It’s not everyday you see an economist switch career to become a full time creative writer- a bomb one at that. Maryam Abdulwahab has us intrigued by her story, academic feats and her goals. Everything about her screams PASSION!, we absolutely love to see it. Her drive is inspiring.
Maryam is a first-class graduate of Economics from Al-Hikmah University, situated in Kwara State, Nigeria. She has always had a passion for writing, which led her to create her lifestyle blog, www.maryamnittywall.com which she’s been managing for 5 years.
Maryam speaks to us about her passion, love for storytelling, aspirations and goals.
Hello Maryam, how are you today?
Hi! I’m doing great, thank you. Super confident about tackling today’s task with ease!
Can you tell us about yourself?
Maryam lives and breathes writing. She is a creative writer, content editor, content writer, lifestyle blogger, and digital marketing strategist. When she isn’t writing, she is reading fiction pieces written by Khaled Hosseini, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, John Green, and a host of others.
Which university did you graduate from?
I graduated from Al-Hikmah University. It is a private university situated in Kwara State, Nigeria.
What made you study economics?
I have always loved economics since I was little… before it became part of the school’s syllabus. So during the weekends, I would take my elder sister’s note and read through the pages.
I enjoyed learning economics. I liked the fact that I could relate terms, such as a scale of preference, choice, and wants, to real-life situations. So, it came as no surprise when I decided to study economics in the higher institution.
You’re super-intelligent! A first-class graduate! Kindly tell us about your process, how were you able to maintain your CGPA consecutively?
Thank you! It took a lot of sacrifices to maintain a consistent CGPA. First, I let go of all forms of distractions and focused on my studies. My home was the library. Haha! My typical day in school was attending lectures, spending hours in the library reading, and returning to the hostel to sleep.
I also believe that my determination paid off. When I started my bachelor’s programme, I decided to graduate with a first-class degree and nothing else!
What challenges did you face in university?
One of the challenges I faced in the university was combining writing with studying. I created a Facebook page and planned on publishing a monthly e-magazine, but I could not meet this target.
I, however, joined the literary club and published my short story ‘The Precious Figure’ in the club’s chapbook. I also wrote several stories during my spare time.
Have you always had an affinity for writing?
Oh, yes! I’ve been writing since I was very young. I would write stories and give my classmates to read. So writing has always been a part of me since I was seven years old.
What influenced your career change?
My career change was influenced by the desire to focus on a path that brings fulfillment. Writing brings me so much happiness and tranquility, and I knew that I couldn’t derive fulfillment in doing anything else.
You stated that you’ve managed your lifestyle blog for five years, what has the experience been like?
It’s been a life-changing experience! Managing my lifestyle blog for five years has granted me the opportunity to share my works with the public and meet my fellow writers. Through Maryam’s Nitty Wall, I have been awarded a platform for penning down my thoughts and receiving feedback from my amazing readers. As a result, I’ve worked with several creatives, become a published writer, and built my portfolio.
With the offers I’ve gotten as a lifestyle blogger, I have been able to work with reputable and fast-growing brands in Nigeria and other countries.
What are the things that drive or motivate you?
I love learning new things and broadening my scope of knowledge. I believe that everyone must take an interest in learning, irrespective of their respective fields. As a writer, I enjoy learning and keeping up with trends in my industry. For example, I’m currently working on becoming an expert in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
I’m also passionate about making an impact in the world. I believe that sharing my works can impact the lives of several individuals.
Who is your role model?
I admire a lot of prominent personalities making marks in the world. However, I do not have a role model.
Can you walk us through your creative process?
I write down every idea that pops into my head. I have a notepad that I use in jotting down these ideas. Then, I create time to put my thoughts into words. Other times, I sit in front of my computer and let the ideas flow.
After putting these ideas down, I edit my works and present them to someone who can review and give honest feedback.
Do you have any short-term or long-term goals for your blog?
Oh yes, I do! One of my short-term goals is to hit ten thousand monthly views on Maryam’s Nitty Wall. I’m also working towards making Maryam’s Nitty Wall one of Africa’s top 5 lifestyle blogs.
What challenges do you face as a blogger?
As a blogger, I am consistently striving to learn about the technicalities of blogging. Being a lifestyle blogger is more than being a skilled writer and updating compelling content. You have to know what to do if you wake up one morning and find out that your blog isn’t coming up. You have to learn how to make the blog more appealing. It would be best if you also attract new readers to your blog. A significant challenge is creating time to learn more about blogging. That’s why I engage in online courses and keep up with the latest trend.
What is your daily life like?
My daily life is pretty simple. First, I get up from bed, drink water, pray, list all of the tasks that need to be completed on my to-do list, prepare breakfast and set up my workspace. Then, I skim through my mailbox and spend the rest of the day writing, reading, and researching.
Any word of advice for undergraduates and fellow creatives?
Do not limit yourself. You can achieve a lot…more than you ever imagine. But, you need the fire and passion to make these ideas become a reality!