A Couple of Words about Writing

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So the other day I spent close to four hours on a story. I only stopped to move to another place with better lighting. And to order food, which I ravenously wolfed down with one hand while the other was on the keyboard. It’s a story I’ve been working on for ages (the first draft was written back in 2006), and the more words I add to it the more I realize I wouldn’t want it published. Unless I want to be sued by the real people who inspired it. It’s supposed to be ‘fiction’ with enough details close to life to make people point fingers and speculate. And in a small town like Mombasa, you seriously don’t want to set the ball of speculation rolling. Trust me.

Writing can be an emotionally draining experience. That’s the main reason why I tend to write in ‘spikes’ and things like nanowrimo never work for me. I might stay away from a work-in-progress for a long time and then spend four hours in a single day writing. Not only can writing be time-consuming, it can also be unsettling. It’s how Natalie Goldberg once said, “Writers end up writing about their obsessions. Things that haunt them; things they can’t forget; stories they carry in their bodies waiting to be released.”

And sometimes writing may result in insomnia. We cannot sleep until we’ve put those those words on paper (or an iphone note). I actually kept an insomnia notebook one summer. Before smartphones came along.

And you know the worse part about writing stories?

It’s when you actually go to sleep and end up dreaming an upsetting scene. It happened to me once, but I still haven’t had the emotional capacity to write down the story around that one scene because it was too sad, thinking about it makes me tear up occasionally, I just imagine the disastrous effect  writing about it would have. 

But you know despite all its downfalls, writing helps us understand people, understand ourselves. It helps us figure things out things about life in general. In one of the scenes I wrote yesterday, my protagonist’s friend tells her, “Sometimes our secrets define us. No matter how much time we spend together you can never really know the true me because the things I choose to hide are as much a part of me as the things I choose to tell. Does that even make sense?” 

Last but not least, it can  be therapeutic.

Explains why I’m here. Good night.


Winners Announced

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Thank you all for the comments. The winners for the competition are Alya and Bliss. Congratulations! Either send me your M-Pesa number by replying to the email I’ll be sending you soon (on the email address you used to comment) or if that email is incorrect, get in touch with me at so I’ll be sending you your prize.


Four years and 413 posts later…Click to win a prize

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I know this is way overdue, but…as a token of appreciation for everybody reading this blog, I’m offering a prize. The rules of entry are easy. All you have to do is leave a blog comment (don’t call me, don’t whatsapp me, don’t email me) with a method of how you would like to receive the prize (1,2 or 3 below), then I would collect all the comments, assign a number to them and use a pseudo-random generator to select two winners. To increase your chances, you can also share a post on twitter and Mention me @ahechoes.

However refrain from spamming please and I do get your IP addresses, so do not try to put multiple blog comments using the same IP address. As much as I would love you to tag me on twitter a lot, I would only consider the first mention for each twitter handle (if you have different twitter handle, then I can’t really know right?) .

Each of the two winners would get around 25 USD (rounded up to 2200 Kenya Shillings and down to 90  UAE Dirhams).

I would pay them through the following medium:

1) gift card (not

2) Kenya’s M-Pesa

3) AlAnsari Exchange or Bank Deposit if you are in the UAE

I apologize if none of these are applicable to you but that’s the best I could do.

This will run until 18 November 2013 (12 pm UAE time) In Sha Allah. You can also follow this blog by email, and  like my facebook page on

Also, please make sure you mention explicitly which method of payment you would prefer, but do not leave your personal details on this blog. Also note, it usually takes me some time to moderate comments so refrain from posting multiple times at the same time (in case you refresh and don’t see your comment yet). The last time I tried something similar, it failed miserably so for the whole competition to be initiated, I would need at least 5 comments (and/or Twitter mentions) to proceed.

Also note that I will keep this post at a top until the 18th, so new posts will appear below it. For those who visit the homepage to see if there is anything new, you might need to scroll down just a little bit.

So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment below and spread the word.



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“There was something about resonance that bridge my two worlds and brought them together. In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate with a greater amplitude at some frequencies than at others. It explains phenomena like glass breaking at the right – or not – pitch. Electrical resonance explained how radio frequencies can be selectively received.

The concept of resonance was so simple yet so powerful. Push a swing at its natural frequency and it oscillates at its maximum and you have a happy child. Resonance also explains my love for writing – and reading. Do yo sometimes read a book and find that one line that resonates with the beats of your heart, and you figure, “Yes, maybe it was this one line that I had to go away with.”

And there are times when I write and I know  my words will shake someone somewhere, because that’s exactly how I felt when I was writing them. All I needed was someone whose “natural frequency” was similar to mine.