Welcome to our monthly feature for authors.
The author for the month of January 2022 is Titilope Oguntuga, author of ’30 Days a Woman: A Practical Guide To Living Life Fully’. I have read and reviewed her book on this blog and you can check out my review to see if it’s something you may be interested to read.
Today’s interview will give us a sneak-peek into Titilope’s life as a published author. I hope you enjoy reading her answers to these ten questions but first let’s begin with an introduction of the author.
So here we go…..
Titilope Oguntuga is a business professional and currently the Head, Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand at the Nigerian operations of the world’s largest building solutions provider, Lafarge Africa Plc.
She has an MBA in Marketing from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, a professional certificate in Advertising from the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), and studied at the Lagos Business School and the prestigious Harvard Business School, USA.
Titilope mentors and coaches young people to become better versions of themselves. She also volunteers for several humanitarian causes through which she hopes to leave an impactful legacy.
She is happily married with children. ’30 Days A Woman’ is her first book.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR RECENTLY PUBLISHED BOOK – 30 DAYS A WOMAN?
Titilope: The book 30 Days A Woman is inspired by the need for women to start living for themselves consciously, every day. Typically, a lot of women pay attention to so many things and people but themselves. The book is a call, a reawakening, that you and I, every other woman out there matter and we need to strike the balance between caring for others and ourselves so that we can ultimately live fully. In essence, it is me saying Dear Woman, seek ye first…’ It is only when you have been adequately catered for, that you can get the best of all these things.
WHO IS YOUR IDEAL READER? WHO DO YOU WRITE FOR?
Titilope: The ideal reader transcends a spectrum of women in different phases of life. From late teenage to women in their late forties. I strongly believe that reaching the full potential of the woman is primarily the woman’s responsibility. The best time to live life fully was yesterday but the next best time is NOW. So, this is for every woman who wants to be more.
WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU DISCOVERED WHILE WRITING?
Titilope: I thought that I had attained self-awareness and mastery until I started writing this book. It just opened up another side of me. Prior to now, I used to think that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’, so I just liked my communication very succinct. However, the most surprising thing was that I just wanted to give out more. I wanted to write so much, give so many examples just to drive home the salient message(s). I got to the point where I had to ask myself and truly decide how much I want to put in the book in a manner that consistently sustained the interest of the reader.
WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TITLE?
Titilope: This is simple – live and live truly. I am an advocate of living and found out that so many of us only exist, we do not live in the true essence of the word. We are occupied with earning a living, caring for others, meeting the society’s expectations amongst other things. We need to start thinking about doing the things we love, express feelings genuinely, live life for impact and enjoy living every day. This is why 30 Days A Woman is written as a practical guide to live fully, more intentionally, more deliberately 30 days every month and every day of the year, year on year.
DO YOU VIEW WRITING AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE AND IF YES, HOW?
Titilope: Yes, I definitely view writing as a spiritual practice and an intense one. My view is based on the fact that every writer is opening him or herself up for the world to see through his thoughts, experiences, exposures and beliefs via words. It takes a certain level of confidence and vulnerability (more like stripping oneself) to be able to do this. I would liken writing to meditation in a different form because the writer is connecting with people known and unknown through his books.
WHAT WAS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN YOUR WRITING PROCESS AND HOW WERE YOU ABLE WRITE REGARDLESS?
Titilope: There were two major challenges. The first is time, as I had other aspects of my life calling for attention either through obligation or as a matter of necessity. Making time for the book involved a lot. I had to make out an average of 3 hours in the late night or early morning for the book. Many times, I did not sleep all night just to meet up with timelines I set for myself as I am also a corporate executive in addition to playing the role of wife, mother, daughter, friend, mentor, coach and volunteer.
The other challenge is finding the right words to convey the exact feelings during the writing process. My goal from the on set was to simplify the language so that it serves almost as a fool-proof guide for the woman. I also needed to balance that with the tone and language being too pedestrian for some categories of the targets for which the book is intended.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART AND LEAST FAVOURITE PART OF THE PUBLISHING PROCESS?
Titilope: Oh, the most favorite part for me is the realization that a baby is about to be born. I particularly liked all the brain storming and candid thoughts that went into the cover design, developing the illustrations for each chapter and the last minute tweaks made to the affirmation pages. This was really exciting because the release of 30 days A Woman means that another resource is about available to impact the world, especially my dear women who I am most passionate about.
The least favourite is all the work that had to go into the finishing which took more time than anticipated. It took a lot of time to finalise the editing, checking for grammar, typos and all that. I understood that accuracy was important, but not at the expense of speed. This is a book that is going to the world to make a mark. I wanted it released in earnest. However, my publishers were quite cooperative and delivered to time after several negotiations.
HOW DO YOU THINK BEING A WRITER HAS HELPED YOU AS A PERSON?
Titilope: This is a whole new part of me being unveiled. I have written short essays, articles and blog posts before this book. However, writing this book has strengthened my resilience in different aspects. It has also sharpened my world view because I am not writing for myself, but other people. Without a doubt, this book has further proven to me that I have what it takes to consistently be a positive force every day, everywhere.
WHAT BOOKS HAVE FORTIFIED YOU AS A WRITER?
Titilope: I am a book lover so almost all the books I have read helped to hone my skills as a writer. However, I love literary pieces from authors like Chimamanda Adichie and Professor Wole Soyinka – I have read almost all their books. Top on the list from international authors are What I know for Sure (Oprah Winfrey), Becoming (Michelle Obama) and Why ask Why (Simon Sinek)
ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOUR READERS?
Titilope: Yes, I am working on a few initiatives that support the 30 Days A woman message through educative and social interactions such as book reading and signing sessions and a special International Women’s Day engagement. Of course, watch out for the next book authored by me.
I hope you enjoyed reading this author’s responses as much as I did.
Do you have any more questions for the author?
Let’s hear them in the comments and she will respond accordingly.
Have a fabulous weekend!
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