Jude Idada doesn’t look anything like the typical writer. For one, he sports a dreadlock and is oftentimes clad in tight-fitting jeans, but he retains that acceptably distinct aloofness that is the right of passage of every creative and the mandatory demeanor of an introvert.
The last time we checked, he had written 27 Screen plays, 15 Stage plays, 5 Novels, 3 Poetry and 5 Songs.
His claim to fame came last year after he won the renowned NLNG literature prize, and carted home a $100,000; the biggest prize money for writing in Africa
You do the maths.
There are few people with a work ethic as fierce as Jude’s.
“I have written one story everyday on Facebook for 8 years. I have not yet missed a day.” he claims.
He is from a slowly dying breed of writers who don’t believe in the famed writer’s block.
“I don’t believe writer’s block is a thing. I have never had to deal with it”, he maintains with a smile.
Our chat with Jude didn’t necessary focus on his pedigree as a seasoned writer. His over 20 published, genre-defying books is enough proof that he is a bad-ass creative, without adding the numerous movie scripts he has authored alongside.
We were interested instead in the secret of his abundant story-base. How he has been able to churn out a different story, every day on Facebook for 8 years and has never lost steam or missed a day.
He boasts of a teeming global followership on social media that he has harnessed overtime and they are fiercely loyal to the point that if his daily story is late by a few hours, he begins to get messages insisting on why his post is not yet up.
“They keep me focused. They keep me writing.”
His secret is that he uses his followers on Social media as pseudo editors and story affirmers. His upcoming book is based on this style of crowdsourcing social reactions to affirm or discard a story.
“I put out my usual post, a story about a moment with my Father and the reactions started pouring in. People instantly started sharing their own experiences which stirred some more memories of my time with my father and so I wrote some more on the topic.”
This has led to the creation of a series of stories about Jude’s time with his Father that will be published in the coming weeks.
On whether this style of crowdsourcing reactions online should be the go-to method for emerging writers, he was quick to respond.
“Yes, definitely. Every writer should first test their stories online to gauge the reaction of their fans, before going ahead to publish them traditionally. On social media there are no gate keepers to critic your work before the fans get to see it. The fans will definitely tell you the truth because they have no skin in the game. If the story is something they think works, you will get feedback on it instantly.”
Jude Idada is a big advocate of mentoring the next generation of writers and doesn’t mince words in saying it.
“I do my own small part of mentoring young writers, but I am limited because of time and space. If there is a way to maximize that experience for people everywhere, I will be very interested to participate in it.”
As the year slowly turns and a new NLNG prize comes to the fore, one wonders if Jude Idada isn’t crazy enough to put in an entry for the next prize.
He laughs and tries to brush off the question, but there is a twinkle in his eyes that betrays him.
Like they say, once you get a taste of blood, you never really lose the desire for it.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here