Emmanuel Iduma Recommends...

I keep a Leica V-LUX 5 and an Olympus OM20 on my desk, and I use either camera depending on the extent to which I am in stasis with my writing. When I am unsure of where to end a paragraph or sentence or how to pin down a title, I use the Leica, a digital camera, to take hurried shots of my desk or the world outside my study window. But if I am dealing with a longer spell of uncertainty—how to begin the next book, for instance—I often turn to the OM20. Before I write a word, I spend days taking photographs without a plan for when I’ll develop the rolls of film. I look through the viewfinder to pay attention to the flow of life, to compose a mood; the process feels closer to listening than to seeing. Then I finally make my way to the page, eased from the demands of exactitude. My only wish at that point is to set down one line of prose, then another, until an initial draft is complete.
—Emmanuel Iduma, author of I Am Still With You: A Reckoning With Silence, Inheritance, and History (Algonquin Books, 2023)  

Photo credit: Ayobami Adebayo