Good Morning and welcome to another bi-weekly edition of my interview series. Today, I’m interviewing the talented, inspiring, seventeen-year-old, poetess, and writerNelly Mgendi who prefers to be called Nelly Cherry from the blog Nelly Cherry. Please take time to visit her site, she has many gems of poetry to be read.
1. Nelly, Please Tell Us About Yourself:
My birth name is Nelly Mgendi but I have adopted the name Nelly Cherry and that is the name I prefer to go by. I am Tanzanian by birth and currently living in Kenya.
In a nutshell, I am adventurous and I like to discover new things. I’m funny and as some would say, I am quite the drama queen. I was also raised in a humble religious home.
When I was younger, I never liked poetry or writing whatsoever, even though, I was a huge fan of reading books. Back at home, people didn’t think of me as anyone extraordinary, as someone who had hidden talents. All of that changed when I came to Kenya where I am treated with love and have support. People don’t see me as the plain and uninteresting “Nelly Mgendi” but “Nelly Cherry,”a girl who is full of surprises.
Moving to Kenya made me realize there is more to who I am as person than I or other people thought back home. I found a passion for writing in Kenya. At first, I hated it, but I grew to appreciate writing and learn about writing and creativity in-depth. Today, I love writing and cannot live without it; writing has made me a better person.
As the saying goes: “ Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This was extremely applicable for me and how I judged writing before I fell in love with it.
2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?
I considered going into writing when I was about to finish my O levels in school. I bought a journal to express my thoughts and started writing. Through social media I saw various different blogs, and decided blogging my writing would be a great idea. Before WordPress I joined Blogspot, a blogging platform I didn’t enjoy. So, I signed up for WordPress where I felt welcomed by a wonderful and warm community and my dear friend Vester Miles.
I decided to permanently, use WordPress for my social media platformfor writing.
“Today, I love writing and cannot live without it; writing has made me a better person. As the say goes: ” Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This was extremely applicable for and how I judged writing before I fell in love with it.” – Nelly Cherry
3.What Does Poetry Mean To You? Why Do You Write?
Poetry is my comfort zone because it is where I get to express myself. I’m not an open person so poetry is where I can show who I actually am. I write because there is more to who I am than what people label me as being. Writing gives me comfort and it helps me forget about my own problems. Also, it gives me some sense of hope and purpose in life. Writing aids me in dealing with any situation which comes my way. It helps me express and cope with emotions, issues, and situations, as well as use my imagination.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?
All of my writing begins as I perceive the people around me. I look at and dig deeper into my surroundings and the events that are currently, happening around me and in my life. I also find inspiration in music of different genres. I search for the ‘storyline’ in a piece of music and the bigger picture behind the song I’m writing about. I find motivation to write as I read about and read the works of other writers and poets who are not afraid to write what’s genuinely on their mind.
“Writing give me comfort and it helps me forget about my own problems. Also, it gives me some sense of hope and purpose in life. Writing aids me in dealing with any situation which comes my way.” – Nelly Cherry
5. What Time of Day do You Most Like to Write and What Are Your Current Writing Projects? Do You Plan on Publishing Your Writing?
I love writing in the morning when I have a clear fresh mind, but sometimes I write anytime, whenever I’m inspired to write.
My current writing projects include the poems: “Summer,” “Happy Father’s day,” “In Misery,” “Faded,” and “Abandoned Soul.” Also, I am working towards writing a book. I am planning to publish some of my writing in the future. But right now, I’m going to continue blogging on WordPress as a way of publishing my writing.
6. Can You Describe the Process You Go Through to Publish Your Writing? What Is Your Writing Process Like?
It is a long process for me to publish my work. I am still trying to get an editor which is why my work is currently on hold; however, I do have a writing process.
First, I write my ideas on a piece of paper or on my phone. Then, I look around for more inspiration and write the ideas I have on my Mac so far. If I don’t have a complete idea, I listen to music. Then, I go back to my Mac and write what the music has inspired in me.
After I am done, I ask my friend Ashley to provide me with further suggestions or tell me what she thinks of what I already have written down. Opinion from a ‘first reader’ matters a great deal as their opinion helps me decide on what I will continue to write. The first reader may have her own ideas or thoughts on my writing. I often, combine her ideas and my own when I’m writing.
7. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing and/or Reading styles and/or Genres?
I prefer fantasy and science fiction genres. I love science fiction because it can includespecial effectsin film. You are able to visualizeideas and live in your head with creative ideas in science fiction. Also, I love reading the science fiction genre as it has imaginative concepts such as futuristic science and technology, space travel, and time travel. One of my favourite books on fantasy is called: Crossed Borders. In science fiction, my favourite books are the Divergent Series and Hunger Games.
“Opinion from a ‘first reader’ matters a great deal as their opinion helps me decide on what I will continue to write. The first reader may have her own ideas or thoughts on my writing. I often, combine her ideas and my when I’m writing.” – Nelly Cherry
8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers? Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share With Us Which Is Pertinent to Writing or Yourself?
My advice is to never stop dreaming and never give up. Also, never be afraid to voice your ideas and write what’s in your soul. If writing is what you love, you need to put your time and dedication towards it.
As well, learning to listen to other people’s ideas is extremely helpful to you as a writer. If you’ve a problem, don’t be afraid to ask because learning never stops. Don’t be afraid to show your work because you’re afraid of other people’s opinions. Write and show the world who you are. Write what you feel but while you are writing, consider other people’s feelings.
I love when people express their thoughts and ideas on writing and it brings new thoughts and ideas to your own writing. Also, having people critique my work is valuable. Listening to what people want to say in regards to my writing, and what they think I should improve on helps me write. One of the most significant values I have learned in life is:“Learning never stops.”
“Don’t be afraid to show your work because you’re afraid of other people’s opinions. Write and show the world who you are. Write what you feel but while you are writing, consider other people’s feelings.” – Nelly Cherry
9. Please Share With One of Your Favourite Pieces of Poetry.
Hidden in the closet like playing a game of hide and seek,
I lock myself inside afraid of getting out.
Am locked in, afraid of releasing myself in the wild,
Afraid of breaking out as fear takes over my mind.
Embracing, exploring, discovering who I really am,
I finally go out of my way and show the world,
Breaking the walls I have built inside me,
Coming out and showing my true colours.
(By Nelly Cherry)
10. Here Are Some Links To Some Of Nelly’s Other Pieces of Poetry:
Thank You so much Nelly, for sharing with us your journey to becoming a writer. It is exciting and inspiring to see you put so much of yourself into your work. I can see how passionate you are about writing and your poetry, it’s wonderful to see. Thank you as well, for your wise and motivational advice to other writers. Nelly’s blog can be visited here: Nelly Cherry.
Would you like to share your writing and writing process with otherwriters and bloggers? Would you like to be interviewed such as Nelly? Drop me a note on my contact page and I will send you some interview questions. Thanks for reading 🙂
I vaguely remember writing on this topic before, or maybe I read other people’s posts on it but I will give it a try nonetheless.
Many of you know I suffer from a depressive mood disorder which has caused me severe fatigue these past eight-years. I only mention it because I have experienced great improvement with my mental energy levels especially, and a bit with my physical energy levels this past year. Particular supplements have also aided my increase in energy levels.
But I always have bad days now and then. When I was worse I had more bad days than good days and now I would say I only have a bad day one or two days every couple of weeks. What makes a bad day a bad day varies but often means I’m too mentally and physically worn out to do much of anything; I wake up this way.
Today, I found until tonight, I could not concentrate well on writing or reading blogs or books. I would try going through my email to read through some of your posts and I didn’t have it in me to pay attention and give thought to what I was reading or what to comment. I also found myself glossing over pages in books where I regularly would be intent on what was happening to the characters.
I decided to catch up on some TV shows I’d missed the finales of and a show I miss because it’s on in the morning. I like Fashion Friday on a Canadian morning show called Cityline so I watched that as I often sleep through it. Additionally, I watched The Vampire Dairies’ grizzly season Finale and the season Finale for Grimm. I loved both finales and I’m eager for next season’s storylines for each show.
But today mostly consisted of me sitting and watching TV and even after awhile I went to my room and I laid down, needing to sleep a couple hours, feeling as if I needed the nap today. It’s odd, usually I don’t need to nap. I tried to put effort into healthy meals and I thought about walking, but I didn’t have a walk in me.
Most often, I’m up untill 11:00 pm or 12:00 pm but tonight I’m lying in my comfy bed in a sleep shirt, tucked into my cozy duvet and fresh sheets and it’s only 9:00 pm.
I cleaned up my room on Friday and Saturday, completely organizing everything. It’s a nice feeling being in a clean room, no dust, no papers in piles, everything organized, even my clothes and shoes.
At this moment, feeling drained as I have most of the day, I’m writing to you in my perfect writing place in bed on my iPad. I invested in a newer version after Christmas as the old model didn’t have enough GBs. This has 64 GB, enough for ebooks, a large iTunes music collection, and many applications. It also a thinner tablet which is lighter to hold.
The light the iPad gives off in my dim room is fantastic for writing and being comfortable lying down. So, even though this isn’t usually where I write, tonight in bed, is my favourite and ideal writing space.
Tomorrow it will change, but then, tomorrow’s another day and I will have energy to write more and read more again, to take a walk in the warm May weather, maybe even write on the patio. For now, everything is as it should be.
Sorry, I don’t know how to explain a bad day better then I did; it is what it is. It is too difficult to explain unless you’ve experienced it or something similar. Most people are able to keep going in life despite hiccups such as feeling energy-less. But this is a fatigue which stops you in it’s tracks. Nothing can make your body draw on more energy; there is no energy to draw from. Which is why this is severe fatigue I experience and not only being sleepy or tired.
Thanks for reading. Back to fiction, poetry, likes, and commenting on your blogs tomorrow.