system of responding to people and our environment. It is how we respond to a life where we are.
I realized that many African countries are responding to life based on the importation of another culture that is not where they are. And to ensure that developing a community is not that difficult, I decided to look at culture from another perspective that no one could find an excuse for.
I believe taking this book seriously would help scholars, politicians, and entrepreneurs think differently and make progress that will benefit all.
Tell us something about yourself.
Hmm . . . This is funny because I studied Mechanical Engineering as an undergraduate and I thought I could not write until I started summarizing class notes so that my colleagues and I have could have the essential points of the class notes.
So I would say my writing skill was developed because I was trying to solve the problem by making class notes easier to understand. I would find the missing piece of any complex computation or omit any unnecessary information to come up with concise materials that I could share with my colleagues. This is why my writing has always been tilted towards solving a problem or bringing clarity to something that is misunderstood or not understood at all.
This is what I have done with Re.Think CULTURE as well. I have tried as much as possible to tell the missing pieces we omit in CULTURE and try to edit the part that we have misunderstood.
How did you celebrate when you finished writing the book? When it was published?
I was excited about finishing on time but most importantly, the book is also a blessing to me as it is for readers. I did not get to express my excitement with friends physically because of COVID-19.
It was published on 1st May 2020
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I knew I should be a writer because I communicate most effectively with my pen J
Oh . . . Yes, I will tell you an experience I had.
I had wanted to write since I was young but I was discouraged by my teacher because he thought I was too young to publish a book. I had written a book that was focused on solving very difficult math problems and I want him to help me turn t into a book I would like to sell but he ridiculed and I dropped the idea of writing.
The passion came back in my undergraduate days because I was eager to simplify difficult things just like I wanted to do when I was in high school.
After getting my first degree, I started writing commentaries on what I read from the Bible and I also moved to develop educational resources and curriculum for a company called Lifetree Design Academy.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I just sit down and write.
All my ideas are in my head and I ruminate them in my head before I start writing. I am not always short of what to write because I took my time to think about the ideas. This is a skill I got from reading the Bible and taking my time to understand every word.
Do you have a daily or weekly writing schedule, or do you write only when you are inspired? How many words or pages do you complete in a typical day?
I don’t write every day but I think what I need to write a lot. If I decide to write, I can write up to 10 pages per day. I write when I am inspired and when I am not. I made it a habit to be flexible about how I write because things can change at any time.
How many drafts did you write before publishing your most recent book?
I drafted once but I do the editing and improvement every time I need to. As I said, ideas can change.
What software do you use to write? Or do you prefer to write longhand or dictate your work? What made you choose the method you use?
I use Microsoft Word and Grammarly.
I use both software because they are quite easy to use.
I do not need any complicated software to get my work done.
But most times, I write with my pen before typing everything on my computer.
What would you have done differently about your book?
Perhaps what I would have done differently is to try and record my thoughts as I speak before writing. I am of the opinion that speaking out your thoughts directly may help you when you want to start putting your thoughts down.
Do you read reviews?
Yes, I do read reviews. It is a way to get feedback from people as regards how my book helps them to think better or understand better.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
I would implore writers to focus on what problems they could solve with their skills. I believe the best thing we can do is to use our skills to solve problems rather than just thinking about raking cash with it.
This is my advice for both fictional and non-fictional writers – focus on solving a genuine or generic problem.
Do you have friends who are writers? How do you help each other to become better writers?
I have friends who are writers and we help each other through conversations and constructive critique of each other’s works. Thank God for Amazon, it is quite easy to edit your book without thinking of reprinting.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
My perfect reader is a young aspiring leader, entrepreneur, and scholar/academician.
This is because the book will be of much help to anyone that is starting his career or looking to understand how to respond to his society or environment.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Yes, my book is currently on two platforms.
The first platform is Amazon for my international audience
The second platform is Okada Books for my Nigerian audience
Readers can follow me on my blog to get my weekly train of thoughts: https://oluwamuyiwa.substack.com