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Inspiration

Young author has second book published by the age of 17

───   HEIDRÈ MALGAS 05:00 Fri, 14 Jun 2024

Young author has second book published by the age of 17 | News Article
Bloemfontein’s Didi Orji. Photo supplied

“Didi admits to struggling with procrastination. ‘It was just a fun project I worked on occasionally. That mindset didn’t change, even when my parents and I decided to publish it.’”

A young writer from Bloemfontein has published her second novel, an admirable accomplishment since she began writing her first book at age ten

Didi Orji (17) recalls that her first book, Adventures in the Magical Forest, began when she received a journal as a birthday gift and started filling it with a story. 

“The idea probably stemmed from my mom’s unfinished tale about a boy in a forest, but aside from the setting, the rest came from my overactive imagination,” she said.

‘It was just a fun project I worked on occasionally’

Her second book, a sequel titled The Adventures in the Golden Castle, continues the story. “I didn’t know how to end the first book, so I left it on a cliffhanger. 

“The second book provided a proper ending. This time, I had a clear vision of how I wanted it to conclude.”

Didi admits to struggling with procrastination. “It was just a fun project I worked on occasionally. That mindset didn’t change, even when my parents and I decided to publish it.”

Didi Orji’s first published book. She started writing when she was 10 years old. Photo: Facebook 

“My dad helped me overcome this by giving me a strict deadline –  just one week to finish writing the book. By the end of the week, it was done.”

With her second book, Didi felt pressured to maintain the same writing level as her first. “It took me a while to understand that even well-established authors improve their writing mid-series.”

Despite her busy schedule, Didi balances her schoolwork and social life, finding time to write in between. “When I wrote Adventures in the Magical Forest I never set a writing schedule. I wrote whenever inspiration struck, which reduced the pressure to churn out something great every time I sat down to write.”

‘She wants to share her stories with the world’

One constant in her writing process is her love for listening to music. “Music creates an atmosphere where I can become fully absorbed in the story,” she said.

She aspires to be an influential figure in the media. She loves storytelling and wants to share her stories with the world.

“And yes, it does sound cliché, but I feel that stories have become so predictable that they’ve lost their connection with the audience. I want to share authentic stories and convey a meaningful message.”

She has several story ideas that are currently in the brainstorming phase.

Didi’s sequel, ‘The Adventures in the Golden Castle’. Photo: Facebook

“I would be thrilled if readers finished my book and thought someone their age wrote this. When I felt that way, it motivated me to publish my own books.”

She hopes her readers will be inspired to believe that age doesn't limit one's abilities.

Her parents have been her biggest supporters, encouraging her to finish writing. “My mom has been incredibly supportive. Even before we decided to publish, she suggested it as a possibility. My dad has been amazing in handling the financial aspects of publishing a book.”

Quoting the wise words of a creative: “First do it for the fun.” 

‘Don’t focus on the money’

She advises focusing on enjoying the process of writing something that resonates with you rather than feeling pressured to finish a story you don’t even like. Don’t focus on the money; enjoying the process should be the priority.

She also loves drawing and animation, and she shoots and edits videos.

“Despite those steady hobbies, sometimes temporary interests arise, like music production, coding, or game development. At this point, I can be kept busy with anything digital and creative.”

Enid Blyton is one of her favourite authors, whose books she frequently read in primary school. She believes that is where her love for adventure was nurtured.

OFM News/Heidrè Malgas cg/mvh

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