Authors share their journeys: “This book took so much emotion out of me!”

“Write when you have a lot emotion in you. It can be good or bad emotions,” my cousin Lynn D. Nel advised me when I told her my idea for a novel. Lynn recently finished her book and is busy doing research on self-publishing.

#WritersTip: Write when you have a lot emotion in you. It can be good or bad emotions. - Lynn D Nel

This year I want to complete my novel, but eisj, it’s so hard to start. I started writing, but paused… I realised that I don’t know some of my characters. And do I want these characters in my book?

For those of you who are aspiring authors (like myself), I made a list of three authors sharing their journeys. Listening to their stories, I found that I could identify with them in many ways. Yes, it’s okay to have fear; you just have to continue with your execution.

It’s like Maya Angelou says: “There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” That story needs to get out!

There's no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. - Maya Angelou

Let’s hear what the three authors have to say about the lessons they learned during their writing process.

Maya Elious
Maya is a personal branding specialist who helps online entrepreneurs to become successful in their businesses. She is currently on her journey to write a book. In the video below, she talks about a workshop she attended.

Maya says this writing workshop made her ask herself the following questions: “What is the overall purpose (of this book)? Also, what do I want it to do for my business?

“Thirdly, what does the end of this look like – where is the book going to end?”

Watch Maya Elious talk about her journey, here:

Lynn D Nel
The first thing Lynn told me when I said I’m planning a book, is: “Just start. The story is already in you.” Woah! That is so prophetic!

It took her about 10 months to finish her book, she says. “That book at times took so much emotion out of me; I did not write for weeks on end!

“Plus, my work required my full attention. It (her full time job) keeps a roof over my head and my child in school after all,” she explained. Her son is in matric this year.

Lynn D Nel author journey

Lynn said she wrote her biography to get healing. “Overnight that book has changed me a lot. I have never been as bold as I find myself to be now.”

She hopes that those who have gone through abuse will find motivation in her story. Lynn also aims to reunite her family through this book.

BronzeGoddess01
I came across BronzeGoddess01’s YouTube channel while I was doing research on authors and their journeys. This young lady gives mainly women relationship advice on her channel.

She self-published her book “The Dating Game. How to Find Yourself while You are Looking for Mr. Right.”

She says that publishing this book is a huge accomplishment for her. “I knew I was a charismatic speaker, but I wasn’t sure I had what it took to write my thoughts down… There has always been a fear that I couldn’t write this book.”

Her tips for aspiring writers include:

#1. Use every free available resource, app or website you can get. For example, Skrawl is an online platform to submit bits of information of your book. You can submit the first chapter of your book read and get feedback on it.

#2. Just start writing; start with the title and your name. It’s also good to write a sub-title for your book – this gives your reader insight to what the book might be about.

#3. Don’t force it; be inspired. “People write books for different reasons,” she added.

For more gems from BronzeGoddess01, watch the video below:

Which of the ladies’ advice do you find motivating? If you are writing a book or are an author, share some of your thoughts below please. Thank you for reading!

Valentine’s Day exposes two kinds of people

My cousin, Lynn D. Nel recently finished her book and is in the process of getting it self-published. The book tells the story of her life – her childhood, abuse she endured, relationships, et cetera.

I’m really proud of her – finishing a book is a HUGE achievement.

“Have you started reading my book yet?” She had asked me two weeks ago. It had probably been the third time she had asked me. I told her yes, I was at page four then. “I feel so naked now,” she told me. Lynn says she feels naked, because she revealed so much of herself in this book.

More about the book another time…

Lynn agreed to be a guest writer for Mel’s Postbox. Within time, we will share her journey as a first time author. Here are her thoughts on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

Valentine's Day people Lynn D Nel

Before I get right into it, let me just tell you a little bit about myself. I am a very opinionated person and, to say the least, very analytical too. I don’t know if the latter is a good thing or a bad thing. The truth is, I have an artist and a writer’s soul.

I don’t know about other writers but I am an introvert and quiet by nature. I choose to observe people and life in general. And once the observation is done, the extrovert will come out on paper.

Ask any writer or “wannabe” writer, our heads are always spinning about what we would like to position on paper.

I live in either my own little world of what I perceive as realistic (and I am very stubborn about it) or, I live in an ideal world (in my head of course).

What can I say, I’m a romantic at heart and it is an excellent coping mechanism. This brings me to 14 February. How I perceive the day, is somewhat more realistic than idealistic.

Lynn D Nel author valentine's day
Lynn D. Nel

HEARTS ON OUR SLEEVES?
So Valentine’s Day 2017 has come and gone. And what I observed were two kinds of people that are, dare I say, more obvious on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year.

I think you can guess where I am going with this. The one group is the happy-go-lucky ones who totally buys into the day! These are the people that are not scared to admit how important love, and for that matter, their loved one(s) in their lives are.

We dress ourselves and our children in the colour that ‘speaks Valentine’. Everywhere you look, are couples that do not show any shame, nor embarrassment in dressing alike or, true to the colour that warrants this day.

Yeah to those people for their honesty because we were in essence designed to “mate” and to love. Love as it is, “the greatest of them all”, do make everything seem alright with this world, whether we want to admit it or not.

‘IT AWAKENS THE SOUL’
A quote out of the movie “The Notebook” portrays it so eloquently: “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.”

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our…

Nothing will ever come close to love. It brings peace, kindness, understanding, courage and a will to face anything and everything life throws our way. It makes us bold and fierce in our struggles.

Love... It makes us bold and fierce in our struggles. - Lynn D. Nel

The best thing is that we do learn from love and what we learn is power at its best. Nobody for me can say it better than Leo Tolsky when he said: “All, everything that I understand, I only understand because I love.”

As a dedicated Christian, the best for me is out of the movie Les Miserables, “And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God”.

Love makes us vulnerable and most people hate being vulnerable. We think it makes us weak and not human as we are.

We prefer the masks and not the real when in fact the real stands a better chance at love in its best form.

In the words of Angelita Lim: “I saw that you were perfect, and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you even more. We don’t choose love, love chooses us! We should really just marvel in it! To teach love is to live love.”

THE HATERS
The second, and my least favourite group, is the cynical-about-love people. Cynical though is such a harsh word, so I would rather like to call them “confused?”

They make me think about the 7%-38%-55% rule that resulted from Prof Albert Mehrabian’s research on communication. This rule does not portray all forms of communication.

These totals primarily relate to a situation where we are forming an attitude of like or dislike of someone, as concluded by his other peers. It states that 7% is made out of content (our words), 38% refers to the tone of our voice and 55% portrays our body language and facial expressions.

I’m single, and a mother of an eighteen year old who totally adores his girlfriend. I was very excited with him when I took him shopping for the perfect gift for his girlfriend.

So there we stood, in the pay point queue, right behind two young women who were wearing sexy black dresses. They were talking about, yes, men, why they hate the day and that they cannot believe that people are so gullible to stand in line with all these valentine’s gifts.

DRESSING THE PART
Valentine's hearts
The rule came to mind and with that, the saying: “Action speaks louder than words”. Is it just my thinking or were they really very transparent? There they were, on this ‘gloomy’ day, dressed in sexy black dresses. Why?

At places that I have been during the day, I witnessed the same sexy black ‘numbers’ and the same cynicism. Everyone knows that black is a winner on any occasion and any day. Why would you want to be a winner on such a “doomed” day?

So what if people buy into the commercial side of it? We…. people…have evolved and we … people…have commercialised the world. It happens on any other significant days.

Heaven knows, with all the negativity around us, the world needs days like these.

We get so caught up in the rat race that pressurises us to live past each other. My head is always full of quotes and it really cannot escape my soul. This one, by Mitch Albom, I have no doubt, is designed for the sceptical at heart.

“Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, that’s all. You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. You nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it.”

YOU ATTRACT WHAT YOU ARE
So Mr or Miss Doubtful, please change your attitude, unless you want to end up with someone equally doubtful.

Mr or Miss Doubtful, please change your attitude; unless you want to end up with someone equally…

The law of attraction is simple. We don’t attract what we want. We attract what we are. Think of your poor future children!

The law of attraction is simple. We don't attract what we want. We attract what we are. - Lynn D Nel

“Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo!” Most of us are familiar with this famous Shakespearian play. What Juliet meant to ask was: Why are you from the Montague family and not from the Capulets she stems from? Why are you not what I want you to be?

We, humans, tend to go for Mr or Miss Wrong and then we wonder why things did not work out. We choose with the eyes, and not with the heart and it is the heart that speaks to the soul and the soul is what really matters!

Looks attract a person but its character and mutual compatibility that keep two people in love and yes, together!

So let’s make a toast, not to love, but to hope!

We should celebrate love more often and permits the wonder that Valentine’s Day brings. It brings hope! This idealist is signing out for now. I hope I reach at least one heart, just one!

[The above opinion piece was written by Lynn D. Nel.]

Do you agree or disagree with Lynn? Did you celebrate Valentine’s or not? Tell me what you think.

The #1 Reason That Prevents Me From Becoming An Author

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” – Maya Angelou
I’ve had this story inside of me for less than a year. This year my goal is to pen it down. I am sure the characters cannot wait to get out of my head.
One of my goals this year is to start with my fiction book. Another goal is to at least read five books this year.
I am reading more things aligned to what I want to achieve. On Monday 16 January 2017, I came across Karthik Pasupathy’s article “5 Things That Prevent Young Aspirants from Becoming Writers”.
prevent aspiring writers
THE REASONS WE DON’T BECOME WRITERS
Pasupathy wrote on The Writing Cooperative that writers do not interact. “Aspirants (aspiring authors) don’t discuss about writing. They keep things to themselves. They’re too afraid to step forward and discuss ideas.
“Brainstorming plays an important role when comes to writing. When people with contrasting opinions discuss about a topic, it creates new connections in our brain,” he explains. “This allows a writer to look at an issue from several perspectives.”
Other mistakes that aspiring authors do “they don’t read” nor “they do not write,” says Pasupathy.
I should talk to fellow writers about my process, I thought. I decided to act on this. After emailing someone close to me my story idea, I got a few gems from this fellow writer.
LESSONS LEARNT
I needed to hear the following and she said it: “You know you can do this; the story is already in you.”
The challenging part of writing a story is actually starting. Although I have small parts of the story in my head, I think: what if I don’t have more meat for my story?
Meaning: what if the story doesn’t get interesting as the first part?
“You know you can do this; the story is already in you.”
I am certain this means: Just start, the rest will come.
books author emotions
Lastly, I will share with the one other gem I got from this person: “Try to write when you have lots of emotion in you, whether good or bad.”
It’s not like I haven’t written a story before – I am a journalist by profession and I have also had fiction short stories published.
Let’s not agonise I tell myself; just start with it.
If you are an author or have struggled to start with something you’re passionate about, let me know what motivated you to do the next step.
Enjoy the rest of your week!

South African writer: Hustle to get your books published

The first poem Melissa Rambally wrote was when she was 12 years old. The writing-bug got hold of her heavily, because at the age of 14, she finished her first short story. Years later, she is now a part-time author known as Melissa Kate.

The Durbanite says this long, hard journey to get her first fiction book published taught her to take rejection like a champ. “It’s a tough journey,” she explains. “When you write your story, it’s your baby and you cannot quite understand why others don’t love it (your work) as much as you do.

“But you must pick yourself up and persevere. Keep at it,” she advises.

melissakate2

This year she debut her first romance novel, Waiting For You. Rambally recently released her second novel, Love in the Fast Lane.

When Cassarica Nadas of the Amazeblog asked her what she enjoyed about writing, Rambally said: “I just love the thrill of a new love story. I often watch movies or music videos and get so disappointed with a cliff-hanger or a negative ending, and I always think ‘I could have done that so much better!’ Who doesn’t love a happy ending?”

She also told Amazeblog that it helps that writing goals are set. “I try 5000 words per day and for now I only have Sundays to sit down and get the words on the page – the earlier the better.”

The toughest thing about writing is the dialogue, Rambally confesses.

We spoke to her about what it takes to finish your story and get it published. Is it a walk in the park or do you have to hustle?

Here is the question- and answer session we did with her:

Why the pseudonym ‘Melissa Kate’?

Melissa Rambally (MR): There was no special reason for it. I just like the way the name sounds – it’s classy and elegant.

What is your profession?

MR: I’m a Human Resources Business Partner for a Food Service Company.

melissakate_books1

What steps did you take to become an author?

MR: The biggest step is to get the words on the page. I am a compulsive planner so I keep a notebook with me at all times. Before I even sit down to start Chapter One, I research elements of my story, and I jot down ideas and possible scenes. It then all comes together once the fingers het tapping on the keyboard.

After that, it’s a matter of having people around you who will read your manuscript and give you honest feedback.

Then it’s the editing; ensure your formatting and spelling is a 100% and submit to potential publishers.

How did you get a publisher?

MR: I did A LOT of research.

Each publisher has their own guidelines for manuscript submissions which are kind of painful because you can’t send them all a generic mail with your story.

I got MANY rejections, so very much and because I am human, I started to get despondent and feel like “What’s the point?”

By chance I sent my book to one last publisher and I assure you, the day I got the email to say they wanted to offer me a contract, I thought for sure it was a big hoax. I didn’t tell anyone I got a publishing contract till I saw my author profile on their website. Lame I know!

What do you enjoy about being an author?

MR: The achievement of knowing you have your name in print – it’s every writer’s dream. Oh and definitely when people love your books, nothing quite like it.

melissakate3

What would you say are small achievements in your author journey, especially those you have achieved this year?

MR: I’m still a fairly new author – I have only been published this year so I’m still green in the game. It was quite a proud moment when my local newspaper printed an article about me.

Are there misconceptions about what you do?

MR: I don’t think so. I am a pretty open person, what you see is what you get. I tend to also share a lot about myself on my personal blog and my social sites, so there’s always clarity about what I am about and what I write about.

Before you tell us about what your books are about, share some tips for aspiring writers.

Write from the heart and write, because you have a passion to give your characters life.

Don’t give up when you get knocked down. It’s a tough road to get published, but it is achievable and it’s the greatest accomplishment. You got this!

Please share what your two books are about.

Waiting For You was my debut novel. The blurb reads:

Audrey Kelly finds her way back home to Crystal Valley with her bruised pride and a shattered dangerous past mocking her rear view mirror. What she didn’t expect was to be face-to-face with Adam Parker, resident bad boy, sexy Navy SEAL and one of the reasons that Audrey ran all those years ago.

Audrey was the last person Adam had ever expected to see back in Crystal Valley. Over a decade ago, they shared a sizzling night together before he received the worst news of his life and he hasn’t seen her since…until she moved back unexpectedly. She was no longer the sweet innocent girl he once remembered, but Adam has his own problems without having to deal with Audrey’s ice princess recital, no matter how tempting the auburn haired seductress may be.

Sparks begin to ignite between them but can they accept Audrey’s past when it threatens to engage them in a dangerous twist? Can they save each other from themselves and stop running once and for all?

Love in the Fast Lane was released in November 2016 and its blurb reads:

Race car driver, Nathan Wolf, is primed to win his first championship. A thriving career and sexy holiday fling have Nathan riding the high life. But the past haunts him and could ruin it all.

After six long years, Brielle Woods has finally put the past behind her. Or so she thought, until she bumps into the hotshot who turned her world upside down and left her…to raise their son…alone.

Can they overcome baggage from their past and give into the passion that still burns between them? Or will they lose the chance at true happiness and the family they both long for?

Thank you Melissa for sharing. We wish you all the best for the future!

PS. What did you enjoy about this interview?

Q&A: Reasons why I’m a writer and what am I writing about

Hello ladies and gentlemen,
The Blog Tag network on Facebook has a “Writing” theme this week. I thought, because I am a writer by profession (and it’s my passion), I’ll let you in on a few things about myself.

I would like to add that today I wrote about an interview I did with an interracial couple. Also, I am busy researching content marketing strategy, because I am preparing for an interview with an entrepreneur.

The Blog Tag asked some questions relating to their Writing theme and I answered. Check it out:

TBT: What is the first thing you remember writing?
MJ: I was probably 14 or 15 years old when I attended a writing workshop. My first story was a soapie type story that involved a girl looking for her father, her being in a relationship with a gangster who wanted her father dead. There was a love triangle in this story too.

At the time I watched a lot of soapies like “Days of Our Lives”.

TBT: What do you enjoy writing most?
MJ: I enjoy how the characters of a fictional story evolve, their growth and changes of scenes. In reality, I enjoy writing success stories of people, e.g. like small businesses doing well, or someone achieving something and getting an award or acknowledgement for it.

TBT: What is your favorite thing about writing?
MJ: It’s the before-part. Going out on a story and doing research or an interview. It’s also nice after I am done with a story, and I can get it published. Seeing my name in print is cool.

TBT: Who or what inspired you to start writing?
MJ: I enjoyed writing books as a child. My mother encouraged me to try out a journalism course.

TBT: Favorite piece of writing that you wrote?
MJ: There are so many – besides writing news stories as a journalist, I have written and published fiction short stories. I think I enjoyed the fiction stories, because I got to be creative and had fun as the characters developed themselves.

TBT: How often do you write?
MJ: Every single day for work. Personally, not much – which is bad, because I want to publish a book.

TBT: Do you want to get published?
MJ: Yes.

TBT: What are your writing goals?
MJ: This information I keep close to my heart.

TBT: What do you do when you experience writers block?
MJ: I just start writing down what I already have. Eventually I get in the groove.

TBT: Who is your favorite writer(s)?
MJ: Karen Kingsbury, Jodi Picoult, and blogger Melyssa Griffin.

TBT: If you had to go by a pen name what would it be and why?
MJ: I can’t reveal this, because someone might steal my pen name 🙂

TBT: Have you ever entered any writing contests?
MJ: No, but I have entered my fiction stories into magazines and a newspaper. Many people do that and only some are selected.

TBT: Have you had any formal training as a writer?
MJ: Yes, I have a national degree in journalism.

TBT: What is your favourite piece of writing?
MJ: Errrr. I don’t know what you mean with that question.

TBT: Do you have any tips for other writers?
MJ: Just start with it – just write. You’ll get better the more you do it. Plus read a lot.
Also, make use of the journalism’s 5W’s and H: who, what, where, why, when, and how.

Quick Fire:
Pen & Paper or Laptop — both

Pen name or Real Name — real name

Quiet Place to write or busy place with music — it does not matter. I can lose myself when I am writing.

Fiction or Non Fiction — both
Poetry or Stories — definitely stories

Lessons learned from South African artists + my roadtrip

My family – myself, husband and our nine month old baby – drove from Johannesburg to Cape Town for a few gigs (shows and workshops).

WHY THE ROADTRIP
My husband is a musician and composer.

This roadtrip is taking place mainly because he is connecting with some fans and business colleagues.

Our trip started 15 September 2016 and it’s about three weeks long.

His gigs included a show in Wellington at the Digterstuin (a poetry garden event), a workshop for learners at Bellville South High, and entertainment for Suiderland Plase awards ceremony at Landtscap.

THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TRIP
So far the road trip has been good. We could visit a few family and friends along the way.

I got a bit of a break away from cooking (yay, mommy victory dance). I especially enjoyed eating curry bunnies and the occasional braai meat. I also had a few minutes to myself whenever family members wanted to bond with the Princess.

I got to attend one of my cousins’ 21st party. This included tasting her chocolate cake. She had made the cake two days before the party. Her trick to keep the cake moist was to pour (already made) coffee over the cake.

THE LOWS
Sadly, some of the gigs were cancelled. This meant less income on our trip.

Again, I could not visit all our family members or friends, especially due to lack of funds. Sorry my people.

LEARNING FROM WRITERS
I didn’t think this was funny when the following happened, but it’s a sort of funny story:

I watched an American movie with one of my cousins. Husband comes in and asks what is the movie’s name.
Cousin replies: This Christmas
Husband: But these people are not talking Afrikaans.
I realised he was joking because “This Christmas” sounds like “Dis Krismis”.
My reply: Christmas isn’t even an Afrikaans word. It’s Kersfees.
Often though we Afrikaners write Christmas as slang Afrikaans “krismis”.

I thought of husband’s friend Loit Sols when the above incident happened. Loit is a poet. He writes his poetry in goema Afrikaans (also known as Kaaps Afrikaans).

Loit and husband (Leslie Javan) facilitated a workshop for learners on Tuesday 27 September in Bellville South.

Their aim was to teach the learners about creative writing especially songwriting.

I learned the following about:

WRITING
Make mistakes. For example, Loit told the learners that his way of writing words, especially since it’s goema, does not seem correct in standard Afrikaans terms.

His advice: “Don’t worry about your spelling of words. If you worry about that, you will never finish writing your story. The important thing is to tell your story.”

He added: “There are editors to rewrite or perfect your spelling (or paraphrasing your story).

BEING AWARE
Good writers look for the obvious. Sometimes the obvious are not seen to you, because you become used to your surroundings.

For instance, if you walk to school or work every day, most surroundings or things around you, become obvious (and unnoticeable).

KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE
Learners/ young people need interactive teaching.

I spoke to a former teacher at the workshop and he said role playing is important when teaching children (or conveying your message).

Instead of telling your learners or audience what you are going to teach, rather let them do role playing and find out for themselves, he said.

It also helps to do a “needs assessment” before doing a workshop.

COLLABORATION
When you have the right partner, a collaboration is good for business and self-development. Husband and Loit complimented each other whenever they did a show or workshop together.

I have two questions for you :
Have you ever been on a roadtrip?
What’s the most memorable advice you received relating to the skills you are passionate about?

Thank you for reading!

Advice on choosing a career – this is how I got into journalism

I never thought of journalism as a career before I enrolled to do the course at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

In fact, before I decided to enrol for journalism I never watched much news. My brother and I used to love watching the 19:00 comedy show on Sabc1 on a weekly night. News did become my life the day I applied to do journalism.

Studying journalism was not something I considered. I wanted to do something in medicine, like radiography. I failed Natural Science in June 2005 when I was in matric. I needed good marks for that course – so when I failed I didn’t get a call back from the university’s radiology department.

During my matric year I decided with a couple of friends that I wanted to do a gap year. The plan was to take a gap year and au pair in the United States.

I went all out – I did a lot of babysitting and I worked for free at a local crèche (a day care centre for children) to make up the hours I needed. I think the programme asked that I must have about 100 to 200 hours of experience (babysitting children).

I got the necessary paperwork to do au pair – I even wrote a letter to my potential host-parents. Writing the letter was the most exciting thing I did. I must have realised then that I should consider a career that involved creative writing.

Anyway, during my gap year I worked as a waiter while trying to get my things in order to do au pair. I had to get my driver’s licence to complete the application to do au pair.

Long story short, things didn’t work out my way. I failed too many times at my driver’s tests. Eventually I made a decision to let go of the dream of becoming an au pair. How I came about that decision, is a story for another day.

After I made a decision not to do au pair, my parents advised me to go study something.

The thing about finishing matric and being an adult is that it is an exciting part of your life. You get to make decisions as an adult. Yet, I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life.

I always had a dream that I wanted to be a doctor; maybe a gynaecologist.

One day at a hospital – I was sick – I saw a man with his foot messed up. It was as if he just came in from an accident. His foot looked disgusting and bloody. I couldn’t see myself touching that man’s foot and then decided that I cannot be a doctor.

So radiology was the second dream. In my matric year I had taken everything on higher grade and I failed some of my subjects because it was too much to handle. Please note: during my school years I was always in the Top 10 or Top 20 learners at the school.

There was a lot going on in matric.

My mother suggested that I study journalism, because I apparently had always said I wanted to be an author. Journalism would be a way of telling stories and a steppingstone of me becoming an author.

I had a light bulb moment: what my mother said was true. I had even while working tried once a month to buy at least one magazine. I’d buy a different magazine each time, because after a while the one magazine’s content seemed “same old, same old”.

I had been enjoying reading and writing since I was a child. I even went to a free Writers Workshop in my teens and wrote my first soapie-story.

The day I enrolled for journalism I was told that the applications had already closed. This was in December 2006. The lady at the administration did however advise me to go see the head of department (HOD). I went to the journalism department and there the secretary of the HOD said the same thing: applications are closed.

God intervened; the secretary then told me she’ll take my application. She asked me however to call her every day [when the university opened again] to remind her about the application. The week my class mates went for orientation, I was sitting on my phone every day to call the secretary. I eventually was called to come in for an interview.

Out of hundreds who applied, I was one of 40 that were chosen for the course.

Why am I writing this post?

Well, the other day I spoke to someone about how many people especially entrepreneurs don’t know what their services should be. How do you decide what to study or what to sell or what service to give? Here’s my input:

  1. You should think about what your talents are. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing?
  2. What are your qualities? How can you serve? Just because you are a good listener does not mean you should try being a social worker. Doctors are good listeners too – I think. Doctors have to listen to patients who moan about what is wrong with them. That information then helps the doctor make his diagnosis. I am a good listener – but I am a journalist who listens to other people’s stories. I also enjoyed working as a waiter and a call centre operator – it helps if you are a good listener in one of these jobs.
  3. Talk to people. Share your ideas out loud. You learn about yourself and from others if you share what’s on your mind.
  4. Sometimes you should just take the leap. For example, I am a shy person – someone who hardly ever talks, yet I am a journalist. AND I LOVE MY CAREER. I love learning new things. I love listening to people’s stories. Those are the things I get to experience in my career. I would not have known that I could love this job had I not taken a chance to enrol to study journalism.

I hope this was helpful. Thank you for reading!