Getting paid to write – is that a thing?  

Yes, my dreams have come to life. As of last week, I began writing and I will be getting paid to do it. It happened so suddenly, that I haven’t had time to fully process this. I have been having fun researching topics I have had no knowledge on. Perhaps I have found the secret love of my heart – Art in garden design. I did not know there was such beauty and hard work into creating landscapes. I am mesmerized by the art and styles of gardening.

A friend of mine that has been helping me with my studies; both in faith and applying, wrote me an email and asked for my help. I replied and he told me that he was collaborating with his cousin to start a business. They needed a content writer and was wondering if I wanted to partake. Of course, I accepted. I did not know how to do any of it but gradually I’ve been learning – researching, writing, learning about topics I have no expertise or knowledge on. They enjoy my writing and I’m only happy to gain experience.

I can honestly say I have grown in my writing in such a short space of time. I did not think to put so much effort and work into writing about a topic but this has given me the push that I needed. Writing is easy when you are familiar with the subject. I try to dive in and find out as much as I feel I should know about that particular topic before I even begin to write anything down.

On other news, I have applied to UNISA and am waiting (patiently) for my Matric certificate to send through to them. My life is not going at the speed I want it to go. I will have to be patient because all good things come to those who wait.

What you were made to do will always find a way to you. Don’t give up on your dreams! God will see that it comes to pass.

N. A. Valentine


What makes you pick up a book? 

What makes you pick up a book? Is it the font type, the lettering, the authors name, the colors of the cover, the small heading, the big heading, the genre, the length of the book, the fact that it is well known, the pictures, a little icon on the spine of a door or hands or a puppy or a vampire, slanted text, neat text, a catchy line after the title… 

What is it that truly gets your attention? See, for me I just like to prepare before hand for what I’m going to pick at the library. I never go without an idea of what I want to get. I don’t like to be fooled by a good cover and a poor story or a poor cover with a good story. I do the research because I’m so picky. Yet I do have my days when I’ll grab something just because I’m attracted to it. Those times are rare times and times I want to look at. 

I’m at the library staring at rows upon rows of novels. There are some that look like “good” books and others that just don’t interest me. I come across a book called “Crime school” it looks new. I don’t know the author, Carol O’Connell. I read the synopsis, sounds good – a murder, a cop, the past coming back. I open the book, its over 400 pages, the writing seems engaging.

“Night film” by Marisha Pessl – with a red bird flying near her name. Looks dark and interesting but the book is thick. The cover draws you in. The synopsis is good. Yet, I won’t take this home with me to read. 

I turn around and I see the Stephen King isle. His books are huge. I’ve tried reading “Mr Mercedes” and just couldn’t get through it. It wasn’t his writing, more the character. I do know that I want to read “11.22.63.” I found it engaging after reading a few lines. 

Rachel Joyce, I have her book at home and never found myself wanting to read it just yet. Sherlock Holmes, I’m weary of people who write about Sherlock Holmes. I truly am. The only book I read where an author tried to write as Watson or Sherlock, I can’t remember, was “The house of silk” by Anthony Horowitz. I enjoyed that. It was well written and I felt like the character of Sherlock was alive and well portrayed. 

I’m in a section I hardly go to: A-C, unless I’m here to get a dan brown book but I only needed one and that was “the lost symbol” which I took out a few days ago. I’m basically done with his novels with the exception of “Digital Fortress” which I have at home. I know never to underestimate a novel, so I always look around, just in case. 

David Baldacci, I’ve hear he is good but I don’t think his type of books are for me. I do however, need to read an Agatha Christie novel. Which I have not done yet. I somehow feel behind with books that I should have read already. That is why this lady is on my list. 

I might be getting side tracked now. What makes me attracted to a book? It has to be the whole package – the font, the fact that I know about the author, the genre, the synopsis is catching, the writing is good when I’ve read a snippet. 

There was one time that I looked at a book that caught my eye- The name definitely caught my attention. “The girl on the landing” the synopsis was glorious and the writing seemed simple.  The image on the front was of a deers skeleton, if I remember correctly. I found that cool. Yet I had never read this authors books before. However, I did notice that he wrote “Salmon finishing in the Yemen” and I heard it became a movie. When I began reading this book, It was difficult to get through at first. Yet near the end, the novel turned out to be a really good story. 

That happened a few months ago and I haven’t done that since. When I do happen to pick a book at random, all the factors I mentioned do come into play. I won’t go out and buy a novel I don’t know or have never heard of. Unless I was my 14 year old self who was good at that. Especially at sales. But I stopped when I realized I didn’t always read the books I had bought or enjoyed them. 

I know that this is different for everyone. Some are attracted to colour or genre or titles or a friends recommendation. It varies for every bibliophile. 

I think that choosing a novel is a personal thing between reader and novel. Majority it has nothing to do with the author itself but preference. 

So, now you know what gets my book picking fingers going. But what gets yours? Comment below and let me know. 

N. A. Valentine