Taking My Novel Offline

Not many of you know that I'm writing a novel: Akin Smith.

It's a project I began in October 2012. My goal with the novel is the share with the world the Lagos I grew up in and the hidden beauty it has. The beautiful dandelions and lotus that are often overlooked. To take the reader on a journey through Lagos with the aid of a 13 year old guide, Akin Smith.

The novel was inspired by Vikas Swarup's award winning novel, Q & A.

Last year I sent an excerpt from the book to Farafina, the publisher of Chimamanda Adichie's books. I got no response. Which is the usual thing for me. I always have to dig my way to anywhere I'm going. So I joined an online writing club and shared the same excerpt with the global literary community. I got amazing feedback. Established authors from the international community cheering me on and almost re-writing the excerpt for me while giving me suggestions and corrections. They made me feel like a fellow writer. There was a particular veteran, over 50 years old and with published works, who took my work really seriously and gave me the best feedback I got.

Then I realized why Farafina didn't reply. It was badly written. I wouldn't take the piece seriously if I wasn't the author. So now I'm taking the whole project offline. I will be rewriting the novel from scratch and completing it offline. Then I'll self publish it on Amazon Kindle. Already published one book on Amazon as a test last year.

I'm done rethinking my post-quitting-my-job strategy. Surprisingly, I'm sticking with my original plan. I'm putting my fulfilment way ahead of profit/money. I'm sticking with building a lifestyle business, going solo, growing slow and creating as much value/content as I can each day. I'm cutting down more on my non-directly creative activities: networking events and some marketing activities. I have already taken the biggest bet: quitting my job. I'm willing to take on smaller bets, even the counter-intuitive ones.

My slightly revised strategy:
  1. Take a self-study French course daily.
  2. Learn HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL. Already doing this intensively. Even dipping into my survival savings to buy the best books available, and IDE software too.
  3. Complete my novel. And start another.
  4. Attend only extremely important events. No classification basis, judgment based on feeling.
  5. Figure out a way to reach my target Excel-based services market from my room.
So I'm cutting down on attending networking events. I'm backing out of all the programming courses I registered for on Coursera and codecademy. I'm also limiting my MVP activities to online ones. Few offline activities.

And as for my novel, I'll make sure every one of you (my esteemed blog subscribers) get a free copy of the final version.


  1. Hmm. I checked out your novel/book on amazon. You are Nigerian, the book is a peep into your life in Nigeria and you have the photo of a caucasian female on the front page - very disappointing!

  2. Lol. It's a test book. In fact, it's just a collection of my favourite poems. I simply used one of the free sample cover pages on Kindle.

  3. If you think yourself that it was badly written, well I suppose it's been hard from you to admit writting novels is not your way. But we all have to be aware of our limits.


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