2016: The Year We Break things?

Get-Inspired-at-Work-Featured1If you follow tech blogs and read start up stories, you’ll be used to the phrase “disruptive innovation”. The phrase – which in itself, is a theory – was coined by Professor Clayton M. Christensen of the Harvard Business School, and what the theory simply posits is that, a disruptive innovation is an innovation which creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts (forgive the tautology) an existing market and value network, thus displacing established market leaders and alliances.

Let’s illustrate ….

If you grew up in Nigeria and attended a Nigerian school in the 90’s, you should be conversant with the chalk blackboard. Now, around the early 2000s, you will recall that, the chalk blackboard was gradually being replaced with the “marker whiteboard”. These “marker whiteboards” can be considered as a disruptive innovation in the sense that, it created a new kind of market in the education/teaching ecospace, thus challenging and – I dare say – displacing already established chalk and blackboard makers. It has been ages since I saw chalks and blackboards being sold in the market and the only conclusion I can draw from this is that, they are no longer used in Nigerian schools – maybe, save for schools in very rural localities. And this was only made possible by the marker whiteboards.

Applying the above theory/principle to our literati world,  I believe 2016 should be the year we strive to be better, to do things better –  a year we can strive for what I’ll term,  “personal disruptive innovations”. Of course, by using the phrase “personal disruptive innovations”, I am talking in a metaphorical sense, as much as I am talking in a practical sense. What have you been doing in the last year that you would love to “disrupt” and do differently for better results? Here is a list of areas I think writers should strive to “disrupt” in 2016. This list is in no way exhaustive and it also does not wish to be understood as pretentious in the sense of applicability to all writers (or even wannabe writers like my humble self). There is a thread of common experiences amongst us and this list is a mere attempt at drawing our attention to some of them in a bid to encourage us to better ourselves in 2016.

 

1.Write more.

Of course, this had to be the most obvious area to disrupt if you are like me. I know writing could be exhausting – really exhausting, but if you are like me and you write about five posts a year not so often, 2016 should be the year you write more. I have personally decided to write at least once everyday every week. The major challenge to this, is of course, the time factor. But guess what? I learnt a trick from Vincent Mars sometime ago. He knew he would not be able to churn out lengthy posts every day, so what did he do? He resorted to writing a fifty (50) word flash story/post every day. This way, he ensured he kept writing no matter what. You could take a cue from this and do a thirty (30) word post everyday. This will keep you constantly engaged in your art and your blog stats will thank you for this.

 

2.Read More Books.

There is a saying that “readers are billionaires leaders”. If you are looking forward to reading more this year – which you should – here are three places I’ll recommend you look for free ebooks: Wattpad, Project Gutenberg and Free-Ebooks.

 

3.Get a Custom Domain.

I talked about getting a custom domain early last year as a New Year Resolution. I know. My blog does not have a custom domain yet. I know. However, what you don’t know is that, in the last two years, I have reserved the custom domain “www.haroldwrites.com” at NameCheap. Yes, I paid to have it reserved. I have tried mapping it to my wordpress domain on numerous occasions to no avail, as wordpress does not seem to accept debit cards from Nigeria. Racist much? Lol, just kidding.Why don’t I hire a professional to do this for me? Well, that’s a question I have to answer this year. I’ll get a professional to do this domain thing for me once and for all, this year. You should too. There are numerous advantages of getting a personal custom domain. Even Linda Ikeji who once swore on her life decided never to get one, has finally succumbed to peer pressure done so.

 

4.Attend more literati events.

This needs no further emphasis. Just attend more literati events. Why? Because I said so there are a million and one advantages of doing so. For one, you get to connect with people of like mind. You know how people think writers (or wannabe writers like myself) are recluses (I laugh in French)? Attend more literati events in 2016 and put the devil to shame debunk this narrative. On a serious note, attending literati events sharpens your mind, redirects your focus and energises you to take your writing craft more seriously.

5.Author a book. Any book.

Have you always wanted to write a book? 2016 is the year you should do it. You must do it. Author a book. Any book. Just author a book. Why? Because “Author” is better than “Writer”.

These are a few areas I believe you should “disrupt” in your life for a more productive enjoyable 2016. DO you have any suggestions or contributions to the list? Feel free to do so in the comment section.

 

Happy New Year.

 

Twitter: twitter.com/haroldwrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/haroldwrites

 

 

James Hadley Chase vs. Mario Puzo

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I’m currently on vacation and I had reason to visit my library. Guess what I unearthed? Don James Hadley Chase’ books. I can’t begin to explain what role JHC played in my reading habit.

I wasn’t always a reading freak. I hated books. School literature bored me to death. One faithful day in Junior Secondary School,  a friend gave me a “pamphlet” novel with the title The Vulture is a Patient Bird by James Hadley Chase.  I was amazed how intriguing and interesting I found the book. That was the beginning of my voyage into crime/thriller/detective novels.  I enjoyed the book so much that I started hunting for other JHC’s books. And over the years,  I have read quite a handful of his books.

Having enjoyed JHC books, I ventured into – or should I say, I was introduced to Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. And boy! Did I enjoy another work of literature!

Till date, I still think both writers are my favourite crime writers. There’s been this debate amongst my circle of “literature friends” who between James Hadley Chase and Mario Puzo is better. Many have voted against JHC just because his books are usually small. I don’t think this is a good criteria for judging the writer. In fact, if anything,  the fact that he tells  fascinating plots in such few pages should be a credit to him. The suspense in JHC books is always riveting to say the least. I have only been disappointed by just one of JHC and that was “Knock Knock! Who’s there”. There was no twist to the end of that book, which is a stand out characteristic of every JHC’s work. It ended like a typical Nollywood ‘blockbuster’ – you expected the end.

Well, I have also been disappointed by one of Mario Puzo’s works too. And that was the book “The Last Don”. I know you might have a different opinion, but that book didn’t go down too well with me. Maybe it’s because it was his next work I read after The Godfather. Maybe I was expecting so much more after the treat I got from The Godfather. Humans are quite insatiable, I tell you!

Whew! Which of the two authors is your favourite?

Unen Ameji: Courting Baida & Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger

I have an eye for budding writers and this “gift” led me to Unen Ameji. Here are two great books from her. Feel free to download them, consume them, visit the writer’s blog, and show your appreciation by commenting, reviewing the book and sharing same with friends and enemies. BOOM! (as Piers Morgan would say).

courting baida book cover

memoirs of a justified gold digger

******************************************************************Uneñ Ameji, a writer and serial entrepreneur is the Author of Memoirs of a Justified Gold Digger published on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DTV57RI and Okadabooks http://bit.ly/okadabook. She writes short African Love Stories, share thoughts and state opinions on www.africanlovestories.wordpress.com. A Nigerian, Uneñ divides her time between her passions-writing, real estate and developing ideas for Non-Profit Organizations and Businesses. The PDF Business Bank on www.mpconsults.wordpress.com is her latest business solution. For more information about upcoming books and to communicate, email directly amejicynthia@gmail.com or follow @unenameji on twitter.

OKADA BOOKS: THE FUTURE OF E-PUBLISHING IN NIGERIA

okadabooks

I went through Okadabooks site yesterday and read everything readable about the services. I must confess I was really impressed. I started having ideas concerning my forthcoming book, Young, Wild, Free. I was even tempted to abandon the idea of traditionally publishing my book and instead jump onto the Okadabooks train. I really believe in the project and can’t wait to join their team of published authors. So I decided to share what I discovered about them with you.
As much as I want to publish my book Young, Wild, Free to solve a grave societal problem (it provides answers to pertinent questions affecting young people – questions which the society tag as too “absurd” or odd to discuss in social circles e.g homosexuality, masturbation, porn, sex et al. The book proffers unorthodox and practical insights and solutions thereto) I will be a hypocrite to deny that I haven’t considered the cost of publishing or the prospects of returns on investment the book may have.

ENTER OKADABOOKS
How it works:

An author registers, uploads an epub version of his book and set the price of his book. A user of the Okadabooks app choses a book, sends an SMS, and the book gets downloaded onto his phone. Simple.
The marketing structure/platform of Okadabooks for an author is what really fascinates me. At Okadabooks, authors have been advised to set the price of their books at N100. According to Okadabooks, the author can make a ‘royalty’ of N20 for each copy of a book sold at N100. And oh! 70% of the proceeds go to the network providers (Okadabooks say they are working on this) and I believe the remaining 10% goes to Okadabooks as commission. This may sound discouraging to a potential author, but there is a bright side. Continue reading

Win an iPad + Other Freebies (LOOK!!)

gift-an-ipad

On May 9, my blog turned a year old. And I will be celebrating my own birthday on Thursday May 23, 2013. In the spirit of love, I will be giving away some freebies.

Studies show that MOST owners of iPad are of the working class. So in my wisdom, I thought of empowering the youths instead, particularly job-hunters. So from Thursday May 23 – Friday May 24, I will be giving away the following:

1. The Jobseeker’s Guide to Cover Letters, Resume Writing and Interviews (Ebook)

2. Cover Letter Magic (Ebook on how to write Cover Letters with sample templates           that actually land you jobs.)

3.  10,000 Corporate Contacts in Nigeria (Ebook containing addresses and contacts of companies and corporate bodies of various fields in Nigeria)

 

My dream is to see every employable youth actually employed before the end of the year.  The above books should definitely help in achieving the objective of getting a good job. With a very lucrative job, getting an iPad would be a bonus. If you already have a job, you can win this for a friend or sibling!

 

WHAT YOU MUST DO TO GET MY BIRTHDAY GIFTS TO YOU

If you are interested in the above books, please partake in the following games:

  1. Follow me on Twitter @haroldwrites (www.twitter.com/haroldwrites)
  2. Like me on facebook at www.facebook.com/haroldwrites
  3. Add me on BBM 2331A0F2 (Optional. Not a must)
  4. And drop your email in the comment box below (or alternatively, send me a blank mail with the subject “FREEBIE” to haroldbensonthefirst@gmail.com

 You see. Simple! It’s not rocket science. The books will be sent to your email as soon as I confirm you have fulfilled the above!

 

BONUS

I am so happy and grateful to God to see yet another year. So, I will be giving some more bonuses to two special, lucky winners who shall be picked randomly:

  1. A movie ticket to see any movie of their choice
  2. A feature/interview of the readers on my blog
  3. My Ebook of Short stories (How I Met Your Murder and Other Stories)

 

So people, what are you waiting for?!!! Join the fun!!! God bless you!