Olusola Macaulay is an inspirational speaker, editor, poet, artist, writer, and blogger, who loves to read, walk, laugh, pray and worship. She graduated with a degree in English Literature, with advanced studies in Human Resources Management and Leadership Development. Married with children, Olusola loves the simple things of life. She believes that when we break life down in bite size or adopt the philosophy of one day at a time, we will find the chunk of life easier to chew.
CN: What was your inspiration for your devotional-style book, Petals of Grace?
My number one inspiration is God. I am an observant person. I notice things that people gloss over. I’m very sensitive. I understand things in colours, not just black and white. Although life is inspiring, the Bible is much more. When I read the Bible I tune in and try to search for the practical application of what I read. I try to understand the heart of God. God’s word is practical and much more simple than we may believe.
I love to teach. I love to break complex things down to a level where people can understand and apply. I dislike knowledge just for the sake of it. Knowledge must be applicable. I love to help people understand the word of God. My work as a writer and speaker is not just to expound knowledge but also to bring it to life so people can benefit from it.
It is the fusion of God’s inspiration, my flair for writing and my ability to break things down from complex to simple that has produced my inspirational journals. My daughter was also a major inspiration as she inspired many chapters.
CN: How did you discover your writing gift; have you always loved to write?
It’s strange that I haven’t always loved to write. I loved to read because we had a library at home. I also loved to draw and daydream. Although I had (still do) a very active imagination, it never occurred to me to write them down. I didn’t use journals growing up. I was a very private person and didn’t want to share my thoughts or imaginations with anyone. I thought writing was tedious while reading was much more fun. I was a voracious reader. Whilst in school, I didn’t like English or History because the former had too many rules and two words would sound the same and mean different things, whilst the latter required a lot of writing and memorisation. I loved brevity. I wanted to be an architect because of my love for drawing and aesthetics, but I was weak in math and so couldn’t study architecture. I opted for regional planning but that didn’t work out either. I decided to study English Literature as a last resort. I mean it was just to write English, right?
While I studied English it was imperative to write and thus began my love for writing. My imagination was already a willing tool so I used my knowledge of writing to bring my imagination to life. I still didn’t pursue writing as a vocation, career or pastime after graduation; I wanted to pursue other things. I didn’t actively get back to writing until after I worked for a few years. I joined a writing club and I was told my writing was rubbish, that it was full of big lifeless words. That didn’t discourage me though because I knew it was simply a question of technicalities. I had the raw talent but I needed to harness it. I took a few writing courses and I began to grow as a writer. Today, I have written many unpublished poems, songs, short stories, and novels, but I am currently focused on publishing and marketing my inspirational journals.
CN: What’s the book writing process like for you?
It all starts with an idea. When an idea drops into my mind and grabs a good long hold of my thoughts, I know instantly it will be worth pursuing. For my devotionals, I settle the title first because it dictates the overall theme. I play around with the theme and do a rough outline. I write with my outline and theme in mind as a rough guide only so it doesn’t interfere with my inspiration. Once I get what I call my writing fence (theme and outline) in place, I then just write my first draft. During the editing stage, I arrange everything to fit into the theme and outline and cut where necessary. When I’m satisfied with my work, I pass it on to an editor.
Every phase of the writing is important, but I enjoy the writing phase the most. I use notes on my phone to jot down ideas and it’s easier to write because most of the ideas are from real life, my own included.
CN: Which projects are on your plate right now?
I am currently finishing up my second book, a sequel to Petals of Grace that will be released for publishing soon. I’ve also just finished writing book 1 of a mini eBook series that will be offered as a free download. I have several other writing projects that I will be embarking on in addition to being featured as a guest columnist in a Christian inspirational magazine.
CN: What advice would you give someone trying to write and publish their first book?
Write. Keep writing. Keep on writing. It’s a journey. Brush up on your writing. Read articles and books on writing. If you need to take English language courses, do so. Get the writing down part first. Join writing clubs. Connect with aspiring and published writers. When it’s time to publish, you would have surrounded yourself with enough support to take the next step.
Petals of Grace is available on:
iTunes- iBooks store
To reach Olusola Macaulay, email email@example.com