Simplicity Revisited

It’s only spring but it feels like summer with exceptional warm temperatures we are experiencing. As I’m busy with spring cleaning, I thought I’d revisit my word, simplify, for 2019. This is to share how I fare up, so far.

What I’ve been up to

Simplifying is not always easy, at least when it concerns my creative writing. It’s been a busy start of the year: 

  • Finished the novel revision, and now I brace myself for publishing.

  • Started outlining a second book of fiction. It started as a collection of short stories but some stories refuse to be cut short. Time will tell…

  • I’m presently (and for the first time) participating in National Poetry Writing Challenge for the month of April, on Instagram.

What I’ve been reading

At the beginning of the year, I joined Goodreads. I even took up their reading challenge, and something I definitely regret now. I hate feeling rushed when I’m reading. But here are some insightful books I’ve read thus far:

  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, the book taught me something about slavery more than a text book can possibly do because the story is about people than historical events.

  • How To Steal A country by Robin Renwick, a must-read for an in depth look at the state of affairs in post-apartheid South Africa.

  • Savages by Christina Bergling, a frightening yet hopeful story of survival and what makes us human. 

What I’ve been listening to

I love listening to TED Talks on different subjects. The following are what I’ve enjoyed recently:

What I’ve been thinking of

I enjoy participating in NaNoPoWri challenge. But it has never been more evident than it is now that I enjoy slow writing and slow reading.

  • When the challenge is over, I’ll stick to long reads. That is, actually reading blogs I follow more than interactions on social media.

  • Sometimes, I read a poem or poetry book that really moves or excites me and often wish I could sit down with the poet and have a conversation about their work. I’m thinking of ways to achieve this. Will keep you posted.

If you have managed to read to the end of this post, yay to long reads! Now, I’d love to hear how your year has been so far?

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. Bwahahahahahahha… boy do I know about stories that start out short and then grow obnoxiously big. I have a couple of ideas that got novel length quick. Now I must write them. That’s so exciting that you got the revisions done for your first book. Good luck with the publishing!

    I’ve been working on a poetry book. It’ll take me a bit more time before it’s ready though. LOL, and I’ve been sort of doing NaPoWriMo. I’m doing a blackout poem every other day and expanding each one out on the days in-between.

  2. I just read the start of Rommy’s comment and, well… Bwahahahahahaha… too. I’m currently giving the stink eye to about 4,500 words of a story that was supposed to be 3,000 words. The story won.

    Yay! on finishing your draft (I can’t wait to say that). I’m right with you on the reading–I read poetry slow and fiction like stories are candy (I might’ve stolen this phrasing from Susie, lol). I enjoy Instagram, but mostly when what I put there is a glimpse of something bigger. I love blogging.

  3. LOL! I can hear your laughter from across the oceans. 😀 I suspect some stories in your book were stubborn. But I wouldn’t have minded the stubbornness with one of my favourites, “What’s a Little Blood to a Mother’s Heart”. Love that story!

    It’s great to hear you are working on a poetry book. I’m always a willing reader, when it comes to poetry. I’ll patiently wait. Hmm, I wonder if it will feature some of your blackout poetry…just a thought. All the best with putting it together, and enjoy NaPoWriMo!

    As for publishing, thank you. I need all the luck, it’s a marathon.

  4. Not you too…lol! 😀 The stories always win, don’t they. Well done, for listening to it and feeding it just the right amount of words.

    About finishing the revision, thank you. I miss my characters already but I have to put my business hat on now, as I try to find them a home.

    I think one can’t read poetry fast, otherwise not much gain in that. By it’s nature is meant to slow us down. But I can see how great stories can be a candy to devour, I mostly read them in one sitting. 🙂

    Yeah, I have a love-hate relationship with social media. But blogging I love, too.

  5. I like slow writing and slow reading too, Khaya. But I do like challenges – they encourage me to make time for the things I love to do, which is more the point (for me) than actually meeting the goal. 🙂 Good luck on the new books, too! That’s an accomplishment!

  6. Thanks for popping by, Diana. 🙂 I’m with your with regard to challenges. For me is an opportunity to try new and different things I wouldn’t necessarily do, so they provide necessary encouragement.

  7. How many books are you trying to read for your Goodreads challenge this year? Mine is 30! All the books you’ve read sound interesting – oh if there just was more time to read!

  8. My goal at Goodreads is 50 for the year, and I’m sitting at 6 books behind schedule according to them. 😛

    But for my blog reading challenge (Jun – Aug) the aim is to read about 10 books during summer. I take a break from writing during summer because there’s no way I’ll be locked up indoors writing, while everybody is having fun outdoors, so I catch up on reading. 😀

  9. Hehe, I have often had 50 books as my goal but as it got so stressful, I started with 30 last year and couldn’t even make that (due to being so busy with school – a good excuse). This year I think I can easily do 30 books 🙂 And I’m in for your summer challenge for sure!

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