1. What inspired you to start writing a lifestyle blog?
When I was in school, one of my language teachers inspired me to join cultural activities such as debating, and public speaking. Despite my partaking in these activities and many other engaging communities, I’m after all just an introvert. I recall her saying one day on a road trip on our way to a debating competition that I’m very quiet and that If I’m dugg up one day by a scientist, they would discover that my vocal cord is still in good condition.
My blog has become my safe space, a place where I can live out myself without the fear of engaging with people around me. That’s how the lifestyle blog came about.
2. Can you share a little bit about your background and how it has influenced your writing?
I grew up with a lot of socio-economic issues around me. Despite the difficulties, my parent encouraged me to do well in everything I do. I wrote a script once with a friend of mine to depict some of the environments I experienced growing up and to turn them into positivity. Sadly we were never able to take the play to the stage. But that’s where my first writing started until it grew into me trying lifestyle content.
3.What are some of your favorite hobbies or activities outside of writing?
I enjoy exploring new places, trying new food, and taking walks in nature.
4.Which city or region in South Africa do you call home, and what do you love most about it?
In South Africa, most people who meet me for the first time think I am from Cape Town, which I take no offense to, as Cape Town is one of the cities I loved staying in, however, my home town is Gqeberha, situated in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. What I love the most about this small town is the beach, the diversity of the people and also how content and proud the people are who live there.
5.How do you find a balance between vulnerability and privacy when sharing personal stories or experiences on your blog?
I don’t mind blending personal experiences into my lifestyle blog articles, however I don’t always get a perfect balance, but generally I don’t mind sharing as long as it’s not an overshared personal experience. I think it’s important that the reader, must resonate with you otherwise they might not enjoy reading through your post.
6.How do you spend your leisure time in South Africa? Any favorite activities or hobbies?
I spend a lot of time in front of my laptop, mostly watching series, reading, or watching vlogs. If I have a bit more time on holiday to myself I always try to go and visit a new place, which I hope to one day share with you on my blog.
I am currently trying scriptwriting for short videos and learning how to express myself in longer text, such as book form. I don’t always have the discipline or time. But every day I try to find new inspirations and ideas that will eventually give me the strength to take on bigger projects
7.Do you have any writing goals or aspirations that you’re currently working towards?
8.What languages do you speak, and how have they influenced your life or experiences?
You might have picked up on my tone and spelling errors while reading my lifestyle blog (don’t worry I’m working on it). My native language is Afrikaans. A language that is derived from Dutch. This is the primary language I use daily to communicate in. I learned English at school. And have my moments where I make mistakes speaking as I practically translate many things while speaking.
9.What are some traditional South African dishes or foods that you enjoy?
I’m not someone who generally goes out of their way to eat meat. I can go without it as most of my favorite meals are veggies and spicy food. However, the South African dish I like alot is pap, veggies, and stew. Occasionally wors (sausage) on rolls.
10.Are there any writing projects or collaborations that you’re currently excited about?
Yes, I will visit a tattoo studio soon, which I will review after I fix some tattoos I got during my teen years.
11.What do you hope readers take away from your writing?
I hope that they may relate to some of my posts but most importantly that they may find inspiration or ideas for things they perhaps did not know about (such as a new series, book, or product to try).
12.What is your favorite wildlife encounter or safari experience in South Africa?
When I was in primary school I went to the National Elephant Park in Ado which is a short distance from Qqeberha. Apart from seeing all the animals. I also had the privilege of feeding a cub. It’s a memory I will never forget.
13.Are there any specific rituals or habits that you practice to nurture your creativity?
I watch a lot of vlogs on youtube. Read Quora Questions and Answers. If that doesn’t work I head over to social media platforms. One way or another the creativity eventually hits.
14.How has writing shaped your personal growth and understanding of yourself?
Personally being an introvert I find it very hard to interact with people around me, but when I started writing I learned to speak out more through what I write. It has installed a bit of confidence in me. I am always filled with a sense of accomplishment when I complete a post and when I share it on the blog.
15.Can you describe a typical day in your life as a writer?
I don’t have a typical day, since I work in the education sector, which does take a big chunk out of my day, however during the days I don’t write I gather ideas on what I can write. During my holidays I spend time fixing SEO in my blog and making adjustments where needed.
16.What is the most rewarding part of connecting with your readers through your writing?
I don’t often have the readers’ direct responses because I turned the comments off on the blog, however, it’s rewarding when I analyze the analytics and I see that other countries are reading my work
17.What instruments do you use when compiling blog posts
I have a very basic setup. My laptop, google docs for writing, and a pc screen for productivity as it allows me to research on one screen, while I write on the laptop.
18.Can you share a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your writing process?
It depends on the days I get ideas, I’ve found sometimes that just writing and pouring all my thoughts down also helps me to get things done. Over holidays I sometimes get more done if I sit up late. After I completed a post I usually would spell check it. When I apply SEO I make changes to spelling and tone again.
19.When do you post and how does it affect your day-to-day life
I have no set times when I post, but I try to always have something new. So that those who read regularly may have something new to read. I hope to eventually have something new up every week.
20.How do you handle moments of self-doubt or insecurity in your writing journey?
I try not to be too hard on myself. My blog is firstly a hobby and a place where I can pour out my creativity. There are days when I overthink and wonder if it will ever grow into something big. I believe that each small step will eventually pay off. With more research and strategizing I see it growing one day. There are a lot of low self-esteem and low confidence I still need to overcome in my normal day-to-day life. But I believe one day each new article will motivate me to do better than the previous one.
21.Can you share a South African proverb or saying that resonates with you?
22.What is your favorite South African film or TV show, and why do you recommend it?
I don’t have a particular favorite but I liked watching the Jerusalema movie. Im currently following the Blood & Water Series on Netflix as well.
23.Can you recall a time when your writing had a significant impact on someone else’s life?
Someone thank me for explaining the science behind coffee, they were practically astonished.
24.Can you share a South African nonprofit organization or cause that you support?
From a young age, I have been involved in many social development programs. The one I still contribute to today is the NACCW. In which I do motivational speaking or get involved in workshops.
25.What are some books or pieces of writing that have left a lasting impression on you?
One book that I read in school called Krismis van Map Jacobs by Adam Small, still has a lasting impression on me, because often in life we tend to box people into how we want to see them. Judging them too quickly and not wanting to understand the true nature of the person according to facts and true reality. By us judging each other we only create living hells for one another. We must learn to embrace one another despite circumstances
26.What is the most scenic or breathtaking place in South Africa that you’ve visited?
I’ve traveled to a lot of places in South Africa, which I wish I took diligent pictures of, but if I have to choose one. I liked Knysna and Plet a lot as a house near water or sea always makes my heart jump with excitement.
27.How do you approach research or fact-checking for your writing?
Since I hardly write academic-based articles or too serious articles, I generally just read up on various other articles of the same article I want to cover and build my idea around the topic
28.Can you share a writing project or piece that you’re particularly proud of?
I like my post on coffee as it is something I’m passionate about. Not just drinking coffee but also proud of the fact that I once was involved in setting up and running a coffee shop. Which I hope to try again one day.
29.How has the socio-economic landscape of South Africa shaped your personal experiences?
Since I have experienced different parts of South Africa, I have experienced many good things but also some hectic things which I can’t always speak about on the blog but I believe one day there will be a way to even bring all my experiences in different forms of writing.
30.What advice would you give to aspiring writers who want to start their own blogs?
Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start, start right away. A blog is a way to record all your life’s memories. That you can one day return to.