The WAW Story
The July 23, 2014 edition of Time Magazine features writers on the list of Ten Most Unappreciated Professions. Chisom and I didn’t get to read this piece until early 2015, while on a lunch break at the office. When we did, however, we felt something move in our chests. Not just because we were writers too, but because we occupied these endangered spaces as well: especially as Nigerians/Africans, where writers are rewarded for their work with high praise, recommendations and the popular “exposure.” So, after lunch that day, we made a promise (we pinky-swore and everything): that we would come together and create value for Nigerian writers. For real.
We picked up the WordsAreWork blog and worked towards a wider platform, to build a better literary community hinging on quality writing. Little did we know that the popular saying would hold sway: nothing good can be kept down for long. Soon enough, what started out as a couple of writers and about 30 subscribers grew to a community of contributors and over 100 subscribers, producing quality writing more meaningful than we ever imagined. We realized something else: the WAW community had outgrown the original plan.
So Chisom and I did some pondering, asking ourselves, “What is our mission here?” Turns out the answer wasn’t far off.
For so long, people saw WAW as a simple writing blog, but all the while, we’ve really been about creating connections, fostering community and providing quality value (for both readers and writers) while ensuring adequate compensation for writers. These four pegs have, in time, become the pillars of our house, and that’s what makes us tick. That is the idea at the core of our institution: forging quality connections between writers and rewards.
Meet WAW 2.0
WAW stands for Words Are Work. Work as effort, work as career, and work as product, service or solution. The phrase captures everything we stand for, because we believe that writing is as much blood, sweat and tears as any other recognized form of art or science. WAW recognizes how much effort—emotional, psychological, mental and financial—goes into producing all art, and it is our goal to both provide aspiring writers with the resources and means to achieve their goals, as well as adequately reward gifted pen wielders for every conjured word.
To represent all we stand for, we have created an iconic mark for our shared values. It embodies our struggles, our victories, our words, our work. It’s a symbol for those who have never written a word in their lives but can neither quench the fires in their hearts nor silence the voices in their head whispering: write, write, write. It’s a symbol for those who have written all their lives and want to write some more. It’s a symbol for writers and affiliates who seek assistance, camaraderie, growth, betterment. It’s a symbol for all who want to soar.
We’re proud to introduce to you WAW 2.0: the symbol for quality, community and reward for writers all over Nigeria and Africa.