Why I don’t Reference Anybody Most Times in My Work


Most of my writing work is due to my valid life experiences

Writing- Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

Writing has always been my dream. It has always been a form of expression for me., especially due to the fact I lost my voice in so many ways while growing up. I believe that referencing others’ work or acknowledging their hard work is one of the criteria for making it in the writing “industry”. The living proof reveals itself when I attempted severally to post on some publications to no avail. It made me think, that it must be because I didn’t reference others’ work as “should be”. 

But I’ve always believed my writing isn’t necessarily to disapprove others’ hard work by not referring to them, but more of expressing myself the most genuine way possible without copying or high-jacking others’ work in a non-genuine manner just to fill a requirement.

There are other deeper reasons, depending on how you may see it that explain why I write the way I do without much reference to others’ work.

I lived a tedious life as a sexual assault victim, coupled with emotional, mental and physical abuse in the form of discipling and pure bully. In conjunction to these, I’ve struggled a lot in many aspects of my life to attain the goals I have. Education, friendship, career, romantic relationships, you name it. And the worst of all is the same people/society forcing you to behave like it didn’t happen. Like, you need to jumpstart to a fresh page. Well, some experiences need time to heal and in my case, it’s one hell of an experience to seek validation from anyone but yourself to tell that tale. Or to use inspire or preach it for others to learn.

This is what my life has been for the past twenty-something years of living it.

This piece is by no means trying to underestimate other people whose experiences and hard work (their literary artwork) are far worse or over-justify mine as a way to penetrate people’s minds to get them to read this. This is me explaining the innate reasons why it’s so difficult for me to reference others when I’ve been through one abuse or another holistically in my life.

This is me trying to state what backs my stories up each time I compose them and post them. Proving that my stories are staunch, honest, and valid. To express that my stories are real and raw as they come.

Now I can say that I value all that I’ve been through. Because it was preparing me for such a time like this when it would serve as a muse for me to educate, inform, and inspire others.

But my style of writing, and the topics I choose, are absurd. I always get people to ask me how I come up with my topics. My answer remains the same, I let everything teach me something, therefore I pick up hidden agendas from them and turn them into a topic —  with my unpleasant and harsh past experiences backing it up. I come up with random topics that aim to highlight toxic, easily overlooked lessons or information because I’ve been there. I was made to continue to overlook several toxic behaviors. Likewise forced to smolder harsh interpretations of who I am. To endure unnecessary hardships I could have been relieved from. I’ve been asked to shoulder heavy responsibilities for others even when it was uncontrollable the fact I’m the firstborn. I’ve been made to neglect my feelings and put others above mine as that’s what’s required of me.

Right now, I’ve taken responsibility for all that’s taken place in my life but it’s still hard to navigate all that’s happened. I’m naming all the hurt as a sign of healing and proof of doing so.

But instead of continuing to point fingers like I used to, I opted to use a channel to heal myself while uplifting others area like. People who have or are still going through such horrid things. So that history doesn’t repeat itself and we get to tell them to not point fingers and to take responsibility because that shit is hard. And that’s what grown-ups do. 

This background formed the intellect I use in following my literary work. Although I still admire and commend the work of the people before me. I forget to reference them while being lost in my experience to produce a more authentic version of what I need others to read, learn from, or be inspired by. And not use borrowed words and experiences to describe how I truly feel.

This is why I don’t reference other authors, writers, and poets, both great and not-so-popular ones yet.

Because I simply go with my guts.

I only truly reference when the said literary work truly resonates with me or has a high affinity to my background story . This aids me in escalating further the proof of why my story, at the moment, is a must-read. Or must-inspire rather.

Stories from writers on Medium such as Brianna Wiest, E.B. Johnson, Patricia Williams, most authors on Thought Catalog, Ayodeji Awosika, and Jessica Wildfire. 

These thought-provoking, persuasive writers truly motivate me to keep writing.  Reading their work gives me more muse to keep keeping on. They emphasize things in their pieces that are similar to where I’m coming from. Hence, making it more compelling for me to read and reference them. Just like I’m doing right now. They make me believe in myself and my story and own it .  If anything uses it to my advantage, as hurtful and deprecating as my background story must have been. And I’m grateful for that.


This is me saying wholesomely that I am a writer today due to all the pain, hurt, and neglect from my past. This is me explaining how these experiences have shaped my writing skill and style. And at the same time and made it seem like I disregarded the people who came before me; smart, wonderful, amazing, intelligent, wise, stoic, incredible authors, philosophers, writers, and others alike are or were.

This is me using this medium (jinx) to acknowledge their great work. In some of my work thus far where I could have used them in. Where I could have referenced them.

I think they are great. But I believe my experience is valid and beat anyone else about what I need it to portray.

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A girl who derives a lot of joy in writing. Which overtime has served as an intentional purpose to inspire people and uplift souls too. Through addressing hidden topical issues. The kind that is easily overlooked. Try me.

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