How to become a writer

The title of this post is misleading. I haven’t a clue on how to become a writer. I read writing blogs regularly for advice and tips and the only advice I really follow is to write often. I can see over time how my writing has evolved and progressed.

I am studying creative writing and recently completed my first writing portfolio. Today I received my marked portfolio back from the university and below are my lectuters comments:
On my book reviews: “Fine critical writing”
On my poems: “Good metaphors, effective ambiguity”
On my original young adult short story: “Very entertaining, intriguing fantasy with a good ending”
On my play: “Very good drama with interesting plot, good dialogue and conflict depiction and a good ending”
On top of all this I will be writing for the newly created travel section of a South African website. I am very excited about what the future may hold for me and I feel extremely blessed. None of this would have been possible if I didn’t actively pursue my dreams.

comedy, Humorous

Which blogger are you? A sort of parody

1. The personal blogger – they tend to drone on and on about the daily going ons in their lives and isn’t a blog just the perfect platform to force feed their readers another story about that horrible colleague with the halitosis? No one cares about that strange rash you have. Over-share much? It’s like sneaking a peek into someones diary, creepy.

2. The fashion blogger – Doting boyfriends who trail after their girlfriends taking pictures of their clothes. Everyday!?! Have you nothing better to do? I do so envy your fabulous life though – free clothes, international fashion shows, you even have give-aways and competitions (how neat) and thanks so much for those helpful make-up tutorials I don’t know how I would have applied my mascara otherwise.

3. The travel blogger – wait no this is the blogger I envy. Exotic far-flung places and free accommodation? What a great combination. Please let me stay at your establishment for free. I promise I’ll write you a stellar review for all 10 of my readers. Apparently it is possible, we can all live this life. Seriously, we can’t all be travel writers. It is not really possible for every Joe Blogg to sustain a lifestyle based purely on travel and writing. You make it sound so easy but the truly succesful travel bloggers has secondary means of income.

4. The amateur photographer blogger – oh see this lovely picture I took of a spoon in Rome. Look at how the angle of the light is reflecting off the spoon. Marvelous isn’t it? Who would have thought something so simple could be so beautiful? Now look at this blade of grass. See how I captured its essence. Anyone with an iPhone, SLR or even just a regular point and shoot can now go pro. Annie Leibovitz? I could teach her a thing or two.

5. The mommy blogger – the morning school runs, the nanny/maid issues, the paranoia, the non-existent sex life, your kids bowel movements. No topis is taboo. Motherhood is so hard but I make this s@#t look easy. Just stop trying to be superwoman, kids are more resilient than we give them credit for.

6. The serious writer blogger – no funny posts here. I’m trying to get published dammit.  I’m such a tortured artist. Nobody understands me. I’m going on a hunger strike. Buy my e-book in the meantime though – only $2.00, paypal accepted.

7. The foodie blogger – your grandmother whispered the secret family recipe to you on her deathbed? Well kudos for posting on your blog. I’m sure she’ll be so proud of you. Also stop enticing me with photos of perfectly prepared dishes. I know that if I try it will look nothing like yours. I do not have a direct link to Nigella like you. In fact I live on toast and cereal, this is all a bit much for me. Too much work and I ‘d rather just go to my favourite restaurant and order whatever I feel like eating. Much easier.

8. The self-help guru blogger – if your life is in shambles look no further. I’ll show you how to change your life and be the happy person you deserve to be in 12 easy steps. No this is not AA but follow this link if you do have a drinking problem.

9. The cat blogger – stories of your cat, pictures of your cat, guest post by your cat using its furry little paws. Catwoman was sexy. You? Not so much.

10. The financial adviser blogger – yes you too can have financial peace of mind.  Not only will I show you how to become debt free and save for that rainy day but I’ll show how I made millions by investing, playing with the stock market and even insider trading. No it’s not all illegal and in fact it’s all the rage these days.


10 Things I wanted to be when I was growing up

We’ve all said it. Some of us still say it. When I grow up i want to be a …

These are just 10 of the things I wanted to do/be when I was a kid.

1) Doctor

2) Fashion designer

3) Taxi driver

4) Translator

5) Rapper

6) Jewelry designer

7) Bookstore/coffee shop/clothing store owner

8) Movie critic

9) Trend forecaster

10) Writer


Don’t blind yourself to the Signs

This weekend past was awesome. I mentioned a while back that I will be volunteering for SA-YES an organisation that helps prepare children who are about to leave the children’s home and into the real world. The training session on Saturday was informative but it was the Sunday spent with the 20 young girls and boys who have opted to have a mentor that really had a positive effect me.

They say helping others makes you feel good and this was the first where I have truly experienced this. I first had the opportunity to speak to each girls about herself, her life, her dreams/goals etc which was then followed by ball games played on the field outside. I honestly cannot remember when last I have felt this happy and content or had so much fun. I never realised how far away I have drifted from doing things that matter and can make a difference in someone else’s life. The past year I have been so self-centred and well a little bit selfish which is what I needed to be at the time but now I know that it is time for me to give back.

Sometimes the signs are right in front of us but we choose not to see them. I now recall that at high school I belonged to the Society Club and we would meet once a week to visit a children’s home, old age home or homeless shelter. I also occasionally wrote for the school paper ‘The Moaning Lisa’. My love for languages saw me learning Arabic at high school and more recently Mandarin Chinese and Italian. Recently after doing an in-depth personality assessment the following were some of the careers that is recommended for me to pursue: Writer, Social Worker, Teacher, Psychologist, Artist, Photographer – these are all things that have always interested me (now more than ever though) but for some reason I got side-tracked and got hurled off the beaten track and into the rat race of the real world.

So yes I feel like I have found my calling in life but in reality if I only had to keep pursuing what I enjoyed in my youth then I would have found my place a long time ago. I do not regret the path my life has taken as it played a role in moulding the person I am today. I got an email from a friend on Monday and it just reminded me that there are people around me and all of us for that matter who silently supports and not only want to see us succeed but more importantly who want us to be happy.


17 Again

Please note that this post does not refer to the Zac Efron movie. Do not bother scrolling down any further as there will be no topless pictures of Zac Efron.

I don’t believe in having regrets, things happen for a reason and this has helped shape the person I became. If I did however get a do-over there would be a few things I would have done differently especially with regards to my career. I feel the school system and sometimes parents are ill-equipped to guide high schoolers onto the correct career path. Today most people have more than one career anyway so it is absurd to think that a young and naive 17 year old knows what they want to be when they grow up. For those of us who didn’t spend our days dreaming about becoming doctors or astronauts or knowing exactly what we wanted to be, we were pretty much lost in a labyrinth of choices.

Those career ‘tests’ they make you take can be misleading even more so when you are still trying to figure out who you are . Because they have our best interest at heart adults also tend to steer you away from a career in the arts as they are worried that you will have no job stability/security. A career in fashion does not mean a life as a struggling up and coming designer nor does a passion for the Arts mean that you are doomed to be a starving writer/painter. There is a plethora of options out there from Fabric Technologist to Copywriter to Graphic designer so we must not discourage anyone from doing what they are drawn to.

Just imagine what we would be capable of if we were all encouraged from a very age to follow our dreams no matter how obscure and to nurture our talents? I’m not blaming anyone  for the fact that it took me years to not only discover what I truly love but also to have the confidence to pursue these dreams and not caring what anyone least of all society thinks. Yes, we all need to make a living to survive but I believe now more than ever that I have to do things that brings me joy and happiness. I cannot waste another year, month, week, day or even a minute of my life on things that simply do not matter to me.

We spend so many hours of our lives at work that it is our duty to ensure it is spent doing something we care about and to surround ourselves with like-minded people to inspire us. I challange all my readers to think back to the last time they were truly happy and do whatever it is to get that feeling back.

languages, Life, travel

Full circle and that fork in the road

One of the things that I wanted to be whilst growing up was a writer. Being an avid reader this seemed to just be the next logical step (read then write) and after having discovered Roald Dahl my mind was made up. However once I got to high school I got bombarded with choices and got well …..confused.

After much ado though the fashion and retail world called out to me and because I went start to work after school I had to study fashion buying part-time and got my ‘big’ break at a fashion retailer as an assistant. After years of working my way up through the ranks I’ve made the startling discovery that this is not what I really want to  do anymore.

The 2 things that I’ve learnt about myself this year (well I always knew but just didn’t listen to my inner voice) was that I have a love for languages and literature. And never knew how much I would enjoy writing until I stared this blog. So next year I will start my bachelor of arts degree specialising in language, literature and creative writing and majoring in English and Italian. In conjunction with a Tefl or Celta course this will give me the opportunity to teach English overseas and to travel the world. Who knows I might even end up freelancing for Vogue magazine. And we all know how I feel about magazines.

First time that I feel at peace with myself about the direction of where my life is headed, which will hopefully be off the beaten path.