to be African, to be Woman, to be Creative, to be Fashionable, to be Intelligible, to be be IMARA

imara by Mshana

This is the canvas and the pages on which I curate and display the life I wish to create for myself and other liminal hu-women like myself. I explore here my passion for fashion, present my literally inspired visual arts, write my visual arts inspired written works, share my linguistics, travel diaries, show my finding comfort in food, and heck, whatever else I feel like... Welcome and enjoy!

Crossing the line between content curating and creating

on being an online creative


Ever since I started writing blog posts on this website as opposed to my old site, Have Words We'll Travel, I have been border lining content curating; what I have defined as simply piecing together things to make content.

You see, the writing that I do here is a little different (well a lot different actually) from how I used to write. My old site used to be about two things, my creative writing and my photography. Since the blog was about my work, I tried to actively remove myself from it. Partly because I was afraid that if it wasn't "good enough" then I wasn't good enough. So, I wanted to keep the separating line as solid as possible. There was also the thought that if the blog fails, then at least I would not fail with it since I didn't put myself in it.

These thoughts are not thoughts I created from thin air, they are a product of traumas from my childhood with regards to my relationship with the English language. I can write a whole novel about that but for the purposes of this post, I will summarize the gist of it. There essentially was an abusive teacher who kept telling me my writing, my English writing, was atrocious. As a kid who learnt the language from TV, it didn't take many of those discouraging comments to breed insecurities. I mean, even today, I still struggle to get myself to write blog posts every week. I digress, but at least you get the reason why it was so hard for me to put my own voice in my writing then and why it is important that I keep on writing now. Especially writing like this, with my voice in the writing.

Yet, the purpose of this site is obviously way beyond just proving that I am capable of writing in English or that I can overcome my fear of putting my voice in writing. I have committed myself to being in the business of pioneering a movement towards redefining and expressing, in my (our) own terms, what it means to be African, to be Woman, to be Fashionable, to be Beautiful, to be Inspired and ultimately to be IMARA. That mission takes more from me than simply waiting around for a poetry inspiration that proves my English-ability; it requires me to pour my whole self into my writing because I must show an authentic experience with every single post.

However, lately, because I had been (still am) working on establishing this site and making it what I envisioned it to be, a lot of my actual work sessions that I put in for the site have been on making the skeletons that would allow me to create content that fulfil this mission. I have found myself spending too much time on working on the curation of materials rather than the creation of content. You might be asking yourself, "Bernie, you are writing a lifestyle blog, why do you need to create anything, you just need to live your life." Well, that's exactly my point. Mine is not a life of simply living; mine is a life of creating because I believe adding value to our worlds and environments is life itself. Thus, until I can get myself to focus more of my energy on the creation side of things rather than the curation part, I would be living a lie.

Having reflected on this all week this week, I have committed to making public my goal of applying to a fashion school in November. Yap, I am trying to get a second degree and you my dear readers are the people I am counting on to hold me accountable to that November 15th deadline. By the way, just saying that made my stomach knot.

What this means is that I must be sharing more fashion related content since I must actually be working on my application and fashion portfolio. I need your help because for the longest time I have been saying that I will apply but have been procrastinating because I was afraid. I am not sure of what, but I am determined to combat this spirit that keeps me from creating things and leaves me curating content from experiences that are not fully lived and do not accurately capture the essence of an IMARA type of life.

Is there something you would like me to hold you accountable to? Do you have ideas of what in the fashion industry you want me to share about? Leave a comment below to let me know.