Liberian author, J. Wilfred Zeon—Author of Legacy of Your 5 Senses, Interviewed
When and why did you begin writing?
I think writing is part of me. Back in high school and at the undergraduate level, I have had teachers praising me for been able to express myself clearly and properly in writing. So I had that spark from the early days. But honestly, I never thought I would be a published author. However, as far back as 2008 at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana, I started delivering speeches at schools, youth and women gatherings. I taught at community colleges and high schools. I would naturally use my teaching hours to inspire young people and keeping eyes on their goals and dreams. I remembered organizing a 4-day entrepreneurship and leadership training at the Victory Praise Chapel in Buduburam. Each time I delivered those speeches and presentations, my audience kept asking if I had my speeches in a book. Besides, I shared the lessons from my life experiences on social media in the form of daily inspirations. Many times people ask me, do you have these written? So I thought why not give my audience something in hardcopy to take with them.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My own journey and how I started and where I so far remain my inspiration for my writing career. I simply believe my life is my message. I started writing The Legacy of Your 5 Senses in 2016. You know, writers are deep thinkers. The Legacy of Your 5 Senses was given birth to as a result of my own deep reflections. I thought the five senses are just beyond the sensation of hearing, seeing, tasting, touching, and smelling. I am convinced the pursuit of our goals, desires, dreams, and targets are linked with the application of our senses. So I thought to show this practically by linking this to my own life story.
How did you come up with that idea for The Legacy of Your 5 Senses?
As an inspirational writer, I believe every motivational book is centered on one main idea regardless of the number of chapters. The Legacy of Your 5 Senses is centered on one main idea. The book is my own legacy of showing my readers how to use their senses to pursue their dream to use your senses to succeed. That’s the fundamental reason for our senses. I broke the book down into five chapters, denoting each of the sense organs. I found antidotes, stories, and quotes that resonates each chapter and started writing free, based on my experience and research notes.
My struggles of life have supplied me with many ideas that I feel obligated to shared. My greatest source for my message has been the hustle, crisis, blow and bumps I have gone through. Throughout all these, I picked up valuable lessons that I want to share. I believe poor and rich, unsuccessful and successful, people got the same senses. The actual difference has been the application of these senses. Having thought through this phenomenon, I thought why not remind people about the power usage of our senses.
How did you come up with the title?
Firstly, I am of the conviction that every human should live for legacy. That is what we are known, or remembered for. So to leave or live a life of legacy, we must use our senses appropriately. The way we use our senses influences our decisions, achievements, and activities. Hence, the title of my book!
How much of the book is realistic?
One hundred percent. We were given these senses by God, our creator. However, the way we do and see things are different. This mainly rests on how we are utilizing our sensation. The principles shared throughout the five chapters of the book are very realistic. I share practical examples and stories linked to each of the sensory organs. I believe this piece would add value if you believe and apply the principles therein.
What are you trying to achieve with it?
Our senses are with us forever. We didn’t pay anything to have them. That is, whether we use them or not, they are our inherent gifts from God. So the ideas I am sharing in this book are not new per say. I am just reminding you of the power of your senses. My goal is to have as many as possible using my little stories and principles in this to confront their own struggles, overcome and leave their legacy.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I see writing as a normal conversation. However, the most challenging thing I have discovered is to put on the reader’s mind and, at the same time, put on the writer’s mind. That is to read my own writings as a reader. Is the message clear? Can someone follow the conversation without any confusion? Is my message original? Are there enough sense-making examples there? Can the readers relate to the message by what’s going on, or happening around them?
What was the hardest part of writing The Legacy of Your 5 Senses?
The hardest part of writing the book has been ‘time’. Finding the time to stay discipline to write and publish the chapters.
What are you trying to achieve with it?
I want as many as possible people to succeed by using their senses adequately. So grab your piece and see which principle in there can spark you into action.
Who is your most important source of inspiration?
I have the desire to inspire young people living in challenging societies. A memory of how I started my own journey is also a source of inspiration to my motivational and inspirational writing career. I think everyone got a seed of greatness in them. What is required is a spark, either from within, or from somewhere, or someone. I want to be one of those persons who inspire people to actions to succeed through what I write or share.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I am an avid reader. I read a lot of non-fiction books and it’s just difficult for me to settle on one favorite author. However, I like the works of Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield, Les Browne, and several others.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?
As an author and inspirational speaker, what’s your main message?
How would you answer that question?
My life is my message. The mess, miss and most I have had in life is my message.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Write, write, write, and write. But write your convictions, passion, ideas, and inspiration.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes, I talk to other writers in the business. Ms. Ophelia Lewis’ heartfelt advice on how to get into the business of writing has been absolutely touching!
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
To keep writing until I am empty.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Let’s live a reading and learning life. Whatever we read, learn, and utilize, determines our earnings. Life will always offer us opportunities to read and learn. Continue to read and utilize my ideas. I definitely got more to share. Please read and utilize the ideas of other authors too.