I got to know T2 right before “Friends who write” season 1, and still remember vividly the excitement we all got in that small gathering back in November last year, when Sammi and Wanshu introduced the competition to us. A lot of questions were asked, and people started forming groups right at the end of the meeting, as if they couldn’t wait anymore for the competition to kick off.

But, to be honest, the first season was quite challenging, especially for a person who hadn’t developed a regular writing ritual like myself. I couldn’t feel or enjoy much of it along the way. Instead, all I could do was to try my best not to miss any Friday deadline. Of course the effort was valuable, but the learning was not that fully grasped and appreciated.

So only in this second season, when my writing is … still slow (of course), but when I’m more familiar with the pressure, the process, the rhythm of getting idea-writing-editing-publishing, that everything comes clearer to me. I could step back and see the bigger picture, and from that appreciate how beneficial FWW truly is.

Hence, I hope you don’t mind this little post where I try to put it all into words, just to make sure it will stay. As I guess we writers know too well, right: Time passes, things change, but our words will remain.


1. The power of a clear and achievable deadline

I have to say that it’s been a while for me to remember the power of having a clear and achievable deadline. 1000 words per week, every Friday – isn’t it just so easy to remember?

People often rightly say that task will take all the time you allow it to have. So was it with my writing before FWW. I often got a lot of ideas, but

sometimes I remembered to put it down on paper, but most of the time I didn’t.

sometimes I’d got time to develop it into a draft, but most of the time I hadn’t.

sometimes I’d got time and inspiration to go edit these terrible first drafts, but most of the time I just didn’t.

Hence, saying my writing folder was like a mess is an understatement.

However, with FWW, and the deadline is all set, there’s absolutely no space for that bad writing manners. I’ve found myself actively seeking new ideas and sticking with each of them longer - capturing them, keeping them longer in my head, developing them into a draft as soon as I can. To be honest, I still haven’t been able to master this process yet, but the more I do it, the easier it seems and the more rewarding I could feel.

2. Perfection is less important than completion

Yes, it’s the old battle between perfection and completion we all know too well. In fact, one of the most influential ideas in Adam Smith's “The theory of moral sentiments” to me is when he shows that we all have a perfectionist inside our head, and it’s actually not that bad, because the perfectionism plays a role as an inspiration for us to keep trying harder and harder, to be able to get closer to that perfection standard we have in mind, even though we’re probably never gonna achieve it.

However, what we often don’t recognize is that these drafts that are waiting for us to finalise/polish, they actually take space in our mind. Hence, the more drafts you’ve got, the more difficult it is for your mind to be open and get new interesting ideas (pay close attention to the feeling right after clicking the “Publish” button for each post, and you’ll see what I mean. It’s quite a nice feeling to have space in your mind for new ideas to come, isn’t it?)

Hence, thanks to FWW, and the Friday deadlines that force me to submit my posts, that it seems to be a much better flow of ideas in and articles out of my mind.

3. When friendship is everything

But the most important lesson I’ve learned is how being in a group has completely changed my approach and attitude to writing.

First, it has taught me the lesson of thinking/working as a group - if we fail, we’ll fail as a group. Therefore, not only that we took care of our own submissions, we often gave each other a little ‘friend-ly push’ that made all the difference. Also, when one member of our team got a technical issue and missed her deadline, there was no second we stopped to blame, point finger, or let any negative into our conversation. Instead, we immediately worked on a solution (which thankfully was accepted by T2 team). The incident was small, but the feeling of being in a group was so strong and uplifting!

Second, it gives me a sense of responsibility, in a very positive way. It is due to the fact that I hope to be a person to cheer my teammates up, and the only way I could do it is to make sure I complete my 1000 words first. You know, in the famous song “A man in the mirror”, there’s a couple of lines that goes:

“If you wanna make the world a better placeTake a look at yourself and then make a change”

Therefore, I have made sure that each week I would have my final draft(s) as early as possible, so I could drop my teammates a text through Whatsapp to check how’s it going with them. I have no idea how powerful and effective this little effort was, but at least the result shows that my team Titans has completed all the deadlines in a very smooth professional way.

And finally, isn’t it inspiring, getting to know new friends from all over the world, who aspire to improve their writing just like you? In our team we have Eigyr and I here in the UK, but the other 2 - Chiamaka and Chinelo are both living in Nigeria. We might not be able to meet in person, but thanks to “Friend who write” we are now friends in this journey of becoming better writers, a meaningful journey that is reflected brilliantly in a quote from “Bird by bird” by Anne Lamott, one of my favourite books about writing:

Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship


Overall, I hope you all have enjoyed this second season of “Friend who write” as much as I did. And on behalf of our team, just want to thank Wanshu and T2 team for all your effort and hard work in running the competition so smoothly, efficiently and inspirationally!