Writing about writing, and other stories…

Gacheri Mburugu
5 min readJul 5, 2021

I’ve always imagined that I’d be writing my first piece while sipping tea and sporadically gazing over the scenic view of an ocean, or mountain scenery from a hotel’s balcony, or a sequestered garden constantly adjusting my reading glasses just for the mien… o well, I don’t wear glasses, I am nowhere near a hotel or a garden, but yes, I am sipping tea. I love tea. I never used to. I imagine it is because I was brought up taking it and that made me want to take a break from it for some time. A long time. Admittedly, I liked the other beverages, but I never quite fell in love with them. I tried coffee. I even bought a coffee maker. I was ready to commit to coffee; to learn how to make a perfect cup.

I was ready to wake up to the smell of coffee [cultured laugh]. I was well prepared with what I imagine would have been incredible coffee recipes. And then I tasted it. And did it again… and again. And I was convinced that there is no way I’d appreciate it’s distinctly bitter taste. Coffeeholics, really? What is it about coffee that you love? [I aced the dalgona challenge though. I had absolute fun with that challenge.] Okay, back to tea. And then I learned, and practiced, and eventually, I mastered the art of brewing a hot and fresh cup. Tea has that je ne sais qoui. Whether it’s plain or spiced- masala, cardamom, rosemary, mint, et cetera [French accent, s’il tu plait.] So yes, I’m savoring a freshly brewed cup of mint tea. I digress. This post isn’t about my tea experience. I’m not a tea connoisseur just yet. It’s really about me writing about writing and other random things that make sense enough to be written. I am breaking ice with myself.

Sharing my experiences, my observations, and my thoughts with people has more often than not felt like a vulnerable affair. You open up room for criticism. Some will choose to ignore what you think are intimate details or sophisticated thoughts; some will laugh and will make a beautiful soiree out of a single comment. Will penning these down be any different? What about cancel culture? Do I know enough to write about a subject? Do I have a clear and informed perspective? What is my voice? Do I know what the article will look like in the end? Is it going to be engaging? Is anyone going to read it? Hold on, what is the equivalent of blue ticks in in-person conversations and writing? Is it someone walking away? Is it someone changing the subject abruptly? Is it someone zoning out? Is it no comments in the comments section? Let me know. Will you?

Writing, which has mostly been academic for me, challenges my thinking, it brings clarity, and it reveals gaps in my thoughts- it excites me to learn new things. It’s how I make a small mark on the world. This, I don’t know. It feels like I’m getting a tattoo- one that I have mulled over. I cannot get a tattoo, by the way. I have deleted enough tweets and Facebook posts to know that I wouldn’t consider something as permanent as that.

Someone once said that your ideas will remain yours if you don’t share them. I’ll write them. I’ll write about my random observations, my curious thoughts. I’ve always been apprehensive over this; that when I set to write the bundled thoughts on my phone, I will lack the structure. As yet, I feel confident having written… let me check. O! This is good. I don’t feel as blank as I was afraid I might be. I was on tenterhooks! Was I going to quit before I even begin? Not anymore. It feels like I’m on a date with myself, having an intimate soiree with my thoughts and my computer. Writing about writing about my world and things that fascinate me… [Word, stop it! I will not consider revising. I know what I’m saying]. Wait, do I? Do we really know what we’re saying? Or have we been taught and conditioned to think in a particular way, to perceive things in a particular way such that we always think that our perspective is the most accurate- how we think the world works?

I engage wholly with most things. However, sometimes a wildly vagrant thought will come up whenever I’m engrossed in something. Like The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. I’ll think about it. Curiously. Its very existence fascinates me. Then I’ll come back to this piece… then wander again. Just a little this time. What is chai tea? I’ve read through the generous recipes and tutorials on how to make a cup… but isn’t that just chai? Isn’t that just tea? Why complicate such a raw, hearty beverage with that name? Then there’s chai tea latte. Yeah, it makes you feel sophisticated. It makes you wonder whether you have the right accent for it. Chai tea latte sounds like some mellow tea that is carefully poured into a clear tilted double-walled Libbey tapered heat-resistant mug [grin]. Preparing it, I imagine, makes you feel like a sage- like you have mastered Cha Dao.

I’ll write about branding and human psychology as it relates to marketing. Then perhaps you’ll understand why chai tea or chai tea latte is not the tea that my grandma makes every morning, afternoon, and evening… no, at whatever time, the weather notwithstanding. Her relationship with tea is quite puzzling. And I’ll write about technology especially AI, innovation, marketing, strategy, global issues, nature’s enchanting nature, music, culture, et cetera. I will even write about cars, cryptocurrency, NFTs, coding, robotics, and life on Mars- he-he, who am I kidding?

Now, I need to write a conclusion, but I do not wish to sound like an academic, at least not yet. I could Google, “How to write a compelling and refined conclusion,” but my mind is already wandering. Is Google a noun or a verb? Or better yet, an adjective? There goes my conclusion. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Isn’t it? May I stop here? Yeah, sure.

A bientôt!